Plugin Aliases

Plugin aliases are a dictionary between an arbitrary string (eg. filepicker) and a non-alias plugin url, with optional plugin configuration. They can be configured in the Zellij configuration file under the plugins block.

Here's the default aliases:

plugins {
    tab-bar location="zellij:tab-bar"
    status-bar location="zellij:status-bar"
    strider location="zellij:strider"
    compact-bar location="zellij:compact-bar"
    session-manager location="zellij:session-manager"
    welcome-screen location="zellij:session-manager" {
        welcome_screen true
    filepicker location="zellij:strider" {
        cwd "/"

With this plugins block, whenever the bare tab-bar is used to refer to a plugin (be it in a layout, from the command line, from a keybinding or from another plugin), Zellij will translate it to the internal zellij:tab-bar url. Whenever the bare filepicker url is used to refer to a plugin, Zellij will translate it to the built-in zellij:strider url will be used with the cwd "/" configuration.

Aliases can be added to this block or changed to swap the default built-in plugins to other implementations. Removing the default aliases entirely might cause Zellij not to function as expected.

When swapping the default aliases for custom plugins, it's important that these plugins implement the basic contract Zellij (and indeed, other plugins) expect of them. The following sections describe the contract for each default alias.

Here's an example on how to use the plugin alias in a layout:

layout {
  default_tab_template {
    pane size=1 borderless=true {
      plugin location="compact-bar"

A note about cwd

When an alias defined a cwd for its plugin (such as the filepicker example above), Zellij will add the caller_cwd configuration parameter with the cwd of the focused pane in addition to the configured cwd above, instead of overriding the configured cwd of the plugin. This is so that plugins may provide a nicer user experience to their users and still have the desired cwd configuration of the alias.