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:cherry_blossom: A command-line fuzzy finder

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fzf - a command-line fuzzy finder travis-ci

fzf is a general-purpose command-line fuzzy finder.

It's an interactive Unix filter for command-line that can be used with any list; files, command history, processes, hostnames, bookmarks, git commits, etc.


  • Portable, no dependencies
  • Blazingly fast
  • The most comprehensive feature set
  • Flexible layout
  • Batteries included
    • Vim/Neovim plugin, key bindings and fuzzy auto-completion

Table of Contents


fzf project consists of the following components:

  • fzf
  • fzf-tmux
    script for launching fzf in a tmux pane
  • Shell extensions
    • Key bindings (
      , and
      ) (bash, zsh, fish)
    • Fuzzy auto-completion (bash, zsh)
  • Vim/Neovim plugin

You can download fzf executable alone if you don't need the extra stuff.

Using Homebrew or Linuxbrew

You can use Homebrew or Linuxbrew to install fzf.

brew install fzf

To install useful key bindings and fuzzy completion:

$(brew --prefix)/opt/fzf/install

fzf is also available via MacPorts:

sudo port install fzf

Using git

Alternatively, you can "git clone" this repository to any directory and run install script.

git clone --depth 1 ~/.fzf

Using Linux package managers

| Package Manager | Linux Distribution | Command | | --- | --- | --- | | APK | Alpine Linux |

sudo apk add fzf
| | APT | Debian 9+/Ubuntu 19.10+ |
sudo apt-get install fzf
| | Conda | |
conda install -c conda-forge fzf
| | DNF | Fedora |
sudo dnf install fzf
| | Nix | NixOS, etc. |
nix-env -iA nixpkgs.fzf
| | Pacman | Arch Linux |
sudo pacman -S fzf
| | pkg | FreeBSD |
pkg install fzf
| | pkgadd | OpenBSD | `pkgadd fzf
| XBPS            | Void Linux              |
sudo xbps-install -S fzf
| Zypper          | openSUSE                |
sudo zypper install fzf` |

:warning: Key bindings (CTRL-T / CTRL-R / ALT-C) and fuzzy auto-completion may not be enabled by default.

Refer to the package documentation for more information. (e.g.

apt-cache show fzf


Pre-built binaries for Windows can be downloaded here. fzf is also available via Chocolatey and Scoop:

| Package manager | Command | | --- | --- | | Chocolatey |

choco install fzf
| | Scoop |
scoop install fzf

Known issues and limitations on Windows can be found on the wiki page.

As Vim plugin

If you use vim-plug, add this line to your Vim configuration file:

Plug 'junegunn/fzf', { 'do': { -> fzf#install() } }

makes sure that you have the latest binary, but it's optional, so you can omit it if you use a plugin manager that doesn't support hooks.

For more installation options, see

Upgrading fzf

fzf is being actively developed and you might want to upgrade it once in a while. Please follow the instruction below depending on the installation method used.

  • git:
    cd ~/.fzf && git pull && ./install
  • brew:
    brew update; brew reinstall fzf
  • macports:
    sudo port upgrade fzf
  • chocolatey:
    choco upgrade fzf
  • vim-plug:
    :PlugUpdate fzf

Building fzf



fzf will launch interactive finder, read the list from STDIN, and write the selected item to STDOUT.

find * -type f | fzf > selected

Without STDIN pipe, fzf will use find command to fetch the list of files excluding hidden ones. (You can override the default command with

vim $(fzf)

Using the finder

  • CTRL-J
    ) to move cursor up and down
  • Enter
    key to select the item,
    to exit
  • On multi-select mode (
    to mark multiple items
  • Emacs style key bindings
  • Mouse: scroll, click, double-click; shift-click and shift-scroll on multi-select mode


fzf by default starts in fullscreen mode, but you can make it start below the cursor with

vim $(fzf --height 40%)

Also check out

options if you prefer "top-down" layout instead of the default "bottom-up" layout.
vim $(fzf --height 40% --reverse)

You can add these options to

so that they're applied by default. For example,
export FZF_DEFAULT_OPTS='--height 40% --layout=reverse --border'

Search syntax

Unless otherwise specified, fzf starts in "extended-search mode" where you can type in multiple search terms delimited by spaces. e.g.

^music .mp3$ sbtrkt

| Token | Match type | Description | | --------- | -------------------------- | ------------------------------------ | |

| fuzzy-match | Items that match
| |
| exact-match (quoted) | Items that include
| |
| prefix-exact-match | Items that start with
| |
| suffix-exact-match | Items that end with
| |
| inverse-exact-match | Items that do not include
| |
| inverse-prefix-exact-match | Items that do not start with
| |
| inverse-suffix-exact-match | Items that do not end with

If you don't prefer fuzzy matching and do not wish to "quote" every word, start fzf with

option. Note that when
is set,
-prefix "unquotes" the term.

