Quickstart Tutorial

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Revision as of 23:53, 23 September 2014 by Xaizek (talk | contribs) (Do Common Tasks Faster: Describe shell-like commands)
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TODO: This should cover all of the most basic Tasks

TODO: I'll keep updating this with my biggest bumps in the learning curve as well.

This first part should give just enough information to allow the new user to navigate through the tree to any file/dir, open the file, and pass commands to the shell.

The Bare Essentials

Launching Vifm

Run Vifm from a Terminal

Without arguments, like in


Vifm with no configuration starts with both panes in current directory of a shell.

With single argument', like in

vifm /bin

path changes left (or top) pane to specified path. In this case this pane is also automatically set to be the active one (e.g. it owns cursor).

With two arguments, like in

vifm /bin /tmp

the first one specifies path for the left (or top) pane and the second one for the right (or bottom) pane.

See also Starting Vifm.


Using normal mode (main mode, in which Vifm starts) shortcut ZZ.

Or with the help of command-line mode (the one entered after : is pressed) command :q, which should be followed by the Enter</kdb> key to be executed.

See also Quitting Vifm.


Movements are very much Vim-like, the main four keys are the same: h, j, k, l.

Basic movement (within file list of a view, menu items):

  • j - down one item at a time;
  • k - up one item at a time;
  • gg - go to the top of a list;
  • G - go to the bottom of a list.

Navigation and running actions:

  • h - go to the parent directory;
  • l or Enter on a directory - enter into the directory.
  • l or Enter on a file - open file in external editor (which is of course Vim by default). If you don't know, use :q followed by Enter to quit Vim.

Navigation between panes: space or tab (same as Ctrl-I) - switch active pane.

Opening files

TODO: cover following topics

  • If a launcher is already defined by default and installed [Enter] -- i think
  • if run an unknown filetype without Defining a Filetype Association, you must use the commandline.
    • if the program runs within the terminal as text only, such as ls, type without the quotes, ':!!ls -al %c' and then press [Enter]. Explain that that is a commandline mode command and what each part of it does. link to a list of available command line commands.
    • if you would like to continue using Vifm while the program runs, which is most likely the case if it runs in its own window, run the task in the background using '&'. For example, if you wanted to launch the terminal emulator xterm in the current directory use '!xterm &'. If xterm didn't work try gnome-terminal, urxvt, konsol, etc. Did you noticed that you didn't need to specify the current directory? This is because Vifm launches '!' commands in the current directory.
    • Press the [Enter] key (carriage return) to edit a file (or open a folder). (Change set norunexec to set runexec in ~/.vifm/vifmrc to run executable files rather then open them for editing.) (Not sure if this this bullet should be included in the very basic tutorial???)
  • by now you should be able to do anything from with Vifm, if just might not be much fast then just using the command line.

Do Common Tasks Faster

Shell-like navigation via command-line

Vifm provides a subset of shell builtin commands:

  • :cd path - change directory of current pane to specified path. :cd, :cd ~ or :cd ~user/dir work as you would expect in a shell.
  • :pushd path - push current directory on directory stack and change directory to specified path.
  • :popd - pop path from directory stack and navigate into it.
  • :dirs - display menu with directory list.

:cd and :pushd accept two parameters, which specifies path for inactive pane.

File operations

TODO: cover the following topics

  • yank
  • paste/put
  • delete

Basic configuration

TODO: cover following topics

  • Setting options
  • Making options persistent