File Managers

Sunrise Commander – Orthodox File Manager for Emacs

Sunrise Commander is a portable file manager for the Emacs text editor. It’s built atop of Dired and takes advantage of all its power, but also provides many handy features of its own.

Sunrise is implemented as a derived major mode confined inside the pane buffers, so its buffers and Dired ones can live together without easymenu or viper to avoid key binding collisions.

In Sunrise Commanders you press TAB to switch between the panes, and open files and directories by pressing the ENTER key. Users can select a file or directory by navigating using the directional keys, or more quickly by hitting C-s.

It automatically closes unused buffers and tries to never keep open more than the one or two used to display the panes.

The software is released under an open source license.

Features include:

  • Implemented as an independent major mode derived from Dired, what allows to have a rich feature set (key bindings, colors, functions, killing automatically unused buffers, etc.) without interfering with normal Dired stuff.
  • Transparent navigation inside compressed files/archives: zip, tar, tgz, rar, jar, war, ear, sar, … (using AVFS)
  • Virtual directories with the results of “locate”, “find”, “grep” commands (or whatever other command that produces a list of files/directories) that can be used as regular panes with copying, removing, renaming, following…
  • List of most recently visited files, also fully functional as a virtual directory.
  • An independent history ring for each of the panes that can be navigated forwards and backwards and also displayed in its own pane as a virtual directory.
  • Sorting directory contents by file names either alphabetically or numerically (e.g. file9.txt placed before file10.txt) or by date, size, extension; all in ascending and descending order.
  • Comparing directories by file names, sizes and thoroughly (using MD5 sums).
  • Comparing files using diff (for fast checking) or ediff (for more details and merging).
  • Synchronized navigation for comparing and merging whole directory trees.
  • Terminal integration: integrates well with any external shell that works in term-mode or with the emacs shell (eshell):
    • Terminal navigation: allows to use the active pane from the terminal window without actually switching to it.
    • Command line macro expansion: replaces automatically e.g. “%f” with the currently selected file, “%m” with all marked files, etc. without leaving the command line (while in line mode).
  • More “natural” functions for copying and renaming recursively files and directories. The default dired functions for these operations are somewhat “weird” compared to the ones one finds usually on OFMs.
  • Remembering the current locations of the panes.
  • Making a backup copy of selected or marked files with just one keystroke.
  • Many other small functions (swap panes, go to parent dir, follow file, show/hide hidden fields, change display of data, file coloring based on extension etc.) found usually on more mature OFMs.

Support: GitHub code repository
Developer: José Alfredo Romero Latouche, Štěpán Němec
License: GNU General Public License v3.0

Sunrise Commander

Sunrise Commander is written in Emacs Lisp. Learn Lisp with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

Return to Survey: Console Based File Managers

Popular series
Free and Open Source SoftwareThe largest compilation of the best free and open source software in the universe. Each article is supplied with a legendary ratings chart helping you to make informed decisions.
ReviewsHundreds of in-depth reviews offering our unbiased and expert opinion on software. We offer helpful and impartial information.
Alternatives to Proprietary SoftwareReplace proprietary software with open source alternatives: Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Autodesk, Oracle, Atlassian, Corel, Cisco, Intuit, and SAS.
GamesAwesome Free Linux Games Tools showcases a series of tools that making gaming on Linux a more pleasurable experience. This is a new series.
Artificial intelligence iconMachine Learning explores practical applications of machine learning and deep learning from a Linux perspective. We've written reviews of more than 40 self-hosted apps. All are free and open source.
Guide to LinuxNew to Linux? Read our Linux for Starters series. We start right at the basics and teach you everything you need to know to get started with Linux.
Alternatives to popular CLI tools showcases essential tools that are modern replacements for core Linux utilities.
System ToolsEssential Linux system tools focuses on small, indispensable utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users.
ProductivityLinux utilities to maximise your productivity. Small, indispensable tools, useful for anyone running a Linux machine.
AudioSurveys popular streaming services from a Linux perspective: Amazon Music Unlimited, Myuzi, Spotify, Deezer, Tidal.
Saving Money with LinuxSaving Money with Linux looks at how you can reduce your energy bills running Linux.
Home ComputersHome computers became commonplace in the 1980s. Emulate home computers including the Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST, ZX81, Amstrad CPC, and ZX Spectrum.
Now and ThenNow and Then examines how promising open source software fared over the years. It can be a bumpy ride.
Linux at HomeLinux at Home looks at a range of home activities where Linux can play its part, making the most of our time at home, keeping active and engaged.
Linux CandyLinux Candy reveals the lighter side of Linux. Have some fun and escape from the daily drudgery.
DockerGetting Started with Docker helps you master Docker, a set of platform as a service products that delivers software in packages called containers.
Android AppsBest Free Android Apps. We showcase free Android apps that are definitely worth downloading. There's a strict eligibility criteria for inclusion in this series.
Programming BooksThese best free books accelerate your learning of every programming language. Learn a new language today!
Programming TutorialsThese free tutorials offer the perfect tonic to our free programming books series.
Linux Around The WorldLinux Around The World showcases usergroups that are relevant to Linux enthusiasts. Great ways to meet up with fellow enthusiasts.
Stars and StripesStars and Stripes is an occasional series looking at the impact of Linux in the USA.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments