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The 4 best alternative file managers on Linux

All leading desktop environments on the Linux platform comes with a default file manager. These managers are packed with lots of useful features like integrated FTP client support, SAMBA support, NFS integration, quick mounting of hard drives, USB device support, SD card support, and much more. Still, amazing as all of the file managers on Linux environments are, they aren’t for everyone. Some users find them too bloated, and others simply don’t like the defaults and would prefer to use something else.

Thankfully, as the Linux platform is open source, there are dozens of alternative file managers to take a look at. In this list, we’ll talk about some of the best alternatives, their features, why you should use them, and even how to install them! Here are the best alternative file managers on Linux!

1. Double Commander

Double Commander is a free, lightweight file manager available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and BSD. It’s dual-panel, which allows users to manage and move data from different directories, side-by-side in one convenient window.

The app has dozens of useful features, and many in the Linux community consider it the swiss-army knife of file managers. Features include a built-in SSH client, built-in FTP, archive extraction support for all popular filetypes, and more.

Notable features

  • The Double Commander file manager can handle many different types of archive types, including ones like ZIP, TAR, TarGZ, Bz2, RAR, TGZ, RPM, CPIO, DEB, and others.
  • Double Commander has a built-in text editing tool that supports syntax highlighting.
  • Users can connect to SSH connections within the file manager, as Double Commander has a built client.

Download – Double Commander

Want to use Double Commander? We don’t blame you! To get your hands on it, you’ll need to head over to the project’s SourceForge page. The reason for this is that though Double Commander has been around for quite a while, it hasn’t made it into any of the mainstream Linux distribution’s software repos.

2. Krusader

The Krusader file manager is an ideal replacement file manager for KDE Plasma users who dislike the default Dolphin file manager that comes with the desktop and would prefer to use something a little more advanced.

Much like Double Commander, Krusader is a twin-panel style file manager. It offers up a lot of useful features such as support for various types of archive formats, a built-in text editor, and even a bulk renaming tool for files and folders.

All and all, we can’t say that Krusader is unique, as it’s not the first dual-panel style file manager out there. Still, it fits in incredibly well on the KDE Plasma desktop, and any KDE fan looking to get away from the default file management tool ought to check it out!

Notable features

  • Krusader’s advanced search function is on par with the built-in search function in the default KDE Plasma 5 file manager (Dolphin.)
  • Krusader has a built-in file/folder renaming tool that can be used to change the names of dozens of things at a time.
  • Thanks to the file comparison feature, users can quickly check for differences in the contents of files on their Linux systems.

Download – Krusader

The Krusader file manager is available on virtually every mainstream Linux operating system out there. For more information on how to install it on your OS, head over to this link on Pkgs.org.

3. JumpFM

JumpFM is a minimal, dual-pane file management tool for Linux, Mac, and Windows. It’s built with Electron and written in TypeScript and is open source.

The app is very minimalistic. Despite this, it manages to ship with some seriously useful features, such as Git awareness, the ability to install plugins via NodeJS’s NPM.

Overall, JumpFM isn’t the prettiest, or even the most useful if you’re an average Linux user. Still, if you’re sick of the bloat, and don’t mind the barebones nature of it, this app is one to check out!

Notable features

  • JumpFM lets users instantly “jump” to their favorite folders, and automatically remembers them with no need to set bookmarks.
  • The file manager is aware of Git-related directories, and can even display their Git status.
  • Users can quickly create Gists from selected files within JumpFM.

Download – JumpFM

Despite how exciting and unique the JumpFM file manager is, it’s not yet available in any of the mainstream Linux distribution’s software repositories. Those looking to try the app out will instead need to download the latest Linux AppImage from GitHub.

4. QtFM

In need of a complete, modern file management experience on your Linux PC but not willing to sacrifice features? Check out QtFM. It’s is a lightweight alternative file manager for Linux and BSD operating systems. It’s a Qt rework of the PCManFM file manager for the LXDE desktop environment and has excellent features like drag & drop, file manager tabs, Qt theming support, system-tray integration, and a whole lot more!

Notable features

  • Conforms to Qt desktop themes on LxQT and KDE Plasma 5, and has a customizable user interface.
  • Users can swap out keyboard shortcuts in the QtFM file manager to better suit their needs.
  • The QtFM file manager supports easy mounting of USB devices, SD cards, hard drives and various types of network connections, such as FTP, SAMBA, and others.

Download – QtFM

The QtFM file manager is in its early days, so you won’t be able to get it installed easily on many Linux operating systems. Instead, you’ll need to download the source code directly from the website and compile it.


While most people using Linux aren’t going to have severe issues with their file manager, it’s still great to know that there are alternatives out there for those that are looking for a replacement. If you’re dissatisfied with the default file manager that comes with your Linux desktop environment, do yourself a favor and switch to one of the ones on this list!

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