5 best Linux file managers

Using a dedicated file manager will make working with Linux a whole lot easier

Linux on a blue background with a circuit-board-like graphic

While most Linux distributions come with a GUI-based file manager, you may not be comfortable using them. As with most other things in Linux, if you don’t like what you get with a Distro, you can always download and use an alternative. 

Here is a list of the five best Linux file managers.

  1. Dolphin

This file manager is the default option that comes with the KDE Plasma Environment. It has several novel features, such as multiple tabs and split view to enable multiple folders at the same time. Users can drag and drop files between views to move or copy them.

It also supports three view modes: a classic grid view of all the files, a more detailed view, and a tree view. Also, an integrated terminal lets users run commands on the current folder. 

Dolphin is highly configurable and users can add plugins to adapt it to specific workflows. It also sports a git integration plugin to interact with git repositories or the Nextcloud plugin to synchronize your files online, and much more.

Download: Dolphin (Free)

  1. Thunar

Thunar is a file manager for the Xfce Desktop Environment designed to be fast and easy to use. It does this by offering a clean, intuitive user interface that does not include any confusing or useless options.

It also supports third-party plugins that extend its functionality. Examples of these plugins include Bulk Renamer, which renames multiple files at once; Custom Actions, which allows custom commands associated with common mime-types or extensions; and Volume Manager, which automatically manages removable devices in Thunar.

Download Thunar (Free)

  1. Double Commander

This is a two-pane file manager that provides several features and is heavily influenced by Total Commander, a Windows-only file manager with comparable features.

It sports a tabbed interface with batch rename support, built-in text editor, file viewer, and customizable button bar. A file view allows users to look at hex, binary, and text data too.

It can also copy files to and from several archive formats, such as tar, zip, rar, gz, and bz2. Double Commander also accepts Total Commander plugins to extend its functionality.

Download: Double Commander (Free)

  1. Ranger

Ranger features a minimalist user interface that looks like a basic console.  It features UTF-8 encoding, multi-column display, previews of selected files, and directories. The Vim-like console — Vim is a Linux text editor — enables users to use the same hotkeys for file management. 

It can also automatically determine file types and run them with correct programs and change the directory of a user’s shell after exiting the file manager. Users can also rename multiple files at once.

Download: Ranger (Free)

  1. SpaceFM

Related Resource

Is a good work/life balance still just a pipe dream?

Sample our exclusive Business Briefing content

A man balances the words 'work' and 'life' on a cylindrical piece of wood - Is a good work/life balance still just a pipe dream? - The Business Briefing from IT ProDownload now

SpaceFM is a multi-panel tabbed file and desktop manager for Linux with a built-in VFS, udev- or HAL-based device manager, customizable menu system, and bash integration. SpaceFM aims to provide a stable, capable file manager with significant customization capabilities.

It has extensive file management features to move, copy, link, plus configurable drag-and-drop and unique clipboard functions. There is also a Find-As-You-Type search function to find a file with a case-sensitive/insensitive search of filenames. Users just need to type a few letters or use a wildcard pattern.

There are also system management features to safely perform convenient commands as root: edit, copy, move, and delete files and folders as root. Users can also change permissions and create links or run a root instance.

Download: SpaceFM (Free)

Featured Resources

Preparing for AI-enabled cyber attacks

MIT technology review insights

Download now

Cloud storage performance analysis

Storage performance and value of the IONOS cloud Compute Engine

Download now

The Forrester Wave: Top security analytics platforms

The 11 providers that matter most and how they stack up

Download now

Harness data to reinvent your organisation

Build a data strategy for the next wave of cloud innovation

Download now

Recommended

How to choose the right cloud supplier for your business
cloud hosting

How to choose the right cloud supplier for your business

18 Jun 2021
Best Linux distros 2021
operating systems

Best Linux distros 2021

7 May 2021
Google to fund Linux developers to fix kernel security problems
Linux

Google to fund Linux developers to fix kernel security problems

25 Feb 2021
Log-On Wave for IBM Z simplifies highly virtualized environments
virtualisation

Log-On Wave for IBM Z simplifies highly virtualized environments

16 Nov 2020

Most Popular

RMIT to be first Australian university to implement AWS supercomputing facility
high-performance computing (HPC)

RMIT to be first Australian university to implement AWS supercomputing facility

28 Jul 2021
Department of Veterans Affairs signs a $497M deal with Peraton
IT infrastructure

Department of Veterans Affairs signs a $497M deal with Peraton

2 Aug 2021
Tesla Megapack goes up in flames at Australian battery site
Hardware

Tesla Megapack goes up in flames at Australian battery site

30 Jul 2021