Launch Broot

When the installation is complete, you may start broot with either




If your shell is compatible, you should prefer br which enables some features like cd from broot.

You can pass as argument the path you want to see, for example

br ~

Broot renders on stderr and can be ran in a subshell, which means you can also (on Unix) do things like

my_unix_command "$(broot some_dir)"

and quit broot with :pp on the selected path. But most often you'll more conveniently simply add your command (and maybe a shortcut) to the config file.

Launch Arguments

broot and br can be passed as argument the path to display, either a directory or a file. When it's a file, it's opened in preview.

They also accept a few other arguments which you can view with br --help.

Most of them are display toggles, which may be useful when aliasing the function but which are accessible from inside the application anyway.

Some of them are a little special, though, and are explained below:

the --outcmd launch argument

Some external commands can't be executed from a program.

This is especially the case of cd, which isn't a program but a shell function. In order to have any useful effect, it must be called from the parent shell, the one from which broot was launched, and a shell which isn't accessible from broot.

The trick to enable broot to cd your shell when you do alt-enter is the following one:

Most users have no reason to use --outcmd on their own, but it can still be used to write an alternative to br or to port it to shells which aren't currently supported.

the --cmd launch argument

This argument lets you pass commands to broot. Those commands are executed exactly like any command you would type yourself in the application.

Commands must be separated. The default separator is the semicolon (;) but another separator may be provided using the BROOT_CMD_SEPARATOR environment variable (the separator may be several characters long if needed).

Broot waits for the end of execution of every command.

For example if you launch

br --cmd cow /

Then broot is launched in the / directory and there's a filter typed for you.

If you do

br --cmd "/^vache;:p"

Then broot looks for a file whose name starts with "vache" and focus its parent.

If you do

br -c "/mucca$;:cd"

then broot searches for a file whose name ends with "mucca", and cd to the closest directory, leaving you on the shell, in your new directory (you may not have the time to notice the broot GUI was displayed).

If you do

BROOT_CMD_SEPARATOR=@ broot -c ":gi@target@:pp"

then broot toggles the git_ignore filter, searches for target then prints the selection path on stdout (when doing it in my broot repository, I get /home/dys/dev/broot/target).

The --cmd argument may be the basis for many of your own shell functions or programs.

Environment Variables

Most users don't have to bother with environment variables.

But they come handy in some cases, so here's a complete reference of the variables read by broot.

Variables whose names doesn't start with BR_ or BROOT_ aren't specific to broot and may be already present in your system.

variable usage
BROOT_CONFIG_DIR Optional path to the config directory. If not set, broot uses the conventions of the system, for example ~/.config/broot
BR_INSTALL Setting it to no prevents broot for installing the br shell function
BROOT_CMD_SEPARATOR Set the separator to use in command sequences, e.g. BROOT_CMD_SEPARATOR=',' br -c 'filter,:pp'
BROOT_LOG Set up the log level (default is none), for example BROOT_LOG=debug br
COLORTERM If this conventional variable contains 24bit or truecolor, then broot won't limit itself to a reduced set of colors when rendering images. This may also be set in conf with true_colors: true
TERM or TERMINAL If one of them contains kitty, then broot will use Kitty's terminal graphics protocol to render images in high definition
TERM_PROGRAM and TERM_PROGRAM_VERSION If the current terminal is Wezterm with a recent enough version, broot recognizes it with those variables and uses the Kitty's terminal graphics protocol to render images
COLORFGBG This is one of the ways the terminal-light library uses to detect whether your terminal is set in dark or light mode