31 Best File Managers [GUI + CLI] for Linux in 2024

31 Best File Managers [GUI + CLI] for Linux in 2024

In Linux file and directory management is so important that users always want to have a simple and easy-to-use file manager or file browser.

But sometimes having a feature-rich and highly configurable file manager for performing both simple tasks such as searching, copying, moving, creating, and deleting files, and complex operations such as remote access of files and SSH connections is very vital.

Whether you prefer a lightweight file manager with fewer features or a heavy file manager with multiple features and functionalities, it all depends on how you operate your system.

Below is a list of some of the best GUI file managers, Console file managers, and browsers that you can find on most popular Linux distributions.

Install File Managers in Linux

You can install these graphical or console file managers using the default system package management tool called apt, yum, dnf, apk, pacman, or zypper as shown.

$ sudo apt install filemanager-name          [On Debian/Ubuntu/Mint]
$ sudo yum install filemanager-name          [On RHEL/CentOS/Rocky/AlmaLinux]
$ sudo dnf install filemanager-name          [On Fedora]
$ sudo emerge -a sys-apps/filemanager-name   [On Gentoo Linux]
$ sudo apk add filemanager-name              [On Alpine Linux]
$ sudo pacman -S filemanager-name            [On Arch Linux]
$ sudo zypper install filemanager-name       [On OpenSUSE]    

1. Konqueror File Manager

Konqueror is a powerful and great file manager for the KDE desktop, it offers simple file management functionalities such as copying, moving, searching, and deleting files plus some advanced features and functionalities such as access to archives, browse and rip audio CDs, support for access to FTP and SFTP servers, smb (Windows) shares.

Konqueror File Manager for Linux
Konqueror File Manager for Linux

Konqueror Features:

  • Web browsing using KHTML or KDEWebKit as rendering engines.
  • File management using most of Dolphin’s features.
  • File management on ftp and sftp servers.
  • Embedded applications such as Okular, Calligra, Gwenview, and KTextEditor to preview files.
  • Different kinds of plugins: Service-menus, KParts, KIO, and KPart-plugins.

2. Nautilus File Manager

Formerly known as Nautilus, it is a simple and default file manager on the GNOME desktop, it offers a user easy navigation and management of files on a Linux system.

Nautilus File Manager for Linux
Nautilus File Manager for Linux

GNOME Files is widely supported on several desktop environments on Linux, therefore making it one of the best and also most popular.

Nautilus Features:

  • Simple to use menus.
  • Offers file safety.
  • Easy to understand at a glance.
  • Enables access to both local and remote files.
  • It has three views: Icon Grid, Icon List, and Tree List.

3. Dolphin File Manager

Dolphin is a free, open-source, lightweight file manager developed as part of the KDE applications package. Designed for simplicity, flexibility, and full customization, it allows users to browse, locate, open, copy, and move files around a Linux system with a lot of ease.

Dolphin File Manager for Linux
Dolphin File Manager for Linux

It is the default file manager on KDE desktops from KDE 4 onwards but users of KDE 3 can also install and use it. It replaced Konqueror as the KDE default file manager with the following features:

  • File previews
  • Breadcrumb navigation bar
  • Three view modes (icons, compact, and details)
  • Split views for easily moving files
  • Support for shortcuts
  • Undo/redo functionalities
  • Tabbed navigation
  • File sorting and grouping by name, size, type, and many other attributes

4. GNU Midnight Commander

GNU Midnight Commander is a free software that offers a full-screen, text mode, a visual file manager that lets a user search, copy, move, and also delete files and even whole directory trees.

Midnight Commander - Commandline File Manager
Midnight Commander – Commandline File Manager

It is feature-rich with some of these amazing features, especially for those who love to operate on the terminal:

  • Enables running commands in a subshell
  • Has an internal viewer and editor
  • Based on versatile text interfaces such as Ncurses or S-Lang, therefore, making it work on a regular console, in an X Window Term, or over SSH

5. Krusader File Manager

Krusader is also an advanced twin-panel file manager that works similarly to GNU Midnight Commander, but in a GUI setup and has some great features including:

  • Support for mounted filesystem
  • Advanced search module
  • Extensive archive handling and support for multiple archive formats
  • Support for FTP
  • Directory synchronization
  • File content comparisons
  • User-friendly and highly customizable
Krusader File Manager for Linux
Krusader File Manager for Linux

6. PCManFM File Manager

PCManFM is meant to be a replacement for the popular Nautilus, Konqueror, and Thunar file managers, PCManFM is the standard and feature-rich file manager on the LXDE desktop and has the following features:

  • Full support for GVFS with access to remote filesystems
  • Four view modes (icon, compact, detail, and also thumbnail)
  • Support for desktop management
  • Shows thumbnail for pictures
  • Bookmarks functionality
  • Support for tabbed windows
  • Drag and drop support
  • User-friendly GTK+2 interface
  • Default file association support plus many more, as I had mentioned, it is feature-rich.
PCManFM File Manager for Linux
PCManFM File Manager for Linux

7. X File Explorer (XFE)

X File Explorer (XFE) is a fast and compact commander-like file manager based on X Win Commander whose development has been discontinued for one reason or the other, originally developed by Maxim Baranov.

