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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
MacPorts / macOS port install tre-tree
Debian (testing) apt install tre-command
Scoop / Windows scoop install tre-command
Windows Package Manager winget install tre-command
Cargo cargo install tre-command
AUR / Arch Linux yay -S tre-command
pkgsrc / NetBSD 9.1+ pkgin install tre-command
Nixpkgs / NixOS Use tre-command
Nix flake Use github:dduan/tre

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:

    tre [OPTIONS] [PATH]

    <PATH>    [default: .]

    -a, --all                   Print all files and directories, including hidden ones
    -c, --color <WHEN>          When to color the output. `automatic` means when printing to a
                                terminal, tre will include colors; otherwise it will disable colors
                                [default: automatic] [possible values: automatic, always, never]
    -d, --directories           Only list directories in output
    -e, --editor [<COMMAND>]    Create aliases for each displayed result, 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
                                default program for the file type on Windows), or a command
                                specified along with this command
    -E, --exclude <PATTERN>     Exclude paths matching a regex pattern. Repeatable
    -h, --help                  Print help information
    -j, --json                  Output JSON instead of tree diagram
    -l, --limit <LIMIT>         Limit depth of the tree in output
    -p, --portable              Generate portable (absolute) paths for editor aliases. By default,
                                aliases use relative paths for better performance
    -s, --simple                Use normal print despite gitignore settings. '-a' has higher
    -V, --version               Print version information

If you like the editor aliasing feature, you may want to check out ea.


tre is a standard Cargo-managed Rust project. A unix manual is available at manual/tre.1. Completion scripts for various shells are at scripts/completion.


MIT. See