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How can I replace dired with something like deer? Any time emacs wants to browse a directory with C-x d or from a link on the homescreen (from projectile or something), I want to open it in ranger or deer instead of dired. Is that possible?

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See the find-directory-functions variable.

By default (in most cases) it results in dired-noselect being used. You would add a function which used the thing you want to use instead, making sure it has priority over the dired entry (if not replacing it entirely; depending on your exact intentions).

Your function will be called (by find-file-noselect) with a parameter of the directory path.

For the specific dired bindings like C-x d, you would want to remap them to your preferred commands.

e.g.

(global-set-key [remap dired] 'my-dired-replacement)
  • While this is a fine answer, it ignores that ranger is a ncurses program and deer a zsh-specific thing. – wasamasa Sep 28 '15 at 6:34
  • I confess that I was presuming these were Emacs libraries (or at minimum, things with existing Emacs integration). Perhaps the question was actually referring to github.com/ralesi/ranger.el which also has a "Minimal Ranger Mode" named deer-mode? – phils Sep 28 '15 at 20:13
3

You can simply use (ranger-override-dired-mode t) in your init file. See https://github.com/ralesi/ranger.el#setting-as-default-directory-handler

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