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 SSH connections is very vital.
Whether you prefer a lightweight file manager with fewer 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 the default system package management tool called apt, yum, or dnf as shown.
# apt install filemanager-name [On Debian/Ubuntu/Mint] # yum install filemanager-name [On CentOS/RHEL] # dnf install filemanager-name [On Fedora]
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.
It has the following major features:
- Powered by KHTML rendering engine
- Uses a universal file viewer
- Has highly customizable applications
Visit Homepage: https://konqueror.org/
2. Nautilus File Manager
Formerly known as Nautilus, it is a simple and default file manager on the GNOME desktop, it offers a user easy navigation and management of files on a Linux system.
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
Visit Homepage: https://wiki.gnome.org/Apps/Nautilus/
3. Dolphin File Manager
Dolphin is a free, open-source, lightweight file manager developed as part of the 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.
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
Visit Homepage: https://www.kde.org/applications/system/dolphin/
4. GNU Midnight Commander
It is free software, full-screen, text mode, a visual file manager that lets a user search, copy, move and also delete files and even whole directory tree.
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 an 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
Visit Homepage: https://www.midnight-commander.org/
Installation Instructions: https://www.tecmint.com/midnight-commander-a-console-based-file-manager-for-linux/
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
Visit Homepage: https://www.kde.org/applications/utilities/krusader/
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.
Visit Homepage: http://wiki.lxde.org/en/PCManFM
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.
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 featured 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
Visit Homepage: http://roland65.free.fr/xfe/
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.
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 the back, forward, up, refresh
- Supports several configuration options and many more
Visit Homepage: https://github.com/linuxmint/nemo
9. Thunar File Manager
Thunar is a modern, lightweight file manager for Xfce desktop, designed to be fast, responsive, and easy to use. One thing you will like about it is its clean and intuitive interface with few and important user options available.
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
Visit Homepage: http://docs.xfce.org/xfce/thunar/
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.
Visit Homepage: http://ignorantguru.github.io/spacefm/
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 of handling the icons on the mate desktop environment and works on local and remote filesystems.
Visit Homepage: https://github.com/mate-desktop/caja
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 a “rifle”, a file starter that is best at auto-detecting which program to use for what file format.
Visit Homepage: http://ranger.nongnu.org/
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.
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 the 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.
15. Polo File Manager
Polo is a modern, lightweight 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 cloud storage; running and managing KVM images, and so much more.
16. cfiles – Terminal File Manager
cfiles is a command-line file manager that comes with vim like keybindings, written in C language using the ncurses library. It aims to offer an interface like a ranger while being lightweight, fast, and minimal.
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, a 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, an emacs is an excellent tool for file management. You can use it to list files, copy/delete, rename, move files, create/delete a directory, in the same way, you do in the Linux shell.
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 a curses interface, which offers a 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.
21. Worker File Manager
Worker is another lightweight, 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 the history of accessed directories; supports live filtering, and access to commands by using the keyboard.
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, such as an 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 various scripts.
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 status bar when large files are being moved or pasted, and much more.
25. lf – Terminal File Manager
lf is a simple, lightweight, and cross-platform terminal file manager inspired by a 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, If tries to automatically adapt its colors to the environment and supports preview filtering for source highlight, archives, pdfs/images as text, and more.
jFileProcessor is a lightweight file and list manager with features for common file operations (copy, cut, paste, delete, create a new folder, etc.), searching files by name, dates, or sizes. It also supports bookmarks.
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, a powerful custom command system, customizable key bindings, support for drag and drops 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.
fman is a dual-pane file manager for Linux, Windows, and macOS. You can use it to explore directories, copy or move files, mount external devices, perform file-related tasks much more efficiently than other file managers.
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 at 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.