When using Vim you can use :Explore to browser through files and folders.

Is there a simple way to start Vim in "Explore mode" from the terminal? Can I do this by just giving Vim some argument?


Alternatively (the passing of directory argument(s) as in @EvergreenTree's answer relies on the autocmds of the netrw plugin, and aren't a general solution), you can pass any Ex command to Vim on startup via the -c argument:

$ vim -c Explore

You can also use +, which is exactly the same as -c, except slightly shorter:

$ vim +Explore

The "Explore Mode" you are talking about is netrw, a vim plugin which is provided by default. It should open in that "mode" if you just try to open a directory with vim, eg. vim foo/bar/baz/

  • 3
    Thank you. So I guess the fastest way to do this is vim .. Mar 9 '15 at 1:10


vim +Ex

It'll execute :Ex (:Explore) on vim startup to explore the current directory.



  • You're using gvim
  • Your vim supports +clientserver (see vim --version)

Then the following will allow you to simply type gvim (by itself) and get a browser display showing:

augroup VimStartup
au VimEnter * if expand("%") == "" && argc() == 0 && (v:servername =~ 'GVIM\d*' || v:servername == "") | e . | endif
augroup END

(put this into your .vimrc)

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