Image previews in ranger - i3wm

Hi there, I don't get any image previews using ranger on the manjaroi3 community edition. The situation is similar to this topic, but the suggested solutions don't work for me.

I have up to date versions of ranger and manjaro-ranger-settings. My terminal is rxvt-unicode.
In ~/.config/ranger/rc.conf I have :

set preview_script ~/.config/ranger/ true
set use_preview_script true
set preview_images true
set preview_images_method ueberzug

I have setup the different rc.conf files that exist on the system such that they are all the same as in ~/.config/ranger/rc.conf.
I have also tried using different preview methods, w3m, kitty and urxvt.
Yet I do not manage to get any image previews in ranger.
Any idea why?

My dir ~/.config/ranger/ is empty and ranger show images fine, in

/etc/skel/.config/ranger/rc.conf I have

sgs@mx Linux 5.5.8-1-MANJARO x86_64 19.0.2 Kyria
~ >>> cat /etc/skel/.config/ranger/rc.conf                                                                                                                 
# ===================================================================
# This file contains the default startup commands for ranger.
# To change them, it is recommended to create the file
# ~/.config/ranger/rc.conf and add your custom commands there.
# If you copy this whole file there, you may want to set the environment
# variable RANGER_LOAD_DEFAULT_RC to FALSE to avoid loading it twice.
# The purpose of this file is mainly to define keybindings and settings.
# For running more complex python code, please create a plugin in "plugins/" or
# a command in "".
# Each line is a command that will be run before the user interface
# is initialized.  As a result, you can not use commands which rely
# on the UI such as :delete or :mark.
# ===================================================================

# ===================================================================
# == Options
# ===================================================================

# Which viewmode should be used?  Possible values are:
#     miller: Use miller columns which show multiple levels of the hierarchy
#     multipane: Midnight-commander like multipane view showing all tabs next
#                to each other
set viewmode miller
#set viewmode multipane

# How many columns are there, and what are their relative widths?
set column_ratios 1,3,4

# Which files should be hidden? (regular expression)
set hidden_filter ^\.|\.(?:pyc|pyo|bak|swp)$|^lost\+found$|^__(py)?cache__$

# Show hidden files? You can toggle this by typing 'zh'
set show_hidden false

# Ask for a confirmation when running the "delete" command?
# Valid values are "always", "never", "multiple" (default)
# With "multiple", ranger will ask only if you delete multiple files at once.
set confirm_on_delete never

# Which script is used to generate file previews?
# ranger ships with, a script that calls external programs (see
# for dependencies) to preview images, archives, etc.
set preview_script ~/.config/ranger/

# Use the external preview script or display simple plain text or image previews?
set use_preview_script true

# Automatically count files in the directory, even before entering them?
set automatically_count_files true

# Open all images in this directory when running certain image viewers
# like feh or sxiv?  You can still open selected files by marking them.
set open_all_images true

# Be aware of version control systems and display information.
set vcs_aware false

# State of the three backends git, hg, bzr. The possible states are
# disabled, local (only show local info), enabled (show local and remote
# information).
set vcs_backend_git enabled
set vcs_backend_hg disabled
set vcs_backend_bzr disabled

# Use one of the supported image preview protocols
set preview_images true

# Set the preview image method. Supported methods:
# * w3m (default):
#   Preview images in full color with the external command "w3mimgpreview"?
#   This requires the console web browser "w3m" and a supported terminal.
#   It has been successfully tested with "xterm" and "urxvt" without tmux.
# * iterm2:
#   Preview images in full color using iTerm2 image previews
#   ( This requires using iTerm2 compiled
#   with image preview support.
# * urxvt:
#   Preview images in full color using urxvt image backgrounds. This
#   requires using urxvt compiled with pixbuf support.
# * urxvt-full:
#   The same as urxvt but utilizing not only the preview pane but the
#   whole terminal window.
set preview_images_method ueberzug

# Use a unicode "..." character to mark cut-off filenames?
set unicode_ellipsis false

# Show dotfiles in the bookmark preview box?
set show_hidden_bookmarks true

# Which colorscheme to use?  These colorschemes are available by default:
# default, jungle, snow, solarized
set colorscheme default

# Preview files on the rightmost column?
# And collapse (shrink) the last column if there is nothing to preview?
set preview_files true
set preview_directories true
set collapse_preview true

