File Managers

Excellent GTK File Managers to Manage your Filesystem

Last Updated on December 24, 2022

4. GNOME Commander


If you like Double Commander, we suggest you also check out GNOME Commander.

GNOME Commander is a “two-pane” graphical file manager for the Linux desktop. It aims to fulfill the demands of more advanced users who like to focus on file management, their work through special applications and running smart commands with an integrated command line. There’s support for tabs, bookmarks, and plugin support is under development. Currently, there’s only a File Roller plugin which makes working with archives practical.

It offers a useful internal file viewer for text, images, and image metadata. It has four display modes: text marking, text searching, and fast file loading.

Gnome Commander supports GnomeVFS, allowing access to network interfaces such as FTP, SMB, WebDAV and SSH.

The file manager is very strong in all areas. Highly recommended.

License: GNU General Public License version 2 or later


5. 4Pane


4Pane bills itself as fast and full-featured without bloat. Yet it’s more memory intensive than all of the other file manages featured here.

As the name suggests, the software sports two twin panes. Each twin pane provides a left directory tree-view and a right detailed-list view. Having double twin panes fits well into our workflow.

There’s a helpful wizard which helps new users configure the file manager for their system.

Although open source methodology produces superior code, the importance of producing quality documentation should not be underestimated. We often find that open source software could place more emphasis on producing clear documentation. 4Pane is unusual in that it offers a fairly comprehensive built-in manual.

4Pane is a very underrated file manager. It uses a very old version of GTK, but if you want a really fast and efficient file manager, look no further.

License: GNU General Public License v3.0


6. Sunflower


Here’s another remarkable and underrated file manager.

Sunflower is a small and highly customizable twin-panel file manager with support for plugins. You’ll want to enable the basic find file options plugin. Sunflower offers many powerful features.

It’s intended to be an easy-to-use and powerful file manager that seamlessly integrates into the GNOME desktop environment, but it works well on other desktops. Sunflower lets users integrate arbitrary terminal commands seamlessly via the Commands menu.

It’s written in the Python programming language. Sadly, development of the software is glacial. If you’re looking to contribute to an open source project, you might consider helping Sunflower.

License: GNU General Public License v3.0


Next page: Page 3 – SpaceFM, Thunar, Polo

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – PCManFM, Files, Double Commander
Page 2 – GNOME Commander, 4Pane, Sunflower
Page 3 – SpaceFM, Thunar, Polo
Page 4 – Tux Commander, Donatella, Files (Elementary)
Page 5 – emelFM2, Gentoo, Rox-Filer
Page 6 – Memory comparison
Page 7 – Summary

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Torin Doyle
Torin Doyle
4 years ago

Why no mention of Caja and Nemo?

Harold Plumber
Harold Plumber
4 years ago

And maybe in a future article you could cover non-GTK/non-QT window managers including XFE which uses the Fox widget library.

4 years ago

Hey folks. Thanks for mentioning Sunflower. Development has been stale for a bit due to my personal life and work taking most of my free time. However in the background I’ve been preparing new release for a while now, which will be based on GTK+ 3.20. This release will have better and simpler interface but without removing any of the existing features. It will be much faster and better optimized.

2 years ago

my favorites are Thunar and Caja, even they’re not perfect. nowadays I’m more than a terminal based FM guy though, I use Midnight Commander a lot.