30 Best File Managers for Linux Systems

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Aaron Kili

Aaron Kili is a Linux and F.O.S.S enthusiast, an upcoming Linux SysAdmin, web developer, and currently a content creator for TecMint who loves working with computers and strongly believes in sharing knowledge.

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39 Responses

  1. mohan says:

    I though Thunar as best file manager. But when clicked on a icon and started typing, it did not auto-highlight the folder what i was searching for.

  2. Jaci says:

    I’m really sad to say this (as I am a Linux user 90% of time), but Windows Explorer is far more superior than any Linux file manager I tried, and I think I tried all possible options.

    Simply put, Explorer has all features in all Linux managers combined plus some more – like being extremely user friendly, dumb proof, metadata support (sorting music eg. by bitrate or filtering by artist are one of my favourites), per folder customization, massively extensible (basically on all levels of user experience, so if there is some missing feature then it’s likely somebody made a proper plugin), caching support which makes it really fast after some usage and a very good performance in displaying thumbnails of basically any file type, option to select by checkbox, highly configurable, super easy navigation (five modes – path entry, two-way path navigation, a tree, the main panel, a tree-in-main-panel panel), integration with OS (like having settings as an entry in a side panel), simple network locations support (eg. nautilus has it too, but I had to google how to use it…).

    OK maybe I missed something… but the general picture isn’t pretty ;)

    I understand that it’s open source and Explorer is paid (as a part of a paid system), but after decades of existence of something like “a file system” one could expect just a single piece of software which makes a good job.

    • Aaron Kili says:


      Many thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

    • Harry says:

      Sorry but that sounds like trolling.

      There may indeed be a few features missing that windows explorer does natively, but I personally find any of the available Linux explorers to be far more user friendly.

      None of the Linux explorers suffer from the “green bar of death” that has plagued some Windows users since Windows Vista (including me), which completely breaks any usability.

      Maybe the search function is fixed in windows explorer, but even in Win 8, it would fail to find files that I could actually see. (Masterseeker is by far the best option for windows search).

      The last time I looked there was no option for dual panel in explorer, so I would have to use a third party program, or have multiple windows open?

      For all the benefits to you, there are still some significant negatives.

    • sixtytrees says:

      You are right. All Linux file managers are half baked and are missing like 70% of Exlporer’s features. Thunar fails to search files. Go mess with terminal “find“: stupid flags, no way to select a bunch of files.

      Windows Explorer is missing just one feature: new TAB. Thunar has it.

      • Harry says:

        Thunar searches fine for me and so much better than the dreadful windows own search function.
        That said, Masterseeker for windows is the best search program of any that I’ve tried.

  3. Michael Biller says:

    Nemo and Deepin File Manager are good ones. While Deepin File Manager does not yet have a split screen option it can operate in a similar fashion with CNTRL+T. It also has the most awesome and useful tagging functionality that makes organizing your files so much nicer.

    Nemo is also a great File Manager that works well on just about any desktop environment. There are ways to install it that do not require the extra Cinnamon dependencies, also.

    Caja is worth mentioning as well. For a lightweight file manager Caja has quite a few features. Like Nemo, it works pretty well outside of its native Mate environment.

  4. fer says:

    I myself tried some of this commanders, but I really prefer only 2 of them – Gnome and Krusader, where Krusader is the best – comparable with Norton or Totalcmd – all other are clumsy – I need always twin panel.

  5. Saeed Iranzad says:

    None of them shows the metadata as file explorer in windows can show. I mean the data about the artist or name of song or exif of a photo.

    • Logan Byrd says:

      Actually, Dolphin has this. In Details View Mode if you right click on one of the default columns (name, size, modified) you can select additional columns, including audio metadata such as artist or album name, document word count, file tags you’ve assigned, etc.

      For images the metadata is a bit limited (date taken, width, height, orientation), but for other comm file types there are quite a few options. Might be worth a look Saeed!

  6. Mike Dempsey says:

    Ignore my comment … I just saw your #10 – SpaceFM.

    I had missed it when i first scanned the document.

  7. Mike Dempsey says:

    Is there any file manager that has a real ‘Tree View‘ interface so that we can see the entire directory structure instead of just one directory at a time?

    Ideally something like the old Norton [PC Tools] File Manager for Windows … or even just the lame Microsoft file explorer.

    • Rogerio M. Souza says:

      Like as (only RWindows):

      ztree (without GUI)
      xyplorer (with GUI)

    • Byron Taaka says:

      Nautilus has that option in preferences.

      • Jaco says:

        Byron Taaka There is no such option. There is no tree panel in Nautilus at all, not mentioning Windows Explorer’s synchronization between the tree and the main panel…

    • Logan Byrd says:

      Dolphin’s ‘Details View Mode‘ (whose icon is a tree) shows the full file tree relative to the current path. So if you navigate to /root, you can then expand folders down from there and see and interact with the entire tree in a single pane.

      For me it’s a bonus that you can “start” the tree at any root directory you wish this way. Combine this with +Split to open dual panes, and you have something very similar to MS File Explorer’s tree view (each of the split panes can use a different view, so you can have tree on the left and another view on the right).

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