A file manager is software which provides a user interface to assist in the organisation of files. It helps users with their daily work in managing their files on a hard drive or other storage device. With terabyte hard disks prevalent, file managers represent an essential tool in managing file systems.
There are different types of file manager available for Linux. Orthodox file managers or “Commander-like” file managers adopt a two panel approach. Another type is the navigational (or browser-style) file manager representing the most common type of file manager available today. Less popular are spatial file managers which uses a spatial metaphor to represent files and folders as if they were real physical objects. There are also 3D file managers and web-based file managers.
HiFile is a Qt6-based orthodox file manager and therefore sports a classic dual-pane interface. We agree with the project’s developer that this type of interface is the most convenient. HiFile is cross-platform software but only the Linux version is free to use. As you may therefore guess, HiFile is not open source software.
Our favorite open source orthodox file manager is Krusader. We’ll therefore make comparisons between HiFile and Krusader along the way.
The only way to install HiFile in Linux is with AppImage.
AppImage is a universal software format for distributing portable software on Linux without needing superuser permissions to install the application. AppImage doesn’t really install software. It’s a compressed image with all the dependencies and libraries needed to run the desired software.
Download the AppImage file, save it to a directory where you have write permission, set the AppImage file’s permissions to be executable and run it.
The project’s website says you may need to install FUSE to be able to run the AppImage. This was already present on our test Ubuntu system.
Under GNOME, we prefer AppImages to be integrated with the system. We recently reviewed Gear Lever, a Python-based open source tool which offers a really simple way to integrate AppImages. Not only do your AppImage programs appear in the window below, they appear in “Show Apps”, and can be easily pinned to the Dash.
Note the text description of HiFile is simply a bold claim by Vladimir Kraus, the developer of HiFile.
Let’s now delve into HiFile.