Opening the configuration file

The configuration file location follows the XDG convention and its location depends on your OS.

The easiest way to read and edit broot's configuration file is to go the help screen (using ?) then to type :open.

This file is called conf.toml and is in TOML.

Currently, you can configure


Verb Definition Attributes

You can define a new verb in the TOML configuration file with a [[verbs]] section similar to this one:

invocation = "edit"
shortcut = "e"
execution = "/usr/bin/nvim {file}"

The possible attributes are:

name mandatory role
invocation yes how the verb is called by the user, with placeholders for arguments
execution yes how the verb is executed
shorcut no an alternate way to call the verb (without the arguments part)
leave_broot no whether to quit broot on execution (default: true)
from_shell no whether the verb must be executed from the parent shell (needs br, default: false)

broot looks for the first token following a space or : and tryes to find the verb you want.

Knowing this algorithm, you may understand the point in the following definition:

invocation = "p"
execution = ":parent"

This verb is an alias to the internal builtin already available if you type :parent.

Its interest is that if you do :p, then enter, it is executed even while there are other verbs whose invocation pattern starts with a p.

Use shortcuts for verbs you frequently use.

Verbs not leaving broot

If you set leave_broot = false, broot won't quit when executing your command, but it will update the tree.

This is useful for commands modifying the tree (like creating or moving files).

There's currently a limitation: terminal based programs don't properly run if broot isn't closed before. It means you can't for example set leave_broot = false in verbs launching vi or emacs.

Verb Arguments

The execution of a verb can take one or several arguments.

For example it may be defined as `/usr/bin/vi {file}̀ .

Some arguments are predefined in broot and depends on the current selection:

name expanded to
{file} the complete path of the current selection
{parent} the complete path of the current selection's parent
{directory} the closest directory, either {file} or {parent}


when you're in the help screen, {file} is the configuration file, while {directory} is the configuration directory.

But you may also define some arguments in the invocation pattern. For example:

invocation = "mkdir {subpath}"
execution = "/bin/mkdir -p {directory}/{subpath}"

(this one has now been made standard so you don't have to write it in the configuration file)

In this case the subpath is read from what you type:

md sub

As you see, there's a space in this path, but it works. broot tries to determine when to wrap path in quotes and when to escape so that such a command correctly works.

It also normalizes the paths it finds which eases the use of relative paths:


Here's another example, where the invocation pattern defines two arguments by destructuring:

invocation = "blop {name}\\.{type}"
execution = "/bin/mkdir {parent}/{type} && /usr/bin/nvim {parent}/{type}/{name}.{type}"
from_shell = true

And here's how it would look like:


Notice the \\. ? That's because the invocation pattern is interpreted as a regular expression (with just a shortcut for the easy case, enabling {name}). The whole regular expression syntax may be useful for more complex rules. Let's say we don't want the type to contain dots, then we do this:

invocation = "blop {name}\\.(?P<type>[^.]+)"
execution = "/bin/mkdir {parent}/{type} && /usr/bin/nvim {parent}/{type}/{name}.{type}"
from_shell = true


You can change all colors by adding a [skin] section in your conf.toml file.

For example:

status_normal_fg = "grayscale(18)"
status_normal_bg = "grayscale(3)"
status_error_fg = "red"
status_error_bg = "yellow"
tree_fg = "red"
selected_line_bg = "grayscale(7)"
permissions_fg = "grayscale(12)"
size_bar_full_bg = "red"
size_bar_void_bg = "black"
directory_fg = "lightyellow"
input_fg = "cyan"
flag_value_fg = "lightyellow"
table_border_fg = "red"
code_fg = "lightyellow"

which would look like this:

custom colors tree

custom colors help

Complete list of keys (expected to change before the v1 of broot):


Add _fg for a foreground color while _bg is for background colors.