fzf is a powerful tool for fuzzy searching, and can greatly enhance your workflow. Here are some ways that I use fzf:

1. Changing directories with ease

To quickly change directories, I use a bash alias that combines the speed of fd (an alternative to find) and the convenience of fzf.

cdh () {
        cd $(fd --type d . "/home/sarat" | fzf)

This command lists all directories under the /home/sarat directory (replace this with your desired directory) and pipes them to fzf, allowing you to select the desired directory with fuzzy search.

For example, if I need to search for the personal directory under $HOME/projects/, I just run cdh, search for personal, and hit enter. This command will change the current directory to $HOME/projects/personal/.

2. Easily connecting to remote servers.

When you have many servers defined in your .ssh/config file, it can be difficult to find the one you need quickly. This is where fzf comes in handy. Here's a bash alias I use to search for and SSH into a server:

sshf () {
        hosts=$(grep "^Host " ~/.ssh/config | awk '{print $2}' | grep -v "*" | grep -v "*$")
        selected_host=$(echo "$hosts" | fzf --height=50% --reverse --prompt="SSH into: ")
        if [ -n "$selected_host" ]
                ssh "$selected_host"

This command gets all of the hosts defined in your .ssh/config file, filters out any lines containing *, and pipes them to fzf. fzf then displays a searchable list of hosts, allowing you to easily select the one you want to SSH into. If you select a host, the command then uses ssh to connect to the selected host.

3. ZSH Integration with Fzf

If you use ZSH as your shell, fzf can be integrated to help you search through your history more easily. I use Oh My ZSH to enhance my ZSH experience, and the fzf plugin makes it simple to search through my command history using fuzzy searching.

To integrate fzf with ZSH, you can add the following line to your .zshrc file:

plugins=(... fzf)

With this plugin enabled, you can search your command history using Ctrl + r. When you press this key combination, your history will be piped into fzf, allowing you to quickly and easily search through your past commands.

Another useful plugin that makes use of fzf is fzf-tab. This plugin replaces the default tab behavior in your shell and feeds the list of options to fzf, allowing you to fuzzy search and select the option you want.

For example, if you're trying to cd into a directory with a long and complicated name, instead of typing out the entire name or using tab to cycle through options, you can simply start typing the name and fzf-tab will present a list of matching directories. You can then select the directory you want and cd into it.

Using fzf-tab can save you time and reduce the frustration of tab cycling, making it another great way to use fzf.


In this post, I've shared some of the workflows I use where fzf has improved my productivity and reduced my frustration. fzf is an incredibly versatile tool that can be used creatively to search and select anything using fuzzy searching.

What's great about fzf is that it is highly customizable. You can add options to preview a file, select multiple items, and more. I'm always finding new ways to incorporate fzf into my workflows to improve my productivity.

If you haven't tried fzf yet, I highly recommend giving it a try. It's a powerful tool that can help streamline your workflow and make your life easier on the command line.