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A modern alternative to the tree command that:

  • lists directory structure in a tree-like diagram, like the classics.
  • skips ignored files in git repositories per .gitignore setting.
  • creates shell aliases for each listing that opens the files for you.
  • output in colors, respecting LS_COLORS settings when they exist.

Command aliasing demo:

Aliasing In Action

… in case you missed it: [8] is shown in front of "" and typing e8 opened the file! See how to set this up.


Via a package manager

Tre is available in the following package managers.

Manager / OS Command
Homebrew / macOS brew install tre-command
Nix / NixOS nix-env -i tre-command
Scoop / Windows scoop install tre-command
Cargo cargo install tre-command
AUR / Arch Linux yay tre-command
pkgsrc (bleeding edge) / NetBSD 9.1+ pkgin install tre-command

The commands above are basic instructions. Use your favorite alternatives if you have one. For example, use a config file for Nix; or other method to install from AUR; pkgsrc can be use on OSes other than NetBSD etc.

Pre-built executable

Choose an pre-built executable from the release page that fits your platform to download. Unpack it somewhere you'd like to run it from.

From Source

  1. Clone this repository: git clone
  2. Ensure you have Rust and Cargo installed. If not, follow instruction here.
  3. In the root level of this repo, run cargo build --release.
  4. Move target/release/tre to somewhere in your PATH environment variable.

Editor aliasing

tre provides a -e flag that, when used, turns on the "editor aliasing" feature. Some shell configuration will make this work better.


By default, the environment variable $EDITOR is used as the editor. If a value following -e is supplied (tre -e emacs instead of tre -e), then the command specified by this value will be used instead of $EDITOR. Update the script in the next section accordingly.

Bash or Zsh

In ~/.bashrc or ~/.zshrc (for example)

tre() { command tre "$@" -e && source "/tmp/tre_aliases_$USER" 2>/dev/null; }


Create ~/.config/fish/functions/

function tre
  command tre $argv -e; and source /tmp/tre_aliases_$USER ^/dev/null

Windows (10+)

Instead of directly executing tre.exe, we'll set up a script that's available in your PATH environment variable. For example, you can add \Users\yourname\bin to your PATH environment variable, and created the script there. When you use tre, this script executes tre.exe, and do some additional work. The content of the script is different for PowerShell and Command Prompt.

By default, the default program known by Windows will be used to open the file. If a value following -e is supplied (tre -e notepad.exe instead of tre -e), then the command specified by this value will be used. Update the scripts in the next section accordingly.


Add a tre.ps1 file:

if (Get-Module PSReadLine) {
  Remove-Module -Force PSReadLine
tre.exe $args -e
. $Env:TEMP\tre_aliases_$env:USERNAME.ps1

Command Prompt (CMD.exe)

Add a tre.bat:

@echo off
tre.exe %* -e
call %TEMP%\tre_aliases_%USERNAME%.bat

How it works

The first thing you'll notice is some numbers in front of each file name in tre's output. If pick a number, say, "3", and enter e3 in the shell, the file after "3" will open in your default program (specified by the environment variable EDITOR in macOS/Linux, and picked by Windows).

Everytime tre runs with -e, it updates a file in a temporary directory, and adds an alias for each result it displays. And the additional configuration simply sources this file after the command. You can manually run

in Bash/Zsh/Fish:

source /tmp/tre_aliases_$USER


in PowerShell

. $Env:TEMP\tre_aliases_$env:USERNAME.ps1


in Command Prompt

call %TEMP%\tre_aliases_%USERNAME%.bat

… instead of configuring your system (if you are that patient!).

Everything else

Here's the output from tre -h, showing all available options provided by tre:

Usage: tre [path] [option]

Print files, directories, and symlinks in tree form.

Hidden files and those configured to be ignored by git will be (optionally)

With correct configuration, each displayed file can have a shell alias created
for it, which opens the file in the default editor or an otherwise specified

    The root path whose content is to be listed. Defaults to ".".

    -a, --all           Print all files and directories, including hidden
    -d, --directories   Only list directories in output.
    -e, --editor [EDITOR]
                        Create aliases for each displayed result in
                        /tmp/tre_aliases_$USER and add a number in front of
                        file name to indicate the alias name. For example, a
                        number "42" means an shell alias "e42" has been
                        created. Running "e42" will cause the associated file
                        or directory to be open with $EDITOR, or a command
                        specified along with this command.
    -j, --json          Output JSON instead of tree diagram.
    -l, --limit [DEPTH] Limit display depth file tree output.
    -s, --simple        Use normal print despite gitignore settings. '-a' has
                        higher priority.
    -v, --version       Show version number.
    -h, --help          Show this help message.

Project site:


MIT. See