#tree #interactive #directory #navigate

bin+lib itree

An interactively navigable version of the Linux utility tree

3 unstable releases

0.3.1 Jun 24, 2018
0.3.0 Jun 23, 2018
0.2.2 Jun 13, 2018

#346 in Data structures

26 downloads per month

MIT license

1.5K SLoC


itree is an interactively navigable version of the Linux utility tree, built in Rust. It aims to extend the functionality of tree, providing an intuitive view of a directory's structure in a manageable, interactively navigable command-line interface.

Whereas tree can be overwhelming to use on large directories, itree allows you to inspect a filesystem in an intuitive fashion, at your own pace. It also respects gitignore rules and supports folding, allowing you to focus on the files you're most interested in!

itree relies on the FS walker used by ripgrep, bringing you the usefulness of tree with as little overhead/slowdown as possible! (See benchmarks below for comparisons.)

tree itree
Running tree from the ~/.rustup directory Running itree from the ~/.rustup directory
Running tree from this project's directory Running itree from this project's directory


Using brew

itree is available via Homebrew! Simply run:

$ brew install sashaweiss/projects/itree

Using cargo

itree is also available on crates.io! Simply run:

$ cargo install itree

From source

To build from source, first make sure you have Rust and cargo installed. (If not, then install via Rustup.) Then:

$ git clone https://github.com/sashaweiss/itree
$ cd itree
$ cargo install


Running itree will start an interactive CLI. Use itree --help to see a full list of configurations and UI options!

  • Use the arrow keys to move around, as makes sense visually: Up and Down move between files in the same directory level, while Left and Right move one level higher and lower in the directory tree, respectively.
    • itree also supports Vim keybindings - h, j, k, and l can be used instead of the arrow keys.
  • Use f to fold/unfold a directory.
  • Use q, Ctrl-C, or Esc to exit.


Below are tables comparing the performance of itree to that of tree as well as to ripgrep (from which itree gets its filesystem iterator).

Tl;dr: itree is fast - much faster than tree, and not a huge slowdown over pure ripgrep! (Mostly thanks to BurntSushi's awesome ignore crate).


I used hyperfine for benchmarking - specifically, the command:

$ hyperfine --warmup 2 <CMD> --show-output

where <CMD> was filled in with the first column of the below tables. --show-output was used to avoid suppressing the output of each command, since printing/rendering is an important part of what tree and itree do. --warmup 2 caused each command to run twice before being measured, to potentially warm up caches.


Results shown are the mean and standard deviation reported by hyperfine. Each is the result of at least 10 measurements.

  • The first row shows how long a user would wait for itree to display its UI.
  • The second row shows how long itree takes to exactly emulate the behavior of tree.
  • The third row shows how long tree takes to draw a directory structure.
  • The final row shows how long ripgrep takes to silently scan the directory structure. Since ripgrep and itree use the same filesystem iterator, this represents a baseline for computing itree's overhead.
Command μ ± σ (run from my $HOME) μ ± σ (run in this repo)
itree --no-ignore --no-exclude --quiet 2.953s ± 0.070s 0.012s ± 0.002s
itree --no-ignore --no-exclude --no-interact 3.511s ± 0.043s 0.031s ± 0.010s
tree 15.005s ± 4.891s 0.043s ± 0.014s
rg --no-ignore --files --quiet 1.373s ± 0.051s 0.010s ± 0.014s

Future work

  • Write more comprehensive documentation of source code.
  • Implement functionality similar to tree -h.
  • Add commands for interacting with files under the cursor.
  • Add command for cd-ing to the folder the cursor is currently in.


~87K SLoC