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Install Tabbed File Manager in Ubuntu

One of the greatest mysteries to me is why most file managers don’t have tabs – it makes performing tasks so much simpler. I’ve found a lightweight file manager for Ubuntu called PCMan that gives you most of the functionality from Nautilus, but also has tabs.

To install this file manager, you can either use the built-in Add/Remove applications dialog or use the command line. Just type in PCMan into the search box, and change the drop-down to “All Open Source applications” and you’ll see it in the list.

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Or you can much more quickly install it with apt-get:

sudo apt-get install pcmanfm

Once it’s installed, you can find it under System Tools \ PCMan File Manager

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And there we are… you can see that it has a decent amount of options, although not quite as many as Nautilus does.

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The one option that it has by default that Nautilus doesn’t have is the “Open in Terminal” option, which I find much more useful than anything in Nautilus.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 07/10/07

Comments (13)

  1. Pepe Gonzalez

    You wanted “Open Terminal Here” in Nautilus? You got it:
    $ sudo aptitude install nautilus-open-terminal

  2. Greybeard

    I used PCMan File Manager for sometime because it had a tabbed interface. I became frustrated with the long time it takes to generate thumbnails for pictures. I have some directories with lots of photos and desktop backgrounds. So for the time being I’ve switched back to Nautilus and anxiously await further development of PCMan FM.

  3. Ajo Paul

    Thanks, never knew a non-konqueror file manager had tabbed browsing

  4. Mark

    Shouldn’t the apt-get command be…

    sudo apt-get install pcmanfm

    ?

  5. The Geek

    Mark,

    Yes it should… updated!

  6. Mark Preston

    I would have liked this a lot more, if prior to installation, I had been told that Place/Computer would no longer bring up the CD/DVD and other devices. Now they are gone and I can’t get access to them.

    NUTS!

  7. The Geek

    This shouldn’t change anything on the place menu… in fact, most people’s complaint is that it doesn’t integrate into gnome.

  8. Mark Preston

    I would have liked this a lot more, if prior to installation, I had been told that Place/Computer would no longer bring up the CD