Rover -- simple file browser for the terminal

Last updated on 2016-05-10 19:43:19 -0300

Rover is a small file browser that aims to be simple, fast and portable.

Feature overview:

Rover has a Terminal User Interface (TUI) designed to fit in a small terminal window. There are ten tabs, but only one is visible at each time, selected by keys 0-9. The number of the current active/visible tab is shown at the top-right corner. The starting path for each tab can be given as command-line arguments; unassigned tabs will start at the current working directory. The current directory of the active tab is shown at the top of the screen.


The keys h, j, k & l are used to navigate in the file system. j/k moves the cursor down/up, h goes to the parent directory and l enters the selected directory. Additionally, g/G goes to the first/last entry in the list.

To navigate faster whithin a directory, the keys J, K & / can be used. J/K moves 10 entries down/up. / starts an incremental search: entries are selected as you type the desired filename prefix.

At the bottom-right corner, the number of entries in the current directory is shown preceded by the number of the selected entry. This information is also shown graphically as a vertical scroll bar on the right side of the panel.


File browsers usually allow the user to open a file with an appropriate program. Rover is still very limited on this area. There are only two ways of opening a file: the key SPACE will invoke $PAGER and the key e will invoke $EDITOR. In both cases, Rover waits in the background until you exit the invoked program.


Another handy feature is opening a shell in the current directory. This can be done with the key ENTER. Rover sets the environmental variable $RVSEL to the filename of the selected entry.


Rover has some basic filesystem management commands. You can create a file with n or a directory with N. The key R lets you rename an entry. The key D lets you delete an entry after confirmation.


In order to move a bunch of files/directories around, we first need to mark all of them with the key m and navigate to the destination directory. Then we can press C/V to copy/move the marked entries or X to delete them. Rover will show the operation progress at the bottom.

When moving files between different locations, it's often convenient to use a different tab for each location, so that we don't need to navigate back and forth multiple times.


For more information on Rover usage, see rover(1).

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