GNOME Commander

From LinuxReviews
Jump to navigationJump to search

GNOME Commander is a classical two panel file manager similar to the MS-DOS Norton Commander and the CLI file manager GNU Midnight Commander. It is really efficient for tasks like selecting a few files from a folder with many files and moving or copying them into another folder.

While the name "GNOME Commander" indicates that this is a typical GNOME program it really isn't. It behaves more like a typical stand-alone GTK+ application since it looks and feels more like something made for the first GNOME version released decades ago than something designed for modern GNOME.

Features and usability


GNOME Commander supports mounting network folders using SFTP, FTP, Samba and Webdav. You can also quickly mount local files and folders.

It allows you to bookmark folders and quickly jump into them.

GNOME Commander supports the same F1-F10 keys for operations as GNU Midnight Commander. You select some files in a folder with ins and press F6 to move them. You can very quickly move files around if you are used to this kind of interface. You may find it difficult and inefficient to use if you never used this style of file manager before.

Using it to launch applications

It does support opening files using "GNOME mimetypes" but it's unclear what exact version of GNOME and what kind of mimetype configuration this refers to. It will, in practice, open files in something when you click on them or press Enter but clearly does not follow the same XDG mimetype configuration as everything else. As an example, clicking on a .png image results in Wine Internet Explorer opening that image even though everything else opens it in the application configured in $HOME/.config/mimeapps.list.

GNOME Commander is useful for moving files around. It is not at all useful for opening files in applications. There is probably some special way of configuring what programs uses to open filetypes. What it should do is follow the current standards and it does not.

Installing on Ubuntu

GNOME Commander is available in the standard repositories on Fedora and you can install it with sudo dnf -y install gnome-commander

It is NOT available in Ubuntu's repositories. However, it is a really small program which is fast and easy to compile and install.

sudo apt-get install itstool libxml2-utils libglib2.0-dev gtk+2.0 libgnome2-dev libgnomeui-dev

This may pull and install a lot of packages. Like 500 MB or so on a fresh install. When all the packages required to compile it is in place you can do the actual compile and install:

mkdir src; cd src
tar xfvJ gnome-commander-1.10.1.tar.xz 
cd gnome-commander-1.10.1
./configure --prefix=/usr/local 
make -j $(nproc)
sudo make install

This is how we installed it on Ubuntu 19.04. These instructions should work on any Ubuntu version.