(dired.info)Virtual Dired

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Virtual Dired

   Using "Virtual Dired" means putting a buffer with Dired-like
contents in Dired mode.  The files described by the buffer contents need
not actually exist.  This is useful if you want to peruse an `ls -lR'
output file, for example one you got from an FTP server.  You can use
all motion commands usually available in Tree Dired.  You can also use
it to save a Dired buffer in a file and resume it in a later session.

   Type `M-x dired-virtual' to put the current buffer into virtual
Dired mode.  You will be prompted for the top level directory of this
buffer, with a default value guessed from the buffer contents.  To
convert the virtual to a real Dired buffer again, type `g' (which calls
`dired-virtual-revert') in the virtual Dired buffer and answer `y'.
You don't have to do this, though: you can relist single subdirectories
using `l' (`dired-do-redisplay') on the subdirectory headerline,
leaving the buffer in virtual Dired mode all the time.

   The function `dired-virtual-mode' is specially designed to turn on
virtual Dired mode from the `auto-mode-alist'.  To automatically edit
all `*.dired' files in virtual Dired mode, put this into your

     (setq auto-mode-alist (cons '("[^/]\\.dired$" . dired-virtual-mode)

   The regexp is a bit more complicated than usual to exclude ".dired"
local variable files.

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