Xfe desires to be the file manager of choice for all light-thinking Linux/Unix enthusiasts!

XFE File Manager for Linux
XFE File Manager for Linux

The main aim of developing it was to offer a lightweight file manager for Unix-like operating systems, and it works well for those of you who enjoy working mostly on the terminal.

XFE is also featured rich but we shall not look at all of them here and some of them include:

  • Very fast GUI
  • Small memory footprints
  • Four file manager modes; one panel, directory tree, one panel, two panels and directory tree, and finally two panels.
  • UTF-8 support
  • Search files and directories
  • Disk usage command
  • Status lines
  • Root mode with authentication with utilities such as sudo and su.
  • Bookmarks support
  • Toolbar support
  • Autosave registry functionality and many more.

8. Nemo File Manager

Nemo is the default file manager on Cinnamon desktop, Linux Mint users must be familiar with it, it is a fork of the more popular GNOME Files.

Nemo File Manager for Linux
Nemo File Manager for Linux

It is also lightweight and has some great features which include:

  • Uses GVFS and GIO
  • Open in terminal support
  • Open as root support
  • Proper GTK bookmark management
  • Full navigation options such as the back, forward, up, and refresh
  • Supports several configuration options and many more

9. Thunar File Manager

Thunar is a modern, lightweight file manager for Xfce desktop, designed to be fast, responsive, and easy to use. One thing you will like about it is its clean and intuitive interface with few important user options available.

Thunar File Manager for Linux
Thunar File Manager for Linux

It has some great features which include:

  • Highly pluggable
  • Hidden settings
  • Rename several files at once
  • Custom commands associated with common extensions
  • Customizable send to menu plus many more

10. SpaceFM File Manager

SpaceFM is a great, multi-panel tabbed file manager for Linux desktops. Developed to provide a stable, efficient, and highly customizable file manager, some of its features include in-built VFS, HAL-based device manager, a customizable menu system, and bash integration.

Spacefm File Manager
Spacefm File Manager

11. Caja – File Manager

Caja is the default file manager for the mate desktop and it enables you to explore directories, preview files and start programs connected with them.

It is also capable of handling the icons on the mate desktop environment and works on local and remote filesystems.

Caja File Manager
Caja File Manager

12. Ranger Console File Manager

Ranger is an open-source terminal file manager with VI key bindings, which provides a minimalistic and better user-friendly interface with a view of the directory hierarchy.

It comes with a “rifle“, a file starter that is best at auto-detecting which program to use for what file format.

Ranger - Linux Console File Manager
Ranger – Linux Console File Manager

13. Linux Command Line File Manager

The Linux command line offers powerful and flexible file management functionalities, essential for working with the Linux filesystem.

It enables users to perform basic and advanced file management operations, including searching, copying, moving, creating, and deleting files.

Additionally, it supports protocols like FTP, SFTP, SMB server access, SSH connections, and more, making it a comprehensive tool for file management on a Linux system.

Linux Commandline File Manager
Linux Commandline File Manager

14. Deepin File Manager

Deepin File Manager is a powerful, classic, innovative, and easy-to-use file manager designed and built by the developers of the Deepin operating system.

Like most open-source file managers, deepin file manager simplifies user operation and comes with many distinctive features such as an easy-access navigation bar and diversified view and sorting.

Deepin File Manager
Deepin File Manager

15. Polo File Manager

Polo is a modern, lightweight, and advanced file manager for Linux with support for multiple panes and tabs. It also features a device manager, archive support; PDF, ISO, and image actions; supports checksums and hashing, and video downloads.

Importantly, it supports cloud storage; running and managing KVM images, and so much more.

Polo File Manager
Polo File Manager

16. cfiles – Terminal File Manager

cfiles is a command-line file manager that comes with vim-like keybindings, written in C language using the ncurses library. It aims to offer an interface like a ranger while being lightweight, fast, and minimal.

cfiles - Terminal File Manager
cfiles – Terminal File Manager

17. Double Commander

Double Commander is a free cross-platform open-source file manager with two panels side by side, inspired by Total Commander, and features some new ideas. It features an internal text editor with syntax highlighting, a built-in file viewer to view files of in hex, binary, or text format, multi-rename tool.

In addition, it handles archives as if they were sub-directories allowing you to easily copy files to and from them. It also supports an extended search function with full-text search in any file and so many other exciting features.

Double Commander
Double Commander

18. Emacs File Manager

Emacs is a well-known, extensible text editor used mainly on Unix-based systems such as Linux, by programmers, scientists, engineers, students, and system administrators.

