Kakoune plugin that brings integration with fzf
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fzf.kak is a plugin for Kakoune editor, that brings integration with fzf tool. This plugin is being tested against Kakoune 2018.09.04.



With plug.kak (recommended)

Recommended way to install is to use plug.kak plugin manager. You can install fzf.kak by adding this to your kakrc:

plug "andreyorst/fzf.kak"

Then reload Kakoune config or restart Kakoune and run :plug-install.

Without plugin manager

This plugin consists of several parts which are "modules", that provide different functions to plugin. There's central module that must be loaded before any other module, named fzf.kak, so in order to properly load fzf.kak plugin, you need to source it in your kakrc.

Assuming that you've cloned fzf.kak repository to your Kakoune configuration folder:

source "~/.config/kak/fzf.kak/rc/fzf.kak" # loading base fzf module

This will load base fzf module, but It can't do anything on it's own. You can load only needed modules, to keep your configuration rather simple, or load every module if you need all plugin abilities:

source "~/.config/kak/plugins/fzf.kak/rc/fzf-modules/fzf-file.kak"   # fzf file chooser
source "~/.config/kak/plugins/fzf.kak/rc/fzf-modules/fzf-buffer.kak" # switching buffers with fzf
source "~/.config/kak/plugins/fzf.kak/rc/fzf-modules/fzf-search.kak" # search within file contents
source "~/.config/kak/plugins/fzf.kak/rc/fzf-modules/fzf-cd.kak"     # change server's working directory
source "~/.config/kak/plugins/fzf.kak/rc/fzf-modules/fzf-ctags.kak"  # search for tag in your project ctags file

The same principle is applied to handling different version control systems. You need a base module for fzf, called fzf-vcs.kak and its submodules for each VCS. There are plenty of VC systems, so modules come in handy.

source "~/.config/kak/plugins/fzf.kak/rc/fzf-modules/fzf-vcs.kak" # VCS base module

So if you never work with, say, GNU Bazaar, or Mercurial you can remove them from your configuration.

source "~/.config/kak/plugins/fzf.kak/rc/fzf-modules/VCS/fzf-bzr.kak" # GNU Bazaar support
source "~/.config/kak/plugins/fzf.kak/rc/fzf-modules/VCS/fzf-git.kak" # Git support module
source "~/.config/kak/plugins/fzf.kak/rc/fzf-modules/VCS/fzf-hg.kak"  # Mercurial VCS
source "~/.config/kak/plugins/fzf.kak/rc/fzf-modules/VCS/fzf-svn.kak" # Subversion module

You can see that we load less nested modules first, and then go deeper and deeper. Besides that order of files within single depth level doesn't matter. This may look complex, but it makes plugin more versatile. And plugin managers, like plug.kak for example, just does all those steps for you.

By the way, this structure makes it easy to extend plugin with new modules, and you can add modules on your own!


There's no default key binding to invoke fzf, but fzf.kak provides a fzf-mode command that can be mapped to preferred key. You can set your own mapping to invoke fzf-mode:

map global normal <c-p> ': fzf-mode<ret>'
# note that the space after colon is intentional to suppess fzf-mode to show in command history

Each fzf sub-command has mnemonic mapping, like f for opening files, t for tags and so on. Available mappings:

  • b - Select buffer
  • c - Switch server's working directory
  • f - Search for file and open it
  • v - Edit file in version control system tree
  • Alt+v - Explicitly select which vcs command to run
  • s - Search over buffer contents and jump to result line
  • t - Browse ctags tags
  • Alt+t - Select tag kind filter on per language basis

So for example pressing Ctrl+pf will open fzf at the bottom of the Kakoune buffer, showing you all possible files.


fzf.kak features a lot of settings via options that can be altered to change how fzf.kak behaves.


When using inside tmux, fzf will use bottom split. Height of this split can be changed with fzf_tmux_height option. fzf_tmux_height_file_preview option is used to control height of the split when you do file searching with file-preview turned on.

File with file-preview turned on.

You can configure what command to use to search for files, and it's arguments. Supported tools are GNU Find, The Silver Searcher, ripgrep, fd. GNU find is used by default, but you can switch to another one. There are some default values for those, so you can go:

set-option global fzf_file_command 'rg' # 'ag', 'fd' or 'find' 

Or if you don't like default file arguments, which are find -type f, and would like to disable searching in, say .git directories you can set it like so:

set-option global fzf_file_command "find . \( -path '*/.svn*' -o -path '*/.git*' \) -prune -o -type f -print"

The same pattern applies for other commands, except buffer, and cd.


This script supports these version control systems: Git, Subversion, GNU Bazaar, Mercurial. By default v mapping from fzf mode will detect your version control system and open fzf for you. If you wish to explicitly use some particular vcs command, you can use V mapping, which includes all supported vcs shortcuts.

You also able to set parameters to vcs command to use to provide project files. Supported options:

  • fzf_git_command
  • fzf_svn_command
  • fzf_bzr_command
  • fzf_hg_command

Other VCS are not supported officially. Open a feature request if you want some unsupported VCS to be included. You also can change one of options to contain your VCS command, and use this command explicitly from VCS sub-mode.


It is also possible to add parameters to ctags search executable. like sort -u and others:

set-option global fzf_tag_command 'readtags -l | cut -f1 | sort -u | ... ' 

Though it is not recommended, since sort may slowdown fzf-tag on huge projects.

Filtering tags

Since ctags supports showing particular kind of tag for many languages, fzf-tag dinamicly defines mappings for those languages with Alt key based on current filetype. For example to show only functions while fzf-tag is active press Alt+f. It will reload fzf window and only function tags will be listed.


When using X11 fzf.kak automatically tries to detect where to show preview window, depending on aspect ratio of new termial window. By default if the height is bigger than the width, preview occupies upper 60% of space. If height is smaller than the width, preview is shown at the right side.

You can configure the amount of space for preview window with these options: fzf_preview_height and fzf_preview_width.

When fzf.kak is used in tmux, it will show preview on the right side. Heigth of preview split can be adjusted with fzf_tmux_height_file_preview

Amount of lines in preview window can be changed with fzf_preview_lines option.

You also can specify which highlighter to use within the preview window with fzf_highlighter option. Supported tools are:

You can disable the preview window in fzf window by setting fzf_preview option to false:

set-option global fzf_preview false


If you want to contribute to fzf.kak by adding a module, you can submit one by providing a pull request, or just open a feature request and we'll see what can be done.

Writing a module

You can write a module for fzf.kak. To create one, simply define a function in separate file, located in rc/fzf-modules/, and named after the function. fzf.kak provides a general purpose command, that can be called with some Kakoune command as first parameter, and command that provides list of items for fzf as a second parameter. Third optional parameter is for defining extra arguments for fzf itself, like additional keybindings.

Overall module structure is:

  • Define a fzf-command command
  • Prepare list of items for fzf, or define an item command
  • call fzf command and pass needed arguments to it.

Of course modules can and will be more complex, since a good module checks if command for providing item list is available on user's machine, and supports various settings inside it. Feel free to look how existing modules are made.