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Get Started with FZF in Zsh


Have you ever navigated to a directory in your terminal and wanted to select a file or folder from a menu, rather than typing ls to print a list of contents? Or perhaps you would rather use a single command to present a list of git options for you to choose instead of having to search your command history for frequently used (but often forgotten) commands? If you have experienced these annoyances, or if you want a simple way to choose items from a menu, fzf is the tool for you.

In this article you will learn about fzf, the command-line fuzzy finder. You will also learn a few ways that fzf can improve your scripts.

Installing fzf

fzf can be installed by cloning the repository, using homebrew on MacOS, or by using the default package manager in your Linux system. For more information, see junegunn/fzf#installation.

Basic Usage

fzf can be used to generate a simple menu from a list of items. For example, you can use fzf to display a list of files for you to choose from. To do this you can pipe a list of items into fzf in your terminal by using the command below

find . -type f -maxdepth 1 | fzf

You can also use command substitution to open the selected file in your editor.

$EDITOR $(find . -type f -maxdepth 1 | fzf)

Now that you understand the basic use of fzf, you can use the tool for more interesting automations.

Use fzf with Git

Let’s say you have a list of git commands that you use regularly but you want to speed up your git usage by choosing commands from a menu, rather than typing git –help to remember the name of the command you want to use. First, start by printing a list of your commands in your terminal.

# The "-e" option translates "\n" to a literal new line, required by fzf
echo -e "clone\ninit\nadd\ncommit\npush\n"

Once your list of commands is set, you can pipe this list to fzf to display them in a menu

echo -en "clone\ninit\nadd –all\ncommit\npush\n" | fzf

The command above will present your list of commands as a menu, allowing you to select a command via fzf. However, this does not actually run the git command. To use fzf for executing git commands, you can use the code below

git $(echo -en "clone\ninit\nadd –all\ncommit\npush\n" | fzf)

The above command will run the selected git command without any additional work on your part, simplifying your workflow and saving time.


In this article you learned about fzf, how to install fzf, and some basic usage examples you can apply to your workflow today. For more information about the fzf command-line fuzzy finder, visit the official fzf repository at

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