The best Linux file manager to use in 2020

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Even though all files can be fully managed from the Linux command line through any other shell program like bash or zsh, most users still prefer to use a dedicated file manager application / program to simplify and simplify file management. This article will introduce popular GUI-based file managers that can be installed and used in Linux systems.

1. Nautilus

Nautilus is a GUI-based file manager, which provides a simple and integrated way to manage files and applications. If you are using GNOME, make sure that Nautilus is always running.

The following are the operations that Nautilus can perform:

  • Create folders and documents
  • Show your files and folders
  • Search and manage your files
  • Run the script and start the application
  • Customize the appearance of files and folders
  • Open a special location on the computer
  • Write data to CD or DVD
  • Install and remove fonts

Operation method

Nautilus provides two modes for you to interact with the file system. They are: spatial mode and browser mode.

Browser mode

By default, Nautilus is usually in browser mode. In this mode, the file manager window represents a browser and can be displayed anywhere. Opening the folder will update the current file manager window to show the contents of the new folder. What you will see in browser mode is that you will always have a window to display the contents of the folder you wish to display

Spatial mode

Opening a folder in space mode will open a new window for that folder. Each time you open another folder, a new window will start at the same size on the screen as the folder you last viewed. Therefore, in the space mode, the number of windows that are finally launched is as many as the number of folders of the content you want.

Install Nautilus on Ubuntu / Debian / Fedora:

--- Ubuntu / Debian ---
sudo apt install nautilus

--- Fedora ---
sudo dnf install nautilus

2. Tunal

The Xfce documentation describes Thunar as a modern file manager for the Xfce desktop environment. It was designed to be fast and easy to use from the beginning. Its user interface is clean and intuitive, and it does not contain any confusing or useless options by default.

The best Linux file manager to use in 2020

To maintain its streamlined functionality, Thunar supports third-party plug-ins that extend its functionality. Some of them include the following:

  • Batch Renamer-Rename multiple files at once
  • Custom actions-custom commands associated with common mime types or extensions
  • Archive plugin-allows creating and extracting archive files
  • Media tag plugin-improved support for ID3 tags
  • Sharing plug-in – use Samba to quickly share folders without root access
  • Volume Manager-Automatic management of removable devices in Thunar
  • VCS plugin – add Subversion and GIT operations to the context menu

you can Learn more about Tunal.

Install Thunar on Ubuntu / Debian / Fedora:

--- Ubuntu / Debian ---
sudo apt install thunar

--- Fedora ---
sudo dnf install thunar

3. PCManFM

PCMan File Manager (PCManFM), developed by Hong Jen Yee from Taiwan, is a file manager application issued under the GNU General Public License. PCManFM is free software and the standard file manager in LXDE. It is also developed by the same author and other developers. Source LXDE-Wiki.

The best Linux file manager to use in 2020

PCManFM function

PCManFM has many functions, the following list is truncated. They include:

  • Full gvfs support and seamless access to remote file systems (when the relevant gvfs backend is installed, sftp: ///, webdav: ///, smb: /// etc. can be handled
  • Picture thumbnail with optional EXIF ​​support (only local pictures default)
  • Desktop management-displays highly customizable wallpapers and desktop icons, and may have different wallpapers on each desktop and each monitor
  • Bookmarks-saved location. You can see them in the left panel of PCManFM. Visible in other Gtk + applications.
  • Multilingual (translated into several languages)
  • Can be started on a normal machine within one second
  • Tabbed windows (similar to Firefox tabs)
  • Volume management with optional automatic mount (mount / unmount / eject, gvfs required)
  • Drag and drop support
  • Can drag files between tabs
  • File association support (for example, open default application)
  • Provide icon view, compact view, detailed list view and thumbnail view.
  • Compliance with standards (following guidelines)
  • Clean and user-friendly interface (GTK + 2)
  • Trash can support
  • Application menu virtual folder support

Learn more about Wikipedia

Install PCManFM on Ubuntu / Debian / Fedora:

--- Ubuntu / Debian ---
sudo apt install pcmanfm

--- Fedora ---
sudo dnf install pcmanfm

4. Konqueror

The developers of Konqueror cannot resist the urge to make this application a reality. It is a mature web browser and swiss-army-knife, which can be used for any type of file management (browse files and directories to find, copy, move and delete files) and file preview (open files using pre-selected applications or Alternative application). In the background, Konqueror uses Dolphin KPart for file management, so it has all the functions of Dolphin. Konqueror’s versatility makes it one of the most popular file managers in Linux. In addition, Konqueror can also be used as an FTP client.

