When comparing Ranger vs Q-Dir (the Quad Explorer), the Slant community recommends Q-Dir (the Quad Explorer) for most people. In the question“What are the best file managers for Windows?” Q-Dir (the Quad Explorer) is ranked 5th while Ranger is ranked 12th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Minimalist and efficient
There is no need for icons of files if headings are used. Previews of text documents and a simple design creates and efficient workflow.
Pro Can be used in terminal
Which makes for a good choice of file explorer for those that use machines without a GUI.
Pro Vim-like bindings
Ranger has Vim-like keybindings which help a lot in increasing efficiency and speed up the workflow.
Pro Extensible, scriptable (with python)
Ranger allows the use of various scripts for calling on individual or multiple files, for file previews, or for other operations.
In commands.py the "my_edit"-function can be extended to do whatever in python can be done. Target files can be the file under the cursor (self.fm.thisfile.path), the files marked/selected in the current tab (self.fm.thistab.get_selection() ) and the files in the copy-buffer (add/remove: ya, yr) (respectively the delete-buffer: add/remove da/dr) (both: self.fm.copy_buffer).
The most appropriate list of files can be found out automatically, like so:
for file in self.fm.copy_buffer:
for file in self.fm.thistab.get_selection():
file = self.fm.thisfile.path
This allows for in-terminal full colour previews of images and videos.
You can even call external scripts or chain shell commands from the primary interface.
Pro Easily used with SSH
Pro File preview
Unlike other terminal file managers, Ranger can preview many files, including text files, archives, etc.
Pro Bookmark system
Makes it easy to jump to any specific folder locations you work with.
Pro Image preview support
Ranger can use w3m to preview images in terminal through framebuffer.
Pro Fast and responsive
This software is super fast and responsive in navigation.
Pro PDF preview
This may fall under "File preview", but it is a very powerful feature for PDF files in particular.
Pro Treeview and listview (equal viewports) possible
Supports any number of viewports on folders side by side.
Pro You can view 4 windows simultaneously
Pro You can use tabs in every window
Pro Does not use a lot of RAM
Q-dir with 4 windows and with 4 tabs in every window uses only 39mb of RAM on Win10x64.
Pro Q-Dir allows you to save folder combinations as a favourite to open any time
Up to 64 folder combinations can be saved in a favorite, since each of the four windows is equipped with tabs (ie 4 x 16 tabs 4 x Tree View plus 4 x Address Bar).
Pro Highly manageable multiple windows
Every window can be separately customized. You can choose between different views from 1 to 4 windows, and every window can have multiple tabs!
Pro Very customizable
Con Difficult learning curve for people who are not used to Vim
Since it uses many of vim's keybindings, it may be hard for someone who does not use vim or does not know how to use vim to learn how to work with this file manager.
Con No built-in ability to navigate FTP/SSH
Most other GUI-based file managers provide easy bookmarking and browsing of multiple FTP & SSH locations using either keys or keychain stored user credentials. Ranger doesn't have this.
Con A great idea but not GUI friendly
May be difficult to get past the fact that it asked for commands dd and cc and the likes to cut and or paste. Arch-Linux normally prides itself on not over-complicating things. Too bad ... a great idea with the 3 Smart Columns, but why would anyone prefer to need to learn 30 commands in order to cut and paste or copy a file or folder, or to see/change permissions.