Linux is a popular operating system among developers, system administrators, and enthusiasts alike. One of the essential components of Linux is the file manager, which allows users to manage files and folders on their system.
In this article, we will discuss some of the best Linux file managers available, including their features and how to install them on various Linux distributions.
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What is a Linux File Manager?
A Linux file manager is a graphical application that allows users to navigate the file system and perform file and folder management tasks. These tasks include copying, moving, renaming, and deleting files and folders, as well as creating and modifying file permissions. Linux file managers also allow users to browse network shares and mount and unmount external storage devices.
In Linux, we can even mount online storage such as Google Drive in the file manager.
Best File Managers for Linux
Among the many file managers available for Linux, Nautilus is one of the most popular and widely used file managers.
Nautilus has been around for quite some time. It provides a simple and easy-to-use interface that allows users to navigate and manage their files and folders easily. Nautilus offers all the basic features expected from a file manager, such as copying, moving, renaming, and deleting files, and it also supports compression and extraction of files.
The interface is user-friendly and intuitive, with a sidebar that provides easy access to frequently used folders. It also offers support for tabbed browsing, which can be helpful when working with multiple directories. One of the unique features of Nautilus is its integration with the GNOME desktop environment, providing a seamless experience for GNOME users.
Nautilus’ performance is reliable, even when handling large directories with many files. The thumbnail generation is fast, and the file search is quick and accurate. However, Nautilus has some limitations, such as needing more customization options than other file managers.
It is the default file manager of major Linux distributions, including, Ubuntu and Fedora.
Overall, Nautilus is a solid and dependable file manager ideal for those who want an easy and user-friendly interface.
Dolphin is the default file manager for the KDE Plasma desktop environment, which is used by distributions such as Kubuntu, Manjaro, KDE Neon and many more. Dolphin is highly customizable file manager. It allows users to change the appearance and behavior of the file manager to their liking.
Dolphin is a popular file manager widely used among Linux users. Its interface is clean, modern and intuitive, presenting files and folders in a list with a preview pane for easy file viewing. It offers easy navigation buttons and search functionality, and the sidebar provides shortcuts to frequently used folders.
The file manager provides a comprehensive set of tools to manage files and folders. It supports file compression and extraction, file sharing over networks, and custom scripts that automate repetitive tasks. It also supports thumbnail previews for images, videos, and audio files and the ability to edit file metadata, such as the title and artist of an audio file.
Dolphin is known for its exceptional performance, even when handling large directories with hundreds of files. The thumbnail generation is fast, and the file search is quick and accurate. Dolphin’s speed and responsiveness make it an excellent choice for home and professional use.
Dolphin also offers a high level of customization options. It allows users to change the appearance of the sidebar, show or hide hidden files, and enable or disable automatic file previews. It also allows customization of the context menu, allowing easy access to frequently used features.
Overall, Dolphin is a reliable and powerful file manager with excellent performance and comprehensive features. Its integration with KDE, user-friendly interface, and customization options make it a top choice for anyone looking for a versatile and robust file manager on Linux.
- Install Dolphin in Ubuntu/Debian
sudo apt-get install dolphin
- Install in openSUSE
sudo zypper install dolphin
- Install in Fedora
sudo dnf install dolphin
Thunar is the default file manager for the Xfce desktop environment, which is used by distributions such as Xubuntu and Manjaro Xfce.
Thunar is a lightweight and fast file manager for Linux that offers a simple and streamlined interface. It is designed to be easy to use, making it an ideal choice for those who prefer a minimalist approach to file management.
Its interface is clean and uncluttered with a sidebar that provides easy access to frequently used folders. The main window displays files and folders in a clear and concise list, with the option to view thumbnails for image files.
Besides all the basic functionality, Thunar’s performance is impressive, even when handling large directories with many files. It loads quickly and responds immediately to user input, making it a great option for those who want a fast and lightweight file manager.
While Thunar may offer fewer features than other file managers on the market, it is an excellent choice for those who want a simple and reliable file management solution. Its lightweight design and fast performance make it perfect for older or lower-powered computers.
- Install Thunar in Ubuntu/Debian –
sudo apt-get install thunar
- Install Thunar in Manjaro –
sudo pacman -S thunar
- Install Thunar in Fedora –
sudo dnf install thunar
PCManFM is the default file manager for the LXDE desktop environment, which is used by distributions such as Lubuntu and Knoppix. PCManFM has a simple and easy-to-use interface, making it a great choice for users who want a lightweight file manager. PCManFM also includes features such as tabbed browsing, drag and drop support, and support for custom scripts.
- Install in Ubuntu/Debian –
sudo apt install pcmanfm
- Install PCManFM in Arch Linux
sudo pacman -S pcmanfm
- Install PCManFM in Fedora –
sudo dnf install pcmanfm
Nemo is the default file manager for the Cinnamon desktop environment, which is used by distributions such as Linux Mint and Solus. Nemo is based on Nautilus, but includes additional features such as a customizable toolbar, a built-in terminal emulator, and support for dual pane view.
- Install in Nemo Ubuntu/Debian –
sudo apt-get install nemo
- Install in Arch Linux
sudo pacman -S nemo
- Install Nemo in Fedora
sudo dnf install nemo
Linux file managers are crucial in managing files and folders on a Linux system. The five file managers we discussed in this article are some of the best file managers available for Linux, each with unique features and benefits.