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2 months ago


Another DiRectory EXplorer for Neovim

drex For showcase GIFs see here

  • easily navigate through your file system
  • split window and project drawer support
  • add, copy, move, rename and delete elements
  • mark and operate on multiple elements
  • automatic file system synchronization
  • powered by libuv


DREX requires Neovim version ≥ 0.5

Install DREX with your favorite plugin manager


use {
  requires = 'kyazdani42/nvim-web-devicons', -- optional


Plug 'theblob42/drex.nvim'
Plug 'kyazdani42/nvim-web-devicons' " optional

You only need to install nvim-web-devicons if you like to have nice file type icons. The plugin works fine without it.


Open a DREX buffer in the current working directory


You can also provide a target path

:Drex ~/projects

To open the parent directory of the current file

:Drex %:h

Check the manual for cmdline-special and filename-modifiers

DREX also comes with a simple project drawer functionality


See :help drex-commands for more available commands

Default Keybindings

To see the definition of all default keybindings see the configuration section

  • Use j and k like in any other VIM buffer to navigate up and down
  • v is mapped to V because there is no need for charwise selection

Basic navigation

  • l expands the current element
    • If it is a directory open its content in a subtree
    • If it is a file open the file in the current window

      <Right> and <2-LeftMouse> are alternative keybindings

  • h collapses the current directories subtree
    • If the element under the cursor is an open directory collapse it
    • Otherwise collapse the parent directory of the element

      <Left> and <RightMouse> are alternative keybindings

  • <C-v> opens a file in a vertical split
  • <C-x> opens a file in a horizontal split
  • <C-t> opens a file in a new tab
  • <F5> reloads the current directory (dependent on the cursor position)
  • <C-h> opens a new DREX buffer in the parent directory of the current root
  • <C-l> opens the directory under the cursor in a new DREX buffer


  • gj jumps to the next sibling
  • gk jumps to the previous sibling
  • gh jumps to the parent directory of the current element


  • m marks or unmarks the current element (add or remove it from the clipboard)
  • M marks the current element (add it to the clipboard)
  • u unmarks the current element (remove it from the clipboard)
  • cc clears the clipboard content
  • cs to show and edit the content of the clipboard in a floating window


  • s shows the stats for the current element
  • a creates a new file or directory
    • to create a new directory end your input with a / (\ on Windows)
    • non-existent parent directories will be created (e.g. foo/bar/file will create foo and bar if they don't exist yet)
  • d deletes the element under the cursor (or the visual selection)
  • D deletes all elements currently contained in the clipboard
  • p copies all elements from the clipboard to the path under the cursor
    • this will NOT clear the clipboard, so you can continue to paste elsewhere
  • P moves all elements from the clipboard to the path under the cursor
  • r renames the element under the cursor (or the visual selection)
    • this can move the element to another location
    • non-existent parent directories will be created (e.g. foo/bar/file will create foo and bar if they don't exist yet)
  • R to multi rename all elements from the clipboard

Copy strings

  • y copies the name of the element under the cursor
  • Y copies the relative path of the element under the cursor
  • <C-Y> copies the absolute path of the element under the cursor

In visual mode these copy all selected elements (separated by "\n")


There is no initial setup needed to use DREX.
However you may configure certain settings to your liking.

Check out the default configuration:

require('drex.config').configure {
    icons = {
        file_default = "",
        dir_open = "",
        dir_closed = "",
        link = "",
        others = "",
    colored_icons = true,
    hide_cursor = true,
    hijack_netrw = false,
    sorting = function(a, b)
        local aname, atype = a[1], a[2]
        local bname, btype = b[1], b[2]

        local aisdir = atype == 'directory'
        local bisdir = btype == 'directory'

