Alternative Linux file managers

Viewers and Players

The software uses third-party programs, such as Kate, Gwenview, and Okular on KDE for displaying file content. Double Commander also has its own viewers and editors, which you enable by pressing the function keys. For example, F4 starts a very simple integrated text editor and F3 opens a viewer that also displays hex and binary files.

Double Commander supports various archive formats, including ZIP, TAR, GZ, LZMA, and RAR archives, as well as DEB and RPM. The software even offers a directory synchronization tool; you will not need an external program for simpler data retrieval tasks. A batch option rounds off the functionality and enables fast renaming of multiple files in a single run. For quick navigation in large databases, the software lets you create bookmarks that support rapid content discovery.


Because of its huge feature set, careful configuration of Double Commander is recommended. You can reach the configuration window via the Configuration | Options menu item.

In the left pane, a configuration tree divides options into groups, and the corresponding context-sensitive settings are displayed in the right window. Here, you specify display functions and external programs, define or modify keyboard shortcuts, change the appearance of the software, or add new function buttons to the button bar, among other things (Figure 8).

Figure 8: Double Commander does not lack configuration options.

On Windows, the proprietary, commercial Total Commander has gained a large fan base as an all-round file manager. Its numerous extensions can be used in several formats for Double Commander and are available for download from the corresponding plugin page [6]. Plugins set up the file manager to perform tasks beyond plain vanilla file management.


You would be hard pressed to find another operating system that offers as many programs for file management as Linux – the choice is accordingly difficult. Resource-saving contenders like XFE and Sunflower are excellent for use on older hardware, regardless of the desktop environment.

Vifm, in contrast, is only likely to find favor with users who are already familiar with the Vi(m) text editor: If you do not want to do without mouse control and a graphical interface, you will need to look elsewhere. If you are looking for a multitalented file manager that can even handle synchronization tasks and include network drives, your best option is Double Commander.

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