The best Linux file manager to use in 2020

Konqueror features:

  • Web browsing using KHTML or KDEWebKit as the rendering engine
  • Use most of Dolphin’s features (including version control, service menu, and basic UI) for file management
  • File management on ftp and sftp servers
  • Full-featured FTP client (you can split the view to display local and remote folders and preview in the same window)
  • Embedded applications can preview files (for example, Okular and Calligra for documents, Gwenview for pictures, and KTextEditor for text files)
  • Various plug-ins: service menu, KParts (embedded applications), KIO (access files using special protocols (such as http or ftp) and KPart plug-ins (such as AdBlocker)

Resources: KDE application.

Install Konqueror on Ubuntu / Debian / Fedora:

--- Ubuntu / Debian ---
sudo apt install konqueror

--- Fedora ---
sudo dnf install konqueror

5. Dolphin

Dolphin is a lightweight file manager compiled with KDE software. The ease of use and simplicity were considered in the design, while still allowing flexibility and customization. This means that you can manage your files exactly the way you want.

The best Linux file manager to use in 2020


  • The navigation (or breadcrumb) bar of the URL allows you to quickly browse the hierarchy of files and folders.
  • Supports several different view styles and attributes, and allows you to accurately configure the view as needed.
  • Split view allows you to easily copy or move files between locations.
  • Dockable panels provide more information and shortcuts, allowing you to move them freely and display exactly what you need.
  • Multi-tag support
  • Informational dialogues are displayed in an inconspicuous way.
  • Undo / redo support
  • Transparent network access via KIO system
  • Terminal integration: Terminal emulator Konsole can be directly displayed in Dolphin, so that shell commands can be used directly in Dolphin.
  • Resources: KDE.

Install Dolphin on Ubuntu / Debian / Fedora:

--- Ubuntu / Debian ---
sudo apt install dolphin

--- Fedora ---
sudo dnf install dolphin

6. Crusad

Krusader is an advanced dual panel (commander style) file manager for KDE Plasma and other desktops in the * nix world, similar to Midnight or Total Commander. It provides all the file management functions you may need. Krusader supports multiple archive formats and can handle other KIO slaves such as smb or fish.

The best Linux file manager to use in 2020

Features of Crusad

  • Extensive file processing
  • user friendly
  • Terminal integration
  • Mount file system support
  • File transfer via (S) FTP
  • Advanced Search Module
  • Internal viewer and editor
  • Directory synchronization
  • File content comparison
  • Powerful batch renaming
  • (Almost) fully customizable
  • there are more……

Find more information about Krusader on it Official website

Install Krusader on Ubuntu / Debian / Fedora:

--- Ubuntu / Debian ---
sudo apt install krusader

--- Fedora ---
sudo dnf install krusader

carry out

The file manager enhances and supplements your user interaction with the desktop. Most of the time spent on the PC involves file search, creating new files, deleting files you no longer want, and the list will continue. The file manager makes you easier and even more interesting, especially the file manager customized according to your personal preferences. You can try some of them to see which one is best for you. Otherwise, we thank you for coming and hope this article will be helpful to you.

Other guides you may be interested in include:

The best console / terminal file manager for Linux

Automatically clear unused temporary files in Linux

How to use the Linux find command to locate files

How to execute / open JNLP files on Linux – Ubuntu / Debian

How to unzip .xz files on Linux – CenOS / Ubuntu / Debian

How to use scp command to safely transfer files with examples

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