        if aisdir ~= bisdir then
            return aisdir

        return aname < bname
    drawer = {
        default_width = 30,
        window_picker = {
            enabled = true,
            labels = 'abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz',
    disable_default_keybindings = false,
    keybindings = {
        ['n'] = {
            ['v'] = 'V',
            ['l'] = '<cmd>lua require("drex").expand_element()<CR>',
            ['h'] = '<cmd>lua require("drex").collapse_directory()<CR>',
            ['<right>'] = '<cmd>lua require("drex").expand_element()<CR>',
            ['<left>']  = '<cmd>lua require("drex").collapse_directory()<CR>',
            ['<2-LeftMouse>'] = '<LeftMouse><cmd>lua require("drex").expand_element()<CR>',
            ['<RightMouse>']  = '<LeftMouse><cmd>lua require("drex").collapse_directory()<CR>',
            ['<C-v>'] = '<cmd>lua require("drex").open_file("vs")<CR>',
            ['<C-x>'] = '<cmd>lua require("drex").open_file("sp")<CR>',
            ['<C-t>'] = '<cmd>lua require("drex").open_file("tabnew")<CR>',
            ['<C-l>'] = '<cmd>lua require("drex").open_directory()<CR>',
            ['<C-h>'] = '<cmd>lua require("drex").open_parent_directory()<CR>',
            ['<F5>'] = '<cmd>lua require("drex").reload_directory()<CR>',
            ['gj'] = '<cmd>lua require("drex.jump").jump_to_next_sibling()<CR>',
            ['gk'] = '<cmd>lua require("drex.jump").jump_to_prev_sibling()<CR>',
            ['gh'] = '<cmd>lua require("drex.jump").jump_to_parent()<CR>',
            ['s'] = '<cmd>lua require("drex.actions").stats()<CR>',
            ['a'] = '<cmd>lua require("drex.actions").create()<CR>',
            ['d'] = '<cmd>lua require("drex.actions").delete("line")<CR>',
            ['D'] = '<cmd>lua require("drex.actions").delete("clipboard")<CR>',
            ['p'] = '<cmd>lua require("drex.actions").copy_and_paste()<CR>',
            ['P'] = '<cmd>lua require("drex.actions").cut_and_move()<CR>',
            ['r'] = '<cmd>lua require("drex.actions").rename()<CR>',
            ['R'] = '<cmd>lua require("drex.actions").multi_rename("clipboard")<CR>',
            ['M'] = '<cmd>DrexMark<CR>',
            ['u'] = '<cmd>DrexUnmark<CR>',
            ['m'] = '<cmd>DrexToggle<CR>',
            ['cc'] = '<cmd>lua require("drex.actions").clear_clipboard()<CR>',
            ['cs'] = '<cmd>lua require("drex.actions").open_clipboard_window()<CR>',
            ['y'] = '<cmd>lua require("drex.actions").copy_element_name()<CR>',
            ['Y'] = '<cmd>lua require("drex.actions").copy_element_relative_path()<CR>',
            ['<C-y>'] = '<cmd>lua require("drex.actions").copy_element_absolute_path()<CR>',
        ['v'] = {
            ['d'] = ':lua require("drex.actions").delete("visual")<CR>',
            ['r'] = ':lua require("drex.actions").multi_rename("visual")<CR>',
            ['M'] = ':DrexMark<CR>',
            ['u'] = ':DrexUnmark<CR>',
            ['m'] = ':DrexToggle<CR>',
            ['y'] = ':lua require("drex.actions").copy_element_name(true)<CR>',
            ['Y'] = ':lua require("drex.actions").copy_element_relative_path(true)<CR>',
            ['<C-y>'] = ':lua require("drex.actions").copy_element_absolute_path(true)<CR>',
    on_enter = nil,
    on_leave = nil,

Check out :help drex-configuration for more details about the individual options

See also the wiki pages about configuration and custom actions for more information


Like vim-dirvish every line is just a file path hidden via conceal (plus indentation and an icon). For file system scanning, file interactions (add, delete, rename, etc.) and monitoring DREX uses libuv which is exposed via vim.loop

See also :help drex-customization and the Wiki for more information and examples