# Save the console history on exit?
set save_console_history true

# Draw the status bar on top of the browser window (default: bottom)
set status_bar_on_top false

# Draw a progress bar in the status bar which displays the average state of all
# currently running tasks which support progress bars?
set draw_progress_bar_in_status_bar true

# Draw borders around columns?
set draw_borders true

# Display the directory name in tabs?
set dirname_in_tabs false

# Enable the mouse support?
set mouse_enabled true

# Display the file size in the main column or status bar?
set display_size_in_main_column true
set display_size_in_status_bar true

# Display files tags in all columns or only in main column?
set display_tags_in_all_columns true

# Set a title for the window?
set update_title false

# Set the title to "ranger" in the tmux program?
set update_tmux_title false

# Shorten the title if it gets long?  The number defines how many
# directories are displayed at once, 0 turns off this feature.
set shorten_title 3

# Abbreviate $HOME with ~ in the titlebar (first line) of ranger?
set tilde_in_titlebar false

# How many directory-changes or console-commands should be kept in history?
set max_history_size 20
set max_console_history_size 50

# Try to keep so much space between the top/bottom border when scrolling:
set scroll_offset 8

# Flush the input after each key hit?  (Noticeable when ranger lags)
set flushinput true

# Padding on the right when there's no preview?
# This allows you to click into the space to run the file.
set padding_right true

# Save bookmarks (used with mX and `X) instantly?
# This helps to synchronize bookmarks between multiple ranger
# instances but leads to *slight* performance loss.
# When false, bookmarks are saved when ranger is exited.
set autosave_bookmarks true

# You can display the "real" cumulative size of directories by using the
# command :get_cumulative_size or typing "dc".  The size is expensive to
# calculate and will not be updated automatically.  You can choose
# to update it automatically though by turning on this option:
set autoupdate_cumulative_size false

# Turning this on makes sense for screen readers:
set show_cursor false

# One of: size, natural, basename, atime, ctime, mtime, type, random
set sort natural

# Additional sorting options
set sort_reverse false
set sort_case_insensitive true
set sort_directories_first true
set sort_unicode false

# Enable this if key combinations with the Alt Key don't work for you.
# (Especially on xterm)
set xterm_alt_key false

# Whether to include bookmarks in cd command
set cd_bookmarks true

# Avoid previewing files larger than this size, in bytes.  Use a value of 0 to
# disable this feature.
set preview_max_size 0

# Add the highlighted file to the path in the titlebar
set show_selection_in_titlebar true

# The delay that ranger idly waits for user input, in milliseconds, with a
# resolution of 100ms.  Lower delay reduces lag between directory updates but
# increases CPU load.
set idle_delay 2000

# When the metadata manager module looks for metadata, should it only look for
# a ".metadata.json" file in the current directory, or do a deep search and
# check all directories above the current one as well?
set metadata_deep_search false

# Clear all existing filters when leaving a directory
set clear_filters_on_dir_change false

# Disable displaying line numbers in main column
set line_numbers false

# ===================================================================
# == Local Options
# ===================================================================
# You can set local options that only affect a single directory.

# Examples:
# setlocal path=~/downloads sort mtime

# ===================================================================
# == Command Aliases in the Console
# ===================================================================

alias e    edit
alias q    quit
alias q!   quitall
alias qa   quitall
alias qall quitall
alias setl setlocal

alias filter     scout -prt
alias find       scout -aeit
alias mark       scout -mr
alias unmark     scout -Mr
alias search     scout -rs
alias search_inc scout -rts
alias travel     scout -aefiklst

# ===================================================================
# == Define keys for the browser
# ===================================================================

# Basic
map     Q quit!
map     q quit
copymap q ZZ ZQ

map R     reload_cwd
map <C-r> reset
map <C-l> redraw_window
map <C-c> abort
map <esc> change_mode normal
map ~ set viewmode!

map i display_file
map ? help
map W display_log
map w taskview_open
map S shell $SHELL

map :  console
map ;  console
map !  console shell%space
map @  console -p6 shell  %%s
map #  console shell -p%space
map s  console shell%space
map r  chain draw_possible_programs; console open_with%%space
#map f  console find%space
map f console scout -ftsea%space
map cd console cd%space

# Change the line mode
map Mf linemode filename
map Mi linemode fileinfo
map Mm linemode mtime
map Mp linemode permissions
map Ms linemode sizemtime
map Mt linemode metatitle

# Tagging / Marking
map t       tag_toggle
map ut      tag_remove
map "<any>  tag_toggle tag=%any
map <Space> mark_files toggle=True
map v       mark_files all=True toggle=True
map uv      mark_files all=True val=False
map V       toggle_visual_mode
map uV      toggle_visual_mode reverse=True

# For the nostalgics: Midnight Commander bindings
map <F1> help
map <F3> display_file
map <F4> edit
map <F5> copy
map <F6> cut
map <F7> console mkdir%space
map <F8> console delete
map <F10> exit

# In case you work on a keyboard with dvorak layout
map <UP>       move up=1
map <DOWN>     move down=1
map <LEFT>     move left=1
map <RIGHT>    move right=1
map <HOME>     move to=0
map <END>      move to=-1
map <PAGEDOWN> move down=1   pages=True
map <PAGEUP>   move up=1     pages=True
map <CR>       move right=1
map <DELETE>   console delete
map <INSERT>   console touch%space

# VIM-like
copymap <UP>       k
copymap <DOWN>     j
copymap <LEFT>     h
copymap <RIGHT>    l
copymap <HOME>     gg
copymap <END>      G
copymap <PAGEDOWN> <C-F>
copymap <PAGEUP>   <C-B>

map J  move down=0.5  pages=True
map K  move up=0.5    pages=True
copymap J <C-D>
copymap K <C-U>

# Jumping around
map H     history_go -1
map L     history_go 1
map ]     move_parent 1
map [     move_parent -1
map }     traverse

map gh cd ~
map ge cd /etc
map gu cd /usr
map gd cd /dev
map gl cd -r .
map gL cd -r %f
map go cd /opt
map gv cd /var
map gm cd /media
map gM cd /mnt
map gs cd /srv
map gr cd /
map gR eval
map g/ cd /
map g? cd /usr/share/doc/ranger

# External Programs
map E  edit
map du shell -p du --max-depth=1 -h --apparent-size
map dU shell -p du --max-depth=1 -h --apparent-size | sort -rh
map yp shell -f echo -n %d/%f | xsel -i; xsel -o | xsel -i -b
map yd shell -f echo -n %d    | xsel -i; xsel -o | xsel -i -b
map yn shell -f echo -n %f    | xsel -i; xsel -o | xsel -i -b

# Filesystem Operations
map =  chmod

#map cw console rename%space
map cw eval fm.execute_console("bulkrename") if fm.thisdir.marked_items else fm.open_console("rename ")
map a  rename_append
map A  eval fm.open_console('rename ' + fm.thisfile.relative_path.replace("%", "%%"))
map I  eval fm.open_console('rename ' + fm.thisfile.relative_path.replace("%", "%%"), position=7)

map pp paste
map po paste overwrite=True
map pP paste append=True
map pO paste overwrite=True append=True
map pl paste_symlink relative=False
map pL paste_symlink relative=True
map phl paste_hardlink
map pht paste_hardlinked_subtree
map pr paste_as_root

map dD console delete

map dd cut
map ud uncut
map da cut mode=add
map dr cut mode=remove
map dt cut mode=toggle

map yy copy
map uy uncut
map ya copy mode=add
map yr copy mode=remove
map yt copy mode=toggle

# Temporary workarounds
map dgg eval fm.cut(dirarg=dict(to=0), narg=quantifier)
map dG  eval fm.cut(dirarg=dict(to=-1), narg=quantifier)
map dj  eval fm.cut(dirarg=dict(down=1), narg=quantifier)
map dk  eval fm.cut(dirarg=dict(up=1), narg=quantifier)
map ygg eval fm.copy(dirarg=dict(to=0), narg=quantifier)
map yG  eval fm.copy(dirarg=dict(to=-1), narg=quantifier)
map yj  eval fm.copy(dirarg=dict(down=1), narg=quantifier)
map yk  eval fm.copy(dirarg=dict(up=1), narg=quantifier)

# Searching
map /  console search%space
map n  search_next
map N  search_next forward=False
map ct search_next order=tag
map cs search_next order=size
map ci search_next order=mimetype
map cc search_next order=ctime
map cm search_next order=mtime
map ca search_next order=atime

# Tabs
map <C-n>     tab_new ~
map <C-w>     tab_close
map <TAB>     tab_move 1
map <S-TAB>   tab_move -1
map <A-Right> tab_move 1
map <A-Left>  tab_move -1
map gt        tab_move 1
map gT        tab_move -1
map gn        tab_new ~
map gc        tab_close
map uq        tab_restore
map <a-1>     tab_open 1
map <a-2>     tab_open 2
map <a-3>     tab_open 3
map <a-4>     tab_open 4
map <a-5>     tab_open 5
map <a-6>     tab_open 6
map <a-7>     tab_open 7
map <a-8>     tab_open 8
map <a-9>     tab_open 9

# Sorting
map or set sort_reverse!
map oz set sort=random
map os chain set sort=size;      set sort_reverse=False
map ob chain set sort=basename;  set sort_reverse=False
map on chain set sort=natural;   set sort_reverse=False
map om chain set sort=mtime;     set sort_reverse=False
map oc chain set sort=ctime;     set sort_reverse=False
map oa chain set sort=atime;     set sort_reverse=False
map ot chain set sort=type;      set sort_reverse=False
map oe chain set sort=extension; set sort_reverse=False

map oS chain set sort=size;      set sort_reverse=True
map oB chain set sort=basename;  set sort_reverse=True
map oN chain set sort=natural;   set sort_reverse=True
map oM chain set sort=mtime;     set sort_reverse=True
map oC chain set sort=ctime;     set sort_reverse=True
map oA chain set sort=atime;     set sort_reverse=True
map oT chain set sort=type;      set sort_reverse=True
map oE chain set sort=extension; set sort_reverse=True

map dc get_cumulative_size

# Settings
map zc    set collapse_preview!
map zd    set sort_directories_first!
map zh    set show_hidden!
map <C-h> set show_hidden!
map zI    set flushinput!
map zi    set preview_images!
map zm    set mouse_enabled!
map zp    set preview_files!
map zP    set preview_directories!
map zs    set sort_case_insensitive!
map zu    set autoupdate_cumulative_size!
map zv    set use_preview_script!
map zf    console filter%space

# Bookmarks
map `<any>  enter_bookmark %any
map '<any>  enter_bookmark %any
map m<any>  set_bookmark %any
map um<any> unset_bookmark %any

map m<bg>   draw_bookmarks
copymap m<bg>  um<bg> `<bg> '<bg>

# Generate all the chmod bindings with some python help:
eval for arg in "rwxXst": cmd("map +u{0} shell -f chmod u+{0} %s".format(arg))
eval for arg in "rwxXst": cmd("map +g{0} shell -f chmod g+{0} %s".format(arg))
eval for arg in "rwxXst": cmd("map +o{0} shell -f chmod o+{0} %s".format(arg))
eval for arg in "rwxXst": cmd("map +a{0} shell -f chmod a+{0} %s".format(arg))
eval for arg in "rwxXst": cmd("map +{0}  shell -f chmod u+{0} %s".format(arg))

eval for arg in "rwxXst": cmd("map -u{0} shell -f chmod u-{0} %s".format(arg))
eval for arg in "rwxXst": cmd("map -g{0} shell -f chmod g-{0} %s".format(arg))
eval for arg in "rwxXst": cmd("map -o{0} shell -f chmod o-{0} %s".format(arg))
eval for arg in "rwxXst": cmd("map -a{0} shell -f chmod a-{0} %s".format(arg))
eval for arg in "rwxXst": cmd("map -{0}  shell -f chmod u-{0} %s".format(arg))

# ===================================================================
# == Define keys for the console
# ===================================================================
# Note: Unmapped keys are passed directly to the console.

# Basic
cmap <tab>   eval
cmap <s-tab> eval
cmap <ESC>   eval fm.ui.console.close()
cmap <CR>    eval fm.ui.console.execute()
cmap <C-l>   redraw_window

copycmap <ESC> <C-c>
copycmap <CR>  <C-j>

# Move around
cmap <up>    eval fm.ui.console.history_move(-1)
cmap <down>  eval fm.ui.console.history_move(1)
cmap <left>  eval fm.ui.console.move(left=1)
cmap <right> eval fm.ui.console.move(right=1)
cmap <home>  eval fm.ui.console.move(right=0, absolute=True)
cmap <end>   eval fm.ui.console.move(right=-1, absolute=True)
cmap <a-left>   eval fm.ui.console.move_word(left=1)
cmap <a-right>  eval fm.ui.console.move_word(right=1)

# Line Editing
cmap <backspace>  eval fm.ui.console.delete(-1)
cmap <delete>     eval fm.ui.console.delete(0)
cmap <C-w>        eval fm.ui.console.delete_word()
cmap <A-d>        eval fm.ui.console.delete_word(backward=False)
cmap <C-k>        eval fm.ui.console.delete_rest(1)
cmap <C-u>        eval fm.ui.console.delete_rest(-1)
cmap <C-y>        eval fm.ui.console.paste()

# And of course the emacs way
copycmap <up>        <C-p>
copycmap <down>      <C-n>
copycmap <left>      <C-b>
copycmap <right>     <C-f>
copycmap <home>      <C-a>
copycmap <end>       <C-e>
copycmap <delete>    <C-d>
copycmap <backspace> <C-h>

# Note: There are multiple ways to express backspaces.  <backspace> (code 263)
# and <backspace2> (code 127).  To be sure, use both.
copycmap <backspace> <backspace2>

# This special expression allows typing in numerals:
cmap <allow_quantifiers> false

# ===================================================================
# == Pager Keybindings
# ===================================================================

# Movement
pmap  <down>      pager_move  down=1
pmap  <up>        pager_move  up=1
pmap  <left>      pager_move  left=4
pmap  <right>     pager_move  right=4
pmap  <home>      pager_move  to=0
pmap  <end>       pager_move  to=-1
pmap  <pagedown>  pager_move  down=1.0  pages=True
pmap  <pageup>    pager_move  up=1.0    pages=True
pmap  <C-d>       pager_move  down=0.5  pages=True
pmap  <C-u>       pager_move  up=0.5    pages=True

copypmap <UP>       k  <C-p>
copypmap <DOWN>     j  <C-n> <CR>
copypmap <LEFT>     h
copypmap <RIGHT>    l
copypmap <HOME>     g
copypmap <END>      G
copypmap <C-d>      d
copypmap <C-u>      u
copypmap <PAGEDOWN> n  f  <C-F>  <Space>
copypmap <PAGEUP>   p  b  <C-B>

# Basic
pmap     <C-l> redraw_window
pmap     <ESC> pager_close
copypmap <ESC> q Q i <F3>
pmap E      edit_file

# ===================================================================
# == Taskview Keybindings
# ===================================================================

# Movement
tmap <up>        taskview_move up=1
tmap <down>      taskview_move down=1
tmap <home>      taskview_move to=0
tmap <end>       taskview_move to=-1
tmap <pagedown>  taskview_move down=1.0  pages=True
tmap <pageup>    taskview_move up=1.0    pages=True
tmap <C-d>       taskview_move down=0.5  pages=True
tmap <C-u>       taskview_move up=0.5    pages=True

copytmap <UP>       k  <C-p>
copytmap <DOWN>     j  <C-n> <CR>
copytmap <HOME>     g
copytmap <END>      G
copytmap <C-u>      u
copytmap <PAGEDOWN> n  f  <C-F>  <Space>
copytmap <PAGEUP>   p  b  <C-B>

# Changing priority and deleting tasks
tmap J          eval -q fm.ui.taskview.task_move(-1)
tmap K          eval -q fm.ui.taskview.task_move(0)
tmap dd         eval -q fm.ui.taskview.task_remove()
tmap <pagedown> eval -q fm.ui.taskview.task_move(-1)
tmap <pageup>   eval -q fm.ui.taskview.task_move(0)
tmap <delete>   eval -q fm.ui.taskview.task_remove()

# Basic
tmap <C-l> redraw_window
tmap <ESC> taskview_close
copytmap <ESC> q Q w <C-c>
default_linemode devicons

# find
map <C-f> fzf_select%    

"To change them, it is recommended to create the file
~/.config/ranger/rc.conf and add your custom commands there."

Do you edit something?

Yes :slight_smile:

If there was no typo when you typed this line here in the Forum, there is your problem.

This line should be

set preview_script ~/.config/ranger/

(without the word true in the end of it)

Edit the file, save it and restart ranger.

1 Like

Is your ~/.config/ranger/ same as /etc/skel/.config/ranger/

Do image previews work with other terminals?

I have uninstalled ranger and manjaro-ranger-settings, removed all the remaining ranger folders containing rc.conf files I could find with the command locate, then reinstalled the two packages.

The directory ~/.config/ranger/is gone. I do now have rc.conf in the same folder as you (/etc/skel/), but also in others :


Also, the first rc.conf listed above is different from the latter two, which are the same. One difference I noticed is that the first rc.conf proposes four methods for preview ( w3m, iterm2, urxvt, urxvt-full) and strangely enough, the setting is set preview_images_method ueberzug .
The other two rc.conf files have seven methods (w3m, iterm2, terminology, urxvt, urxvt-full, kitty and ueberzug) and the default setting is set preview_images_method w3m.

I changed the image preview method of /usr/lib/python3.8/site-packages/ranger/config/rc.conf and /usr/share/doc/ranger/config/rc.conf to ueberzug.

Image previews still do not work.

Yes, that was indeed a mistake. After reinstalling ranger and manjaro-ranger-settings, the line in the different rc.conf files reads :

set preview_script ~/.config/ranger/

However, still no image previews.

After reinstalling the two packages, ~/.config/ranger/ no longer exists.

I have just tried with kitty, ueberzug, urxvt and w3m by modifying the preview method in /etc/skel/.config/ranger/rc.conf. No luck.

It work here with Xfce4-terminal and terminator.
But I am out of knowledge now.

The directory /etc/skel/.config/ranger/ is not being read by ranger. It's a directory that contains the default settings for a new user that will be created in your system - it will be copied to the new user's home directory after the user logs in for the first time.

The easiest way to configure ranger is to create the directory ~/.config/ranger/ (if it's not already present) and set the configurations in the files rc.conf and in that directory.
You can copy the default settings from the file /etc/skel/.config/ranger/rc.conf to the file ~/.config/ranger/rc.conf or you can start editing the file in your home directory directly using only the settings you want.

This is described in the man page of ranger:


Is ueberzug installed in your system, if not try this pip install ueberzug --user and it takes few seconds to load images at start.

ueberzug is in the official repositories - listed as python-ueberzug - and is an optional dependency of ranger.

Why using an additional package manager - such as pip - to install it when you can simply use pacman?

sudo pacman -Syu python-ueberzug

Although I don't think that this is the OP's problem, since in their case image previews are not working in ranger regardless of the method used to display them, it's worth a shot.

1 Like

I am used to pip :grin: and had no idea about it being in official repository. Will use it in future :slight_smile:

Also, I installed urxvt, since OP is using it too and it worked fine for me.

1 Like

Yes, python-ueberzug is installed via the package manjaro-ranger-settings. I reinstalled it using yay to make sure. Still no image previews.

Can you copy the settings from /etc/skel to your home folder? Ranger does not read /etc/skel, it is just a folder that gets copied to your home folder when you create a new user.


Ahh, I can now see previews for images in formats .png or .jpg. Thank you ! :smiley:
Any way to also get previews for other formats, especially pdf?
I'd be interested to get previews for LibreOffice files too, for instance.

For me pdf previews as text work just fine. If you wish image previews instead, see

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For a text preview of .odt files, ranger is using the package odt2txt. Install it and restart ranger.

For previewing .pdf files, there is a section in the default /usr/share/doc/ranger/config/ file that uses the package poppler (this package needs to be installed for the following to work):

             pdftoppm -f 1 -l 1 \
                      -scale-to-x 1920 \
                      -scale-to-y -1 \
                      -singlefile \
                      -jpeg -tiffcompression jpeg \
                      -- "${FILE_PATH}" "${IMAGE_CACHE_PATH%.*}" \
                 && exit 6 || exit 1;;

Copy the file /usr/share/doc/ranger/config/ in ~/.config/ranger/ (first make a backup copy of the existing file in your home directory), un-comment the above mentioned section in the file and restart ranger.


@bill_t : I can now preview .odt files thanks to odt2txt, thanks. :pray:
In order to preview pdfs as images, I installed poppler and copy-pasted the relevant section from the file /usr/share/doc/ranger/config/ into ~/.config/ranger/, uncommented it and restarted ranger.
Did not work.
Then I just replaced the whole file ~/.config/ranger/ with /usr/share/doc/ranger/config/ , uncommented the relevant section.
And lo ! I have pdf previews :smile:

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