Minase – SIXEL-based terminal file manager

A file manager is software which provides a user interface to assist in the organization of files. It helps users with their daily work in managing their files on a hard drive or other storage device. With multiple terabyte hard disks becoming prevalent, file managers represent an essential tool in managing file systems.

Every file manager provides basic operations such as to create, open, view, edit, search, rename, move copy, and delete files. However, file managers typically come supplied with sophisticated functionality including network connectivity, directory synchronizing, archive handling, advanced searching, shortcuts, file/folder comparisons, checksums, plugins, and more, making them an incredibly powerful tool.

In the field of system administration, Linux has bags of graphical file managers. However, some users prefer managing files from the shell, finding it the quickest way to navigate the file system and perform file operations. This is, in part, because terminal file managers are more keyboard friendly, enabling users to perform file operations without using a mouse, and make it quicker to navigate the filesystem and issue commands in the console at the same time.

There’s lots of terminal file managers available for Linux. One that we’ve not covered previously is Minase. It’s written in C++, published under an open source license, and relatively unknown. Let’s change that!


The developer doesn’t provide any convenient packages for Linux distros. Instead you compile the source code. On a fresh Ubuntu 20.04 distribution, I needed to install a few packages. You’ll probably have some of these already installed, but for completeness:

$ sudo apt install git cmake libtag1-dev uchardet libuchardet-dev libsixel-bin

Then clone the project’s repository, and compile the source code.

$ git clone https://github.com/SAT1226/Minase.git
$ cd Minase
$ cmake .
$ make -j4

And to install the program, run the command:

$ sudo make install

The default configuration installs the binary to /usr/local/bin.

Next page: Page 2 – In Operation

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction / Installation
Page 2 – In Operation
Page 3 – Memory usage
Page 4 – Summary

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