A single bar character term acts as an OR operator. For example, the following query matches entries that start with

and end with either
, or
^core go$ | rb$ | py$

Environment variables

    • Default command to use when input is tty
    • e.g.
      export FZF_DEFAULT_COMMAND='fd --type f'
    • Default options
    • e.g.
      export FZF_DEFAULT_OPTS="--layout=reverse --inline-info"


See the man page (

man fzf
) for the full list of options.


If you learn by watching videos, check out this screencast by @samoshkin to explore



Many useful examples can be found on the wiki page. Feel free to add your own as well.


fzf-tmux is a bash script that opens fzf in a tmux pane.

# usage: fzf-tmux [LAYOUT OPTIONS] [--] [FZF OPTIONS]

See available options

fzf-tmux --help

select git branches in horizontal split below (15 lines)

git branch | fzf-tmux -d 15

select multiple words in vertical split on the left (20% of screen width)

cat /usr/share/dict/words | fzf-tmux -l 20% --multi --reverse

It will still work even when you're not on tmux, silently ignoring

options, so you can invariably use
in your scripts.

Alternatively, you can use

--height HEIGHT[%]
option not to start fzf in fullscreen mode.
fzf --height 40%

Key bindings for command-line

The install script will setup the following key bindings for bash, zsh, and fish.

  • CTRL-T
    - Paste the selected files and directories onto the command-line
    • Set
      to override the default command
    • Set
      to pass additional options
  • CTRL-R
    - Paste the selected command from history onto the command-line
    • If you want to see the commands in chronological order, press
      again which toggles sorting by relevance
    • Set
      to pass additional options
  • ALT-C
    - cd into the selected directory
    • Set
      to override the default command
    • Set
      to pass additional options

If you're on a tmux session, you can start fzf in a tmux split pane or in a tmux popup window by setting

-d 40%
). See
fzf-tmux --help
for available options.

More tips can be found on the wiki page.

Fuzzy completion for bash and zsh

Files and directories

Fuzzy completion for files and directories can be triggered if the word before the cursor ends with the trigger sequence which is by default

# Files under current directory
# - You can select multiple items with TAB key
vim **

Files under parent directory

vim ../**

Files under parent directory that match fzf

vim ../fzf**

Files under your home directory

vim ~/**

Directories under current directory (single-selection)

cd **

Directories under ~/github that match fzf

cd ~/github/fzf**

Process IDs

Fuzzy completion for PIDs is provided for kill command. In this case, there is no trigger sequence, just press tab key after kill command.

# Can select multiple processes with  or  keys
kill -9 

Host names

For ssh and telnet commands, fuzzy completion for host names is provided. The names are extracted from /etc/hosts and ~/.ssh/config.

ssh **
telnet **

Environment variables / Aliases

unset **
export **
unalias **


# Use ~~ as the trigger sequence instead of the default **

Options to fzf command

export FZF_COMPLETION_OPTS='+c -x'

Use fd ( instead of the default find

command for listing path candidates.

- The first argument to the function ($1) is the base path to start traversal

- See the source code (completion.{bash,zsh}) for the details.

_fzf_compgen_path() { fd --hidden --follow --exclude ".git" . "$1" }

Use fd to generate the list for directory completion

_fzf_compgen_dir() { fd --type d --hidden --follow --exclude ".git" . "$1" }

(EXPERIMENTAL) Advanced customization of fzf options via _fzf_comprun function

- The first argument to the function is the name of the command.

- You should make sure to pass the rest of the arguments to fzf.

_fzf_comprun() { local command=$1 shift

case "$command" in cd) fzf "[email protected]" --preview 'tree -C {} | head -200' ;; export|unset) fzf "[email protected]" --preview "eval 'echo $'{}" ;; ssh) fzf "[email protected]" --preview 'dig {}' ;; *) fzf "[email protected]" ;; esac }

Supported commands

On bash, fuzzy completion is enabled only for a predefined set of commands (

complete | grep _fzf
to see the list). But you can enable it for other commands as well by using
helper function.
# usage: _fzf_setup_completion path|dir|var|alias|host COMMANDS...
_fzf_setup_completion path ag git kubectl
_fzf_setup_completion dir tree

Custom fuzzy completion

(Custom completion API is experimental and subject to change)

For a command named "COMMAND", define

function using
# Custom fuzzy completion for "doge" command
#   e.g. doge **
_fzf_complete_doge() {
  _fzf_complete --multi --reverse --prompt="doge> " -- "[email protected]" < 
  • The arguments before
    are the options to fzf.
  • After
    , simply pass the original completion arguments unchanged (
    "[email protected]"
  • Then write a set of commands that generates the completion candidates and feed its output to the function using process substitution (
    < ).

zsh will automatically pick up the function using the naming convention but in bash you have to manually associate the function with the command using

[ -n "$BASH" ] && complete -F _fzf_complete_doge -o default -o bashdefault doge

If you need to post-process the output from fzf, define

as follows.
_fzf_complete_foo() {
  _fzf_complete --multi --reverse --header-lines=3 -- "[email protected]" < 

Vim plugin


Advanced topics


fzf is fast and is getting even faster. Performance should not be a problem in most use cases. However, you might want to be aware of the options that affect the performance.

