The Plain Text File Manager
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The Plain Text File Manager


Roamer turns your favorite text editor into a lightweight file manager. Copy, Cut & Paste files en masse without leaving your terminal window.



  • Python version: 2.7+, 3.4+
  • OS: Linux, MacOS, Windows WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux)


sudo pip install roamer

For a high security install see here.


Start Roamer

$ roamer

This will open the current working directory in your default $EDITOR. (See options section to override editor)

Example Output

" pwd: /Users/abaldwin/Desktop/stuff
my_directory/ | b0556598b8f8
my_file_1.txt | ce9b0a287985
my_file_2.txt | fc3da7f790a6
my_file_3.txt | fc3da7f790a6


  • Each line represents a single entry (file or directory)
  • On the left side of the pipe character is the entry's name
  • On the right side is the entry's hash. You can think of the hash as a link to that entry's contents.
  • A line starting with double quote (") is a comment and will be ignored.

--> Make changes as desired. When finished save and quit to commit the changes. e.g. vim :wq

Common Operations

Delete a file

  • Delete the line

Copy a file

  • Copy the entire line
  • Paste it onto a new line

Rename a file

  • Type over the existing file's name
  • Do not modify the hash on the right side

Copy over a file

  • Copy the hash from the first file
  • Replace the second file's hash

Make a new empty file

  • Add a new line
  • Type the new file's name

Move files between directories

  • Open up another terminal tab and run second roamer session
  • Copy / Paste lines between both sessions of roamer



Roamer uses your default $EDITOR environment variable.

To override a specific editor for roamer add this to your shell's config. (~/.bashrc ~/.zshrc etc)

export ROAMER_EDITOR=emacs

If no editor is set then vi will be used.

Works with any editor?

Data Directory

Roamer needs a directory for storing data between sessions. By default this will be saved in .roamer-data in your home directory.

To override:

export ROAMER_DATA_PATH=~/meh/

Editor Plugins

This roamer library is editor agnostic and focused on processing plain text. To enhance your experience with roamer consider installing roamer editor plug-ins: