30 Best File Managers for Linux Systems
File management is so important on a computer that users always want to have a simple and easy to use file manager or file browser. But sometimes having a feature rich and highly configurable file manager for performing both simple tasks such as searching, copying, moving, creating and deleting files, and complex operations such as remote access of files and SHH connections is very vital.
Best Linux File Managers
Whether you prefer a lightweight file manager with less features or a heavy file manager with multiple features and functionalities, it all depends on how you operate your system.
Below are a list of some of the best Gui file managers, Console file managers and browsers that you can find on different Linux distributions and can be installed using default system package management tool called apt, yum or dnf as shown.
1. Konqueror File Manager
Konqueror is a powerful and great file manager for KDE desktop, it offers simple file management functionalities such as copying, moving, searching and deleting file plus some advanced features and functionalities such as access to archives, browse and rip audio CDs, support for access to FTP and SFTP servers, smb(Windows) shares.
Konqueror File Manager
It has the following major features:
- Powered by KHTML rendering engine
- Uses a universal file viewer
- Has highly customizable applications
2. Nautilus File Manager
Formerly known as Nautilus, it is a simple and default file manager on GNOME desktop, it offers a user easy navigation and management of files on a Linux system.
Nautilus File Manager
GNOME Files is widely supported on several desktop environments on Linux, therefore making it one of the best and also most popular.
It has got some enticing features and these include:
- Simple to use menus
- Offers file safety
- Easy to understand at a glance
- Enables access to both local and remote files
3. Dolphin File Manager
Dolphin is a free, open source, lightweight file manager developed as part of KDE applications package. Designed for simplicity, flexibility and full customization, it allows users to browse, locate, open, copy and move files around a Linux system with a lot of ease.
Dolphin File Manager for Linux
It is the default file manager on KDE desktops from KDE 4 onwards but users of KDE 3 can also install and use it. It replaced Konqueror as the KDE default file manager with the following features:
- File previews
- Breadcrumb navigation bar
- Three view modes(icons, compact and details)
- Split views for easily moving files
- Support for shortcuts
- Undo/redo functionalities
- Tabbed navigation
- File sorting and grouping by name, size, types and many other attributes
4. GNU Midnight Commander
It is a free software, full-screen, text mode, visual file manager that lets a user search, copy, move and also delete files and even whole directory tree.
Midnight Commander – Commandline File Manager
It is feature rich with some of these amazing features especially for those who love to operate on the terminal:
- Enables running commands in a subshell
- Has internal viewer and editor
- Based on versatile text interfaces such as Ncurses or S-Lang therefore making it work on a regular console, in an X Window Term or over SSH
5. Krusader File Manager
It is also an advanced twin panel file manager that works similar to GNU Midnight Commander, but in a GUI setup and has some great features including:
- Support for mounted filesystem
- Advanced search module
- Extensive archive handling and support for multiple archive formats
- Support for FTP
- Directory synchronization
- File content comparisons
- User friendly and highly customizable
Krusader File Manager for Linux
6. PCManFM File Manager
PCManFM meant to be a replacement for the popular Nautilus, Konqueror and Thunar file managers, PCManFM is the standard and feature rich file manager on LXDE desktop and has the following features:
- Full support for GVFS with access to remote filesystems
- Four view modes (icon, compact, detail and also thumbnail)
- Support for desktop management
- Shows thumbnail for pictures
- Bookmarks functionality
- Support for tabbed windows
- Drag and drop support
- User friendly GTK+2 interface
- Default file association support plus many more, as I had mentioned, it is feature rich.
PCMANFM File Manager for Linux
7. XFE File Manager
It is a commander sort of file manager for X Windows, based on X Win Commander whose development has been discontinued for one reason or the other.
XFE File Manager for Linux
The main aim of developing it was to offer a lightweight file manager for Unix-like operating systems, and it works well for those of you who enjoy working mostly on the terminal.
XFE is also feature rich but we shall not look at all of them here and some of them include:
- Very fast GUI
- Small memory footprints
- Four file manager modes; one panel, directory tree and one panel, two panels and directory tree and finally two panels
- UTF-8 support
- Search files and directories
- Disk usage command
- Status lines
- Root mode with authentication with utilities such as sudo and su
- Bookmarks support
- Toolbar support
- Autosave registry functionality and many more
8. Nemo File Manager
Nemo is the default file manager on Cinnamon desktop, Linux Mint users must be familiar with it, it is a fork of the more popular GNOME Files.
Nemo File Manager for Linux
It is also lightweight and has some great features which include:
- Uses GVFS and GIO
- Open in terminal support
- Open as root support
- Proper GTK bookmarks management
- Full navigation options such as back, forward, up, refresh
- Supports several configuration options and many more
9. Thunar File Manager
Thunar is a modern, lightweight file manager for Xfce desktop, designed to be fast, responsive and easy use. One thing you will like about it is its clean and intuitive interface with few and important user options available.
Thunar File Manager for Linux
It has some great features which include:
- Highly pluggable
- Hidden settings
- Rename several files at once
- Custom commands associated with common extensions
- Customizable send to menu plus many more
10. SpaceFM File Manager
SpaceFM is a great, multi-panel tabbed file manager for Linux desktops. Developed to provide a stable, efficient and highly customizable file manager, some of its features include: in-built VFS, HAL-based device manager, customizable menu system and bash integration.
Spacefm File Manager
11. Caja – File Manager
Caja is the default file manager for the mate desktop and it enables you to explore directories, preview files and start programs connected with them. It is also capable for handling the icons on the mate desktop environment and works on local and remote filesystems.
12. Ranger Console File Manager
Ranger is an open source terminal file manager with VI key bindings, which provides a minimalistic and better user-friendly interface with a view on the directory hierarchy. It comes with “rifle”, a file starter that is best at auto detecting which program to use for what file format.
Ranger – Linux Console File Manager
13. Command Line File Manager
It may not be an actual file manager of sorts but what is file management on a Linux system, if we fail to talk about the command line. Very powerful and flexible especially when you understand the Linux filesystem and offers basic and advanced file management functionalities such as searching, copying, moving, creating and deleting files and also supports FTP, SFTP, SMB server access, SHH connections plus many more.
Linux Commandline File Manager
14. Deepin File Manager
Deepin File Manager is a powerful, classic, innovative and easy-to-use file manager designed and built by the developers of Deepin operating system. Like most open source file managers, deepin file manager simplifies user operation and comes with many distinctive features such as an easy-access navigation bar and diversified view and sorting.
Deepin File Manager
15. Polo File Manager
Polo is a modern, light-weight and advanced file manager for Linux with support for multiple panes and tabs. It also features a device manager, archive support; PDF, ISO and image actions; supports checksums and hashing, and video downloads. Importantly, it supports for cloud storage; running and managing KVM images, and so much more.
16. PCMan File Manager
PCManFM (short for PCMan File Manager) is a simple, fully-featured and easy-to-use file managing tool in LXDE. It is intended to a replacement for popular Linux file managers such as Nautilus, Konqueror and Thunar. It follows the specifications given by Freedesktop.org for interoperability.
Some of its key features include customizable main window layout, full gvfs support with seamless access to remote filesystems, extended terminal emulators, support third-party plugins support, file association support and so much more.
PCMan File Manager
17. Double Commander
Double Commander is a free cross platform open source file manager with two panels side by side, inspired by Total Commander and features some new ideas. It features an internal text editor with syntax highlighting, built in file viewer to view files of in hex, binary or text format, multi-rename tool.
In addition, it handles archives as if they were sub-directories allowing you to easily copy files to and from them. It also supports an extended search function with full text search in any files, and so many other exciting features.
18. Emacs File Manager
Emacs is a well known, extensible text editor used mainly on Unix-based systems such as Linux, by programmers, scientists, engineers, students, and system administrators.
Unlike most text editors in Linux, emacs is a excellent tool for file management. You can use it to list files, copy/delete, rename, moving files, create/delete a directory, in the same way you do in the Linux shell.