  • --ansi
    tells fzf to extract and parse ANSI color codes in the input and it makes the initial scanning slower. So it's not recommended that you add it to your
  • --nth
    makes fzf slower as fzf has to tokenize each line.
  • --with-nth
    makes fzf slower as fzf has to tokenize and reassemble each line.
  • If you absolutely need better performance, you can consider using
    (the default being
    ) to make fzf use a faster greedy algorithm. However, this algorithm is not guaranteed to find the optimal ordering of the matches and is not recommended.

Executing external programs

You can set up key bindings for starting external processes without leaving fzf (

# Press F1 to open the file with less without leaving fzf
# Press CTRL-Y to copy the line to clipboard and aborts fzf (requires pbcopy)
fzf --bind 'f1:execute(less -f {}),ctrl-y:execute-silent(echo {} | pbcopy)+abort'

See KEY BINDINGS section of the man page for details.

Reloading the candidate list

By binding

action to a key or an event, you can make fzf dynamically reload the candidate list. See for more details.

1. Update the list of processes by pressing CTRL-R

  fzf --bind 'ctrl-r:reload($FZF_DEFAULT_COMMAND)' \
      --header 'Press CTRL-R to reload' --header-lines=1 \
      --height=50% --layout=reverse

2. Switch between sources by pressing CTRL-D or CTRL-F

FZF_DEFAULT_COMMAND='find . -type f' \
  fzf --bind 'ctrl-d:reload(find . -type d),ctrl-f:reload($FZF_DEFAULT_COMMAND)' \
      --height=50% --layout=reverse

3. Interactive ripgrep integration

The following example uses fzf as the selector interface for ripgrep. We bound

action to
event, so every time you type on fzf, ripgrep process will restart with the updated query string denoted by the placeholder expression
. Also, note that we used
option so that fzf doesn't perform any secondary filtering.
RG_PREFIX="rg --column --line-number --no-heading --color=always --smart-case "
  fzf --bind "change:reload:$RG_PREFIX {q} || true" \
      --ansi --phony --query "$INITIAL_QUERY" \
      --height=50% --layout=reverse

If ripgrep doesn't find any matches, it will exit with a non-zero exit status, and fzf will warn you about it. To suppress the warning message, we added

|| true
to the command, so that it always exits with 0.

Preview window

When the

option is set, fzf automatically starts an external process with the current line as the argument and shows the result in the split window. Your
is used to execute the command with
. The window can be scrolled using the mouse or custom key bindings.
# {} is replaced to the single-quoted string of the focused line
fzf --preview 'cat {}'

Preview window supports ANSI colors, so you can use any program that syntax-highlights the content of a file, such as Bat or Highlight:

fzf --preview 'bat --style=numbers --color=always --line-range :500 {}'

You can customize the size, position, and border of the preview window using

option, and the foreground and background color of it with
option. For example,
fzf --height 40% --layout reverse --info inline --border \
    --preview 'file {}' --preview-window down:1:noborder \
    --color 'fg:#bbccdd,fg+:#ddeeff,bg:#334455,preview-bg:#223344,border:#778899'

See the man page (

man fzf
) for the full list of options.

For more advanced examples, see Key bindings for git with fzf (code).

Since fzf is a general-purpose text filter rather than a file finder, it is not a good idea to add

option to your

# *********************
# ** DO NOT DO THIS! **
# *********************
export FZF_DEFAULT_OPTS='--preview "bat --style=numbers --color=always --line-range :500 {}"'

bat doesn't work with any input other than the list of files

ps -ef | fzf seq 100 | fzf history | fzf



You can use fd, ripgrep, or the silver searcher instead of the default find command to traverse the file system while respecting

# Feed the output of fd into fzf
fd --type f | fzf

Setting fd as the default source for fzf

export FZF_DEFAULT_COMMAND='fd --type f'

Now fzf (w/o pipe) will use fd instead of find


To apply the command to CTRL-T as well


If you want the command to follow symbolic links, and don't want it to exclude hidden files, use the following command:

export FZF_DEFAULT_COMMAND='fd --type f --hidden --follow --exclude .git'

Fish shell

key binding of fish, unlike those of bash and zsh, will use the last token on the command-line as the root directory for the recursive search. For instance, hitting
at the end of the following command-line
ls /var/

will list all files and directories under


When using a custom

, use the unexpanded
variable to make use of this feature.
defaults to
when the last token is not a valid directory. Example:
set -g FZF_CTRL_T_COMMAND "command find -L \$dir -type f 2> /dev/null | sed '1d; s#^\./##'"

Related projects


The MIT License (MIT)

Copyright (c) 2013-2020 Junegunn Choi

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