Excellent Utilities: broot – next gen tree explorer and customizable launcher

Last Updated on May 22, 2022

In Operation

If you’ve used the tree command you’ll encounter the problem that it produces page after page of output. Of course you can pipe its output to more or less.

But there’s a better way of viewing and navigating large directories.

Here’s an image of broot in action. Instructions on how to navigate are set out in the bottom bar.


What does broot offer?

  • Provides a concise overview of a large directory.
  • Find a directory by typing a few letters and hit alt and enter to navigate to the desired location. This provides a very efficient and fast way to navigate to a directory.
  • Selects the most relevant file and helps you keep track of file hierarchy when searching.
  • Run common file operations like ls, cp, mv, mkdir without losing the view of the file hierarchy.
  • Open additional panels and perform file operations between elements in each panel. The software can display two panels which are useful for previewing files and copying/moving files between two locations, but you can add more panels if your terminal is wide enough.
  • Preview files such as images without losing track of the file hierarchy. Search with fuzzy patterns or regular expressions inside a text preview panel.
  • Apply a standard or personal command to a file. And apply commands to several files.
  • Clipboard functionality.
  • Disk usage functionality using the --sort-by-size flag.
  • Check git statuses. Use :gf to display the statuses of files (what are the new ones, the modified ones, etc.), the current branch name and the change statistics.
  • Tons of other flags and options as shown in the image below. Flags and options can be classically passed on launch but also written in the program’s configuration file.

broot - flags and options

Next page: Page 3 – Summary

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction / Installation
Page 2 – In Operation
Page 3 – Summary

Complete list of articles in this series:

Excellent Utilities
AES CryptEncrypt files using the Advanced Encryption Standard
AnanicyShell daemon created to manage processes’ IO and CPU priorities
brootNext gen tree explorer and customizable launcher
CerebroFast application launcher
cheat.shCommunity driven unified cheat sheet
CopyQAdvanced clipboard manager
crocSecurely transfer files and folders from the command-line
DeskreenLive streaming your desktop to a web browser
dufDisk usage utility with more polished presentation than the classic df
ezaA turbo-charged alternative to the venerable ls command
Extension ManagerBrowse, install and manage GNOME Shell Extensions
fdWonderful alternative to the venerable find
fkillKill processes quick and easy
fontpreviewQuickly search and preview fonts
horcruxFile splitter with encryption and redundancy
KoohaSimple screen recorder
KOReaderDocument viewer for a wide variety of file formats
ImagineA simple yet effective image optimization tool
LanguageToolStyle and grammar checker for 30+ languages
Liquid PromptAdaptive prompt for Bash & Zsh
lnavAdvanced log file viewer for the small-scale; great for troubleshooting
lsdLike exa, lsd is a turbo-charged alternative to ls
Mark TextSimple and elegant Markdown editor
McFlyNavigate through your bash shell history
mdlessFormatted and highlighted view of Markdown files
notiMonitors a command or process and triggers a notification
NushellFlexible cross-platform shell with a modern feel
nvitopGPU process management for NVIDIA graphics cards
OCRmyPDFAdd OCR text layer to scanned PDFs
Oh My ZshFramework to manage your Zsh configuration
PaperworkDesigned to simplify the management of your paperwork
pastelGenerate, analyze, convert and manipulate colors
PDF Mix ToolPerform common editing operations on PDF files
pecoSimple interactive filtering tool that's remarkably useful
ripgrepRecursively search directories for a regex pattern
RnoteSketch and take handwritten notes
scrcpyDisplay and control Android devices
StickySimulates the traditional “sticky note” style stationery on your desktop
tldrSimplified and community-driven man pages
tmuxA terminal multiplexer that offers a massive boost to your workflow
TuskAn unofficial Evernote client with bags of potential
UlauncherSublime application launcher
WatsonTrack the time spent on projects
Whoogle SearchSelf-hosted and privacy-focused metasearch engine
ZellijTerminal workspace with batteries included
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Luke Baker
2 years ago

broot is a utility I use regularly.