Emacs File Manager
19. Pantheon Files
Pantheon Files is a simple, powerful, stylish and minimal file manager. It is the default file manager on Elementary OS. Pantheon Files is minimal and very easy to use. It is a good file manager for Linux newbies as it offers all useful commands in plain sight – on the toolbar or the sidebar.
20. Vifm File Manager
Vifm is a cross-platform, fully-featured file manager with curses interface, which offers Vi/m-like environment for managing objects within file systems. It borrows a number of useful ideas from Mutt – a text-based email client with powerful features.
For vi users, Vifm gives you complete keyboard control over your files without putting effort to learn a new set of commands. Its feature set includes vim-like user mappings, vim-like command-line mode with ranges and abbreviations, vim-like marks and registers, directory tree comparison, operation undoing/redoing/backgrounding, FUSE file systems support and much more.
Vifm Commandline File Manager
21. Worker File Manager
Worker is another light-weight, simple, easy-to-use and feature-rich, two-pane file manager for the X Window System on Unix-like systems. It is intended to make managing files easy with full keyboard control.
It shows directories and files in two independent panels, and supports many advanced file manipulation features that allow you to find files and directories by using history of accessed directories; supports live filtering, and access to commands by using the keyboard.
Worker File Manager
22. nnn – Terminal File Manager
nnn is a minimal, blazing fast and feature-packed terminal file browser. It runs on Linux, macOS, Raspberry Pi, BSD, Cygwin, Linux subsystem for Windows as well as Termux. It is intended to bridge the gap between the terminal and the desktop environment.
It comes with some powerful features with it, such as application launcher, different modes (such as unique “navigate-as-you-type” mode with auto-select and disk usage analyzer mode), Unicode support, and much more. It also supports as various scripts.
nnn – Terminal File Manager
23. WCM Commander
WCM Commander is a cross-platform, file manager with a very fast user interface, for Linux, FreeBSD, Windows, and OS X. It features mimic look and feel, built-in terminal and text editor with syntax highlighting, built-in text viewer, and virtual file system (smb, ftp, sftp).
24. 4Pane File Manager
4Pane is a simple, fast, easy-to-use, and multi-pane file manager for Linux systems. It focuses so much on speed rather than visual effects. It features multiple undo and redo of most operations (including deletions), and supports archive management. 4Pane comes with a terminal emulator and a number of user-defined tools.
It supports multiple renaming/duplication of files, displays a progress bar in the statusbar when large files are being moved or pasted, and much more.
4Pane File Manager
25. lf – Terminal File Manager
lf is a simple, light-weight and cross-platform terminal file manager inspired by ranger with a number of missing and extra features. It has a server/client architecture to share file selection between multiple instances.
lf can be configured with shell commands and supports customizable keybindings. In addition, lf tries to automatically adapt its colors to the environment and supports preview filtering for source highlight, archives, pdfs/images as text and more.
lf Terminal File Manager
jFileProcessor is lightweight file and list manager with features for common file operations (copy, cut, paste, delete, create new folder etc.), searching files by name, dates, or sizes. It also supports bookmarks.
jFileProcessor File Manager
27. qtfm File Manager
qtfm is a simple and lightweight file manager using Qt, with a customizable interface. It comes with features such as desktop (theme/applications/mime) integration, powerful custom command system, customizable key bindings, support for drag and drop functionality, tabs and udisks support.
PCManFM-qt file manager is the Qt port of PCManFM. It also doubles as an icon manager. In LXQt sessions, it’s in addition used to handle the desktop.
PCManFM-Qt File Manager
29. Ranger – Console File Manager
Ranger is a terminal file manager with VI key bindings, that offers a minimalistic and user-friendly curses interface with a view on the directory hierarchy. It comes with rifle, a file launcher that automatically finds which program to use for what file format.
Ranger – Console File Manager
30. Liri Files
Liri files is a simple and easy to use tool to access and organize files. It is the default file manager for Liri operating system.
This list must have left many of you wondering why I have not mentioned some of your favorite file managers here but the list here is endless believe me, if we are to look all the usable and good file managers available in Linux but the choice depends on you as an individual.
You can share with us any file managers you are using out there, which you think deserved to be mentioned here through the comment section below.
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