20 Best File Managers for Linux Systems

File Manager is one of the most essential parts of any operating system but when you are dealing with an operating system that has the motto of “Everything is a file” (Linux), you need to have a good file managing program with all essential features. S0, if you’re looking for the best file managers for Linux, we got you covered.

With all types of File Managers such as GUI and terminal-based file managing software, every Linux file manager has a large set of functionalities.

Best File Managers for Linux Users

Let’s start our list of the best File Manager for Linux with Dolphin.

1. Dolphin

1. Dolphin
Image Credits: Kde.org

Dolphin is the default File Manager for the KDE environment. The main goal behind the Dolphin project is to provide a simple, functional, and easily customizable File Manager for everyday use. You can perform your day-to-day task such as copying, moving, and searching with ease using dolphins.

Key Features of Dolphin:

1. Split Windows
2. Integrated Terminal
3. Previews
4. Undo/redo Functionalities

2. Konqueror File Manager

2. Konqueror File Manager
Image Credits: uxsup

Konqueror is a versatile and powerful File Manager that has the edge of being a good web browser and FTP client too. Konqueror is highly configurable and has multiple profiles to choose from.
Each of these profiles configures your Konqueror for achieving specific needs. It also provides windows views to monitor tasks and gives drag and drop functionalities too.

Key Features of Konqueror:

1. Support for GVFS for remote file access
2. Multiple view modes (icon, compact, Tree, and thumbnail)
3. Bookmarks Functionality
4. Drag and drop support

3. Gnome Files

3. Gnome Files_

Gnome is the default File Manager in the Gnome desktop environment which includes distributions such as Ubuntu, Pop_os, and so on. Gnome files make file management easy for new users and have space to grow for power users too by providing remote access and a clutter-free experience.

Key Features of Gnome files:

1. Minimal File management
2. Wayland-native
3. Nautilus action configuration tool
4. Widely supported

4. Nemo

4. Nemo

Nemo is the official file managing software of Linux mint and systems running cinnamon desktop environment. It is lightweight and includes all the essential features to perform day-to-day tasks. Being a form of nautilus 3.14x, it overcomes all the issues that nautilus had in past.

Key Features of Nemo:

1. Easily extendable
2. Multiple networking options
3. Elegant looks
4. Contains all navigation options (Back, Forward, Up, and Refresh)

5. Krusader

5. Krusader Krusader is an advanced twin-panel file managing tool for Linux systems. You get some hot features such as bulk rename, virtual File Systems, instant console availability, and handling archives with ease. It is well known for delivering consistent performance regardless of the size of the file you are dealing with.

Key Features of Krusader:

1. Great two-pane interface
2. Folder synchronization
3. SFTP support
4. Queuing support for long operations

6. Thunar

6. Thunar

Thunar is the default File Manager for the Xfce Desktop Environment which is known for being one of the most lightweight and stable environments. Thunar offers a clean and intuitive user experience by eliminating unnecessary options.

You can expand Thunar’s functionality by using third-party plugins such as bulk rename, volume manager, etc.

Key Features of Thunar:

1. Minimal dependencies
2. You can set up Custom actions easily
3. Non-recursive find
4. You can use patterns to select files
5. Keypress to search files in a folder

7. PCmanFM

7. PCmanFM

A fast, simple, and less resource-hungry PCmanFM is a File Manager which was intended to replace popular file managing tools such as Thunar and Nautilus. PCmanFM bundles with several features and are a standard file managing tool on LXDE.

Key Features of PCmanFM:

1. Lightweight
2. Out of the box support of Opening folder as root, Auto mounting drives, and so on.
3. Quick-directory typing
4. Quick Startup

8. Ranger

8. Ranger

Ranger is a powerful File Manager which has to be operated through a terminal window. The reason why terminal File Manager is listed here is that while handling files from the terminal makes things complex for a beginner, Ranger gives you a polished experience inside the terminal.

Key Features of Ranger:

1. Extensible and scriptable using python
2. File preview
3. Key bindings are similar to Vim
4. Image preview support

9. nnn

9. nnn

nnn is a blazing fast terminal-based File Manager for power users. There is always a learning curve involved when we talk about terminal but nnn has almost no learning curve and gives you a perfect combination of performance and user experience.

Key Features of nnn:

1. Disk usage analyzer mode
2. Multiple sorting preferences
3. Easy compilations with minimum dependencies
4. Unicode support

10. Pantheon

10. Pantheon
Credits: how2shout

Pantheon is the default File Manager of Elementary OS. It gives you a polished experience out of the box without being heavy on resources. It can be very helpful for those who have just started their Linux journey because it is known for being beginner-friendly.

It is one of the rare File Managers who use the “Miller columns” view.

Key Features of Pantheon:

1. Premium finish without any configuration
2. Tab browsing allows restoring closed tabs
3. Full integration with GTK 3 and Granite
4. Supports extensions Including Color tags, Dropbox, and Ubuntu one

11. Caja

11. Caja

Credits: learnubuntumate

Caja is a fork of Gnome 2 nautilus to provide a user-friendly experience that switches from windows and gives you similar vibes to windows explorer. It is also a default File Manager for Mate desktops such as Ubuntu mate and gives all the basic functionalities out of the box.

Key Features of Caja:

1. Caja script extension
2. Can access Local and remote files
3. Less clutter and enough room to customize
4. Easy to configure and rock-solid

12. Deepin File Manager

12. Deepin File Manager

Deepin is the default File Manager for Deepin OS which is known for having elegant looks and beginner-friendly to adapt, similarly it also applies to its File Manager. You get one of the most polished experiences and almost no learning curve to adapt.

Key Features of Deepin File Manager:

1. Easy to manage external drives
2. Natural sorting of files
3. Beautiful UI
4. Dark theme support

13. Polo File Manager

13. Polo File Manager

Polo File Manager is an advanced Linux File Manager written in Vala. It is known for being lightweight without compromising looks and feels. There is a condition that if you donate to the developer of Polo for more than $10, you will get some additional features.

So let us have a look at the paid and free features separately.

Free Features of Polo File Manager:

1. Multiple panes including single, dual, and quad-pane layouts
2. Checksum & Hashing
3. Built-in Fish shell
4. KVM support

Features Based on Donation

1. Can write ISO files
2. Basic Image editing
3. PDF tools

14. XFE (X File Explorer)

14. XFE (X File Explorer)

XFE is a lightweight File Manager similar to windows file explorer. The main feature of this File Manager is being extremely lightweight and only requires a single FOX library to work flawlessly and is mainly aimed at users with low system resources.

Key Features of XFE:

1. Integrated Text editor (xfwrite) and Image viewer (xfimage)
2. Integrated RPM and DEB package installer
3. Custom shell scripts
4. Windows-like user interface with 4 UI modes

15. Midnight Commander

15. Midnight Commander

Midnight commander is a text-based File Manager and is in Development since 1994. It can be run on almost any Terminal you have. It provides a clear, User-friendly, and similar user interface to Unix systems.

It efficiently uses the whole Display area to boost your productivity and efficiency by a view of two directories at the same time.

Key Features of Midnight Commander.

1. Built-in virtual file system
2. Low-level file recovery system
3. Internationalized support by getting 45 Language supported
4. Command completion

16. Qtfm

16. Qtfm

Qtfm is another lightweight File Manager with enough room to customize it according to your Taste. It is known for delivering constant performance and works out of the box.
It also has features that we might need to complete our day-to-day tasks such as supporting a wide range of image, video formats, and document-related things.

Key Features of Qtfm:

1. XDG integration
2. Customizable commands and key bindings
3. Supports Tray daemon for showing and mounting drives
4. Multiple tabs with Drag and drop support

17. Command-line File Manager

17. Command-line File Manager

Command-line File Manager is not a particular piece of Software that you are required to install but comes in inbuild with Linux. It is a standard file management system that you see usually in terminals.

Yes, a learning curve is involved for being used to default file management but once you get there, you will get the fastest experience in file management ever!

Key Features of Command-line File Manager:

1. Powerful and flexible
2. Includes all main functionalities such as copying, deleting, etc.
3. Supports FTP, SFTP, and SMB server access
4. No installation is required

18. Cfiles

18. Cfiles
Credits: Tecmint

Cfiles is a terminal-based File Manager written in C language. It is heavily inspired by Vim and has similar key bindings. It is development stage but performs blazing fast with a clutter-free experience.

Key Features of Cfiles:

1. Written in C, what makes it easy to customize
2. Similar interfece to Vim
3. Keybindings are similar to Vim
4. Fast performance

19. 4 Pane File Managers

19. 4 Pane File Managers
Credits: linux-magazine

4 Pane is a Multi-pane File Manager without any bloat which aims for speed rather than visual effects. In addition to basic functionality, you also get some advanced features like multiple to undo and redo for almost all operations including deletion of files.

Directories and files are shown in different panes, generally, two pairs of these twin panes give you easy drag and drop functionalities.

Key Features of 4 Pane File Manager:

1. Multi-pane
2. Archive management
3. Extensible with user tools

20. fman

20. fman

fman is a keyboard-centric File Manager. It gets the job done without any extra job but has the functionality to extend its functions and features using third-party plugins. The reason why it is in the last spot is you need to pay to use it regularly (39 Euros)

Key Features of fman:

1. Speed and Efficiency
2. Remembers last visited directory and suggests most used first
3. Number of third party plugins

Which Linux File Manager Do You Love the Most?

The essential task for any file management tool is to handle files but when our requirements grow with time, we are required to change the default file system. There are a variety of tools available and each has its prime factor.

So in the end, it all boils down to your needs and UI while searching for one of the best file managers for Linux. If you ask me, I would suggest you go with Gnome Files as it has minimal file management and supports most of the file formats! Should you want to read more such guides, follow our Linux space for more updates!

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Sagar Sharma

Sagar always uses Linux to its core and loves to write the technical side of system administration! While he's not writing, you can always find him exploring new Linux distros!

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