Unlike most text editors in Linux, an emacs is an excellent tool for file management. You can use it to list files, copy/delete, rename, move files, and create/delete a directory, in the same way, you do in the Linux shell.

Emacs File Manager
Emacs File Manager

19. Pantheon Files

Pantheon Files is a simple, powerful, stylish, and minimal file manager. It is the default file manager on Elementary OS. Pantheon Files is minimal and very easy to use. It is a good file manager for Linux newbies as it offers all useful commands in plain sight – on the toolbar or the sidebar.

Pantheon Files
Pantheon Files

20. Vifm File Manager

Vifm is a cross-platform, fully-featured file manager with a curses interface, which offers a Vi/m-like environment for managing objects within file systems. It borrows a number of useful ideas from Mutt – a text-based email client with powerful features.

For vi users, Vifm gives you complete keyboard control over your files without putting effort into learning a new set of commands.

Its feature set includes vim-like user mappings, vim-like command-line mode with ranges and abbreviations, vim-like marks and registers, directory tree comparison, operation undoing/redoing/backgrounding, FUSE file systems support, and much more.

Vifm Commandline File Manager
Vifm Commandline File Manager

21. Worker File Manager

Worker is another lightweight, simple, easy-to-use, and feature-rich, two-pane file manager for the X Window System on Unix-like systems. It is intended to make managing files easy with full keyboard control.

It shows directories and files in two independent panels, and supports many advanced file manipulation features that allow you to find files and directories by using the history of accessed directories; supports live filtering, and access to commands by using the keyboard.

Worker File Manager
Worker File Manager

22. nnn – Terminal File Manager

nnn is a minimal, blazing-fast, and feature-packed terminal file browser. It runs on Linux, macOS, Raspberry Pi, BSD, Cygwin, Linux subsystem for Windows as well as Termux. It is intended to bridge the gap between the terminal and the desktop environment.

It comes with some powerful features, such as an application launcher, different modes (such as unique “navigate-as-you-type” mode with auto-select and disk usage analyzer mode), Unicode support, and much more. It also supports various scripts.

nnn - Terminal File Manager
nnn – Terminal File Manager

23. WCM Commander

WCM Commander is a cross-platform, file manager with a very fast user interface, for Linux, FreeBSD, Windows, and OS X. It features a mimic look and feel built-in terminal and text editor with syntax highlighting built-in text viewer, and a virtual file system (smb, FTP, sftp).

WCM Commander
WCM Commander

24. 4Pane File Manager

4Pane is a simple, fast, easy-to-use, and multi-pane file manager for Linux systems. It focuses so much on speed rather than visual effects. It features multiple undo and redo of most operations (including deletions), and supports archive management. 4Pane comes with a terminal emulator and a number of user-defined tools.

It supports multiple renaming/duplication of files, displays a progress bar in the status bar when large files are being moved or pasted, and much more.

4Pane File Manager
4Pane File Manager

25. lf – Terminal File Manager

lf is a simple, lightweight, and cross-platform terminal file manager inspired by a ranger with a number of missing and extra features. It has a server/client architecture to share file selection between multiple instances.

lf can be configured with shell commands and supports customizable keybindings. In addition, If tries to automatically adapt its colors to the environment and supports preview filtering for source highlights, archives, pdfs/images as text, and more.

lf Terminal File Manager
lf Terminal File Manager

26. jFileProcessor

jFileProcessor is a lightweight file and list manager with features for common file operations (copy, cut, paste, delete, create a new folder, etc.), searching files by name, dates, or sizes. It also supports bookmarks.

jFileProcessor File Manager
jFileProcessor File Manager

27. qtfm File Manager

qtfm is a simple and lightweight file manager using Qt, with a customizable interface. It comes with features such as desktop (theme/applications/mime) integration, a powerful custom command system, customizable key bindings, support for drag and drop functionality, tabs, and udisks support.

Qtfm File Manager
Qtfm File Manager

28. PCManFM-qt

PCManFM-qt file manager is the Qt port of PCManFM. It also doubles as an icon manager. In LXQt sessions, it’s in addition used to handle the desktop.

PCManFM-Qt File Manager
PCManFM-Qt File Manager

29. fman

fman is a dual-pane file manager for Linux, Windows, and macOS. You can use it to explore directories, copy or move files, mount external devices, and perform file-related tasks much more efficiently than other file managers.

fman file manager
fman file manager

30. Liri Files

Liri files is a simple and easy-to-use tool to access and organize files. It is the default file manager for Liri operating system.

Liri Files
Liri Files

31. Ytree

Ytree is a simple, fast, and easy-to-use curses-based file manager similar to DOS Xtree, which is effective for browsing filesystems and archives in Linux.

Ytree File Manager
Ytree File Manager

This list must have left many of you wondering why I have not mentioned some of your favorite file managers here but the list here is endless believe me if we are to look at all the usable and good file managers available in Linux the choice depends on you as an individual.

You can share with us any file managers you are using out there, that you think deserve to be mentioned here through the comment section below.