Copyright 1996-2013,2014 by Thomas E. Dickey


Flist (file-list) provides the user with a powerful and versatile interface to VAX/VMS. Flist is a full-screen editor which shows the effects of commands rapidly and naturally. It provides both interfaces to VAX/VMS file management commands (EDIT, COPY, RENAME) as well as extensions to the command interface to better integrate VMS commands, and to augment them


I wrote flist in 1984-1985 while at the ITT Advanced Technology Center. Seeing the original flist program on VM/SP CMS, then dired on BSD 4.1 gave me the inspiration to go and do likewise on VAX/VMS (which really does need a good user interface). At the same time, I wrote a browse program, having used that in conjunction with flist on the VM/SP CMS (aka "VM/CMS") system.

Comparing with IBM Flist

In adapting the concept to VMS, I made several tradeoffs which make the program different from the IBM program. For example:

Later, I developed ded, which is nicer in many ways for UNIX. In 1995, I used the (now defunct) AXP demo machine to test and upgrade this version from the original K&R source (which was what VAX C was in 1984) to ANSI, and distributed this on the second and third VMS freeware cdroms. Flist is getting a little old, but still quite usable.

There is another flist written by Hunter Goatley with TPU a few years later. The two programs are unrelated (and Hunter Goatley stated that he was unaware of the other programs using the same name).