By default, Dired displays the available space on the directory’s
disk on the first line of that directory’s listing, following the
directory name. You can control this display by customizing the
dired-free-space. Its default value is
which produces the available space after the directory name. If you
customize it to the value
separate instead, Dired will display
the disk space information on a separate line, following the line with
the directory name, and will include in that line the space used by
the files in the current directory as well as the available disk
space. If you set this to
nil, the available disk space
information will not be displayed at all.
The command + (
dired-create-directory) reads a
directory’s name, and creates that directory. It signals an error if
the directory already exists.
The command (
dired-create-empty-file) reads a
file name, and creates that file. It signals an error if
the file already exists.
The command M-s a C-s (
dired-do-isearch) begins a
multi-file incremental search on the marked files. If a search
fails at the end of a file, typing C-s advances to the next
marked file and repeats the search; at the end of the last marked
file, the search wraps around to the first marked file. The command
M-s a M-C-s (
dired-do-isearch-regexp) does the same with
a regular expression search. See Repeating Incremental Search, for information
about search repetition.
The command w (
dired-copy-filename-as-kill) puts the
names of the marked (or next n) files into the kill ring, as if
you had killed them with C-w. The names are separated by a
With a zero prefix argument, this uses the absolute file name of each marked file. With just C-u as the prefix argument, it uses file names relative to the Dired buffer’s default directory. (This can still contain slashes if in a subdirectory.) As a special case, if point is on a directory header line, w gives you the absolute name of that directory. Any prefix argument or marked files are ignored in this case.
The main purpose of this command is so that you can yank the file names into arguments for other Emacs commands. It also displays what it added to the kill ring, so you can use it to display the list of currently marked files in the echo area.
If you have an HTML file in the file listing, it can be useful to
view that file with a browser. The W
browse-url-of-dired-file) command will use the standard
configured browser to view that file.
The command ( (
dired-hide-details-mode) toggles whether
details, such as ownership or file permissions, are visible in the
current Dired buffer. By default, it also hides the targets of
symbolic links, and all lines other than the header line and
file/directory listings. To change this, customize the options
If the directory you are visiting is under version control (see Version Control), then the normal VC diff and log commands will operate on the selected files.
The command M-x dired-compare-directories is used to compare the current Dired buffer with another directory. It marks all the files that differ between the two directories. It puts these marks in all Dired buffers where these files are listed, which of course includes the current buffer.
The default comparison method (used if you type RET at the
prompt) is to compare just the file names—file names differ if
they do not appear in the other directory. You can specify
more stringent comparisons by entering a Lisp expression, which can
refer to the variables
size2, the respective
mtime2, the last modification
times in seconds, as floating point numbers; and
fa2, the respective file attribute lists (as returned by the
file-attributes). This expression is evaluated for
each pair of like-named files, and files differ if the expression’s
value is non-
For instance, the sequence M-x dired-compare-directories RET (> mtime1 mtime2) RET marks files newer in this directory than in the other, and marks files older in the other directory than in this one. It also marks files with no counterpart, in both directories, as always.
On the X Window System, Emacs supports the drag and drop protocol.
You can drag a file object from another program, and drop it onto a
Dired buffer; this either moves, copies, or creates a link to the file
in that directory. Precisely which action is taken is determined by
the originating program. Dragging files out of a Dired buffer is also
supported, by enabling the user option
the mouse can be used to drag files onto other programs. When set to
link, it will make the other program (typically a file manager)
create a symbolic link to the file; when set to
move, it will
make the other program move the file to a new location, and setting it
to any other non-
nil value will make the other program open or
create a copy of the file. The keyboard modifiers pressed during the
drag-and-drop operation can also control what action the other program
takes towards the file.