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PCMan File Manager
PCMan File Manager.png
Developer Hong Jen Yee
Latest version 0.5.1
Release date and age 03 June, 2009
Frequently updated yes
Programming language C
Platform Cross-platform, Unix-like
Status active
Genre File Manager
License GNU General Public License
Website pcmanfm.sourceforge.net

PCMan File Manager (PCManFM) is a file manager application developed by Hong Jen Yee from Taiwan which is meant to be a replacement for Nautilus, Konqueror and Thunar. Released under the GNU General Public License, PCManFM is free software. PCManFM is the standard file manager in LXDE, which is also developed by the same author in conjunction with other developers.

PCManFM is intended to follow the specifications given by Freedesktop.org for interoperability in free software.


PCManFM's features include:

  • Thumbnails for pictures
  • Desktop - Icons[clarify]
  • Internet bookmarks
  • It is multilingual
  • Inotify support (experimental)
  • Multithreading to load large directories quickly
  • Can be started in one second on normal machine
  • Tabbed browsing (Similiar to Firefox)
  • Built-in volume management (mount/umount/eject through HAL)
  • Built-in file searching utility (GUI frontend for the UNIX find + grep command)
  • Drag & Drop support
  • Files can be dragged among tabs
  • Load large directories in reasonable time
  • File association support (Default application)
  • Handles non-UTF-8 encoded filenames correctly
  • Provides icon view, compact view, and detailed list view
  • Standard compliant (Follows FreeDesktop.org)
  • Clean and user-friendly interface (GTK+ 2)

¿What don't have?

  • Don't have support for SAMBA, you can't use \\ \\houselaptop or smb:\\houselaptop

PCManFM's look and feel can be modified to be like Windows Explorer. Therefore it is useful for people transitioning from Microsoft Windows to Linux.



The user should be aware that there is no trash - files are lost permanently. A dialog pops up when deleting, to confirm this. If the user is not happy with this, it is possible to:

  • use Thunar from XFCE, which should be easily installed from the repositories, in many Linux distros. Thunar is not quite as light as PCManFM, and doesn't control the desktop icons like PCManFM does, but still works well within LXDE.
  • Create a trashcan which will work with command line, and should work with PCManFM (has anyone confirmed this?) This also describes how to create a desktop trash icon.

Desktop Path

If your desktop displays the files of your /home/ and not the files on your real Desktop path, you probably do not have an established path "Desktop". To fix this please do the following:

  • mkdir ~/Desktop
  • nano ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs (as root)
  • and restart your LXDE session.

Desktop Icons/links

Desktop links are not totally obvious. Here are some hints.

How to Make Them

Open the files with editor to see how they work:

  • Look at the examples here: /usr/share/applications
  • A typical file name is like this one: leafpad.desktop The .desktop file extension won't show up on pcmanfm.

Other Hints

  • Copy files from /usr/share/applications to your ~/Desktop folder.
  • Make your own desktop links by following the examples above and put them in your ~/Desktop folder.
  • The same .desktop files are used for the buttons in the lxpanel (bottom task bar).

External Links