In the seemingly never-ending quest to find the perfect, light weight graphical file manager, I have gone through just about every one I can find. So far my favorite has been Thunar (see Thunar content on Ghacks for more information) which comes standard with a few distributions. PCMan File Manger can be found in the LXDE desktop environment and was totally rewritten by the creator (Hong Jen Yee) to resolve some on-going bugs.
What we now have is an incredibly fast, easy to use, light weight file manager that will please just about any level of user. And best of all, it can be added to nearly any distribution. So if you are unhappy with your desktop's bulky file manager, I'll show you how to install and use PCMan File Manager to lighten up your desktops' load.
For a light weight file manager, PCMan File Manager has a nice list of features:
Installation is simple if you follow these steps:
Or, if you'd rather install from the command line:
sudo apt-get install pcmanfm(in Ubuntu) or
yum install pcmanfm(in Fedora). NOTE: If using Fedora you will have to su to the root user before you issue the command to install.
That's it. PCMan File Manager should now be installed. Let's see what it looks like and how it's used.
To start up PCMan File Manager click Applications > System Tools > PCMan File Manager. When you do you will see a fairly standard looking file manager pop up in next to no time.
The GUI is about as straight-forward as you can get. In fact, the GUI almost resembles that of Nautilus from the GNOME desktop.
If you're not fond of the Location view in the left navigation pane, you can switch that to Tree view by clicking the folder icon in the lower left corner.
Once very nice feature of PCMan File Manager is that you can very quickly open up your terminal of choice by either clicking F4 (when PCMan File Manager is open and has focus) or by clicking Tool > File Manager. Of course, before this will work you have to configure the file manager you want to use. To do this click Edit > Preferences and then click on the Advanced tab. From this tab click on the Terminal drop-down menu to select which terminal program you want to use.
Outside of that, PCMan File Manager works just as any file manager would. You can drag and drop between different file managers if you like and, as stated above, drag and drop files between tabs (to create a new tab click CTRL-TAB).
If you're looking for an incredibly fast, easy to use file manager you shouldn't have to look any further than PCMan File Manager. It doesn't have all of the features it's older siblings have, but it works incredibly fast and will fit well on your light and snappy window manager.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.