Add "Line Count" Column in File Manager

While monitoring an ETL pipeline, I browse a lot of files and often need to know how many lines are there in a file. For that, I can switch to that directory from terminal and run wc -l for that.

To avoid the hassle of switching to the directory and running a command in the terminal, I wrote a simple lua script to show line count column in xplr1 file manager.

Failed Attempts

Initially I set out to write a Finder2 plugin to show the line count column. But I couldn't find a way to get the line count of a file in Finder plugin. I have explored other GUI file managers but none of them have a way to show custom columns with line count.

Finally, I stumbled upon xplr a TUI file manager, and it was a breeze to write a lua script to show the line count column.

xplr - line count

xplr can be installed via brew.

$ brew install xplr

$ xplr --version
xplr 0.21.3

xplr reads the default configuration from ~/.config/xplr/init.lua. The following configuration shows the line count column in xplr.

version = '0.21.3'

xplr.fn.custom.fmt_simple_column = function(m)
  return m.prefix .. m.relative_path .. m.suffix

xplr.fn.custom.row_count = function(app)
  if not app.is_file then
    return "---"

  local file =, "r")
  if file then
    local row_count = 0
    for _ in file:lines() do
      row_count = row_count + 1
    return tostring(row_count)

xplr.config.general.table.header.cols = {
  { format = "  path" },
  { format = "line_count" },

xplr.config.general.table.row.cols = {
  { format = "custom.fmt_simple_column" },
  { format = "custom.row_count" },

xplr.config.general.table.col_widths = {
  { Percentage = 30 },
  { Percentage = 20 },

This will show a row count on launch.

xplr - line count


xplr is a very powerful file manager, and it is very easy to write lua scripts to create custom columns. I couldn't find a way to sort items based on the custom column. Need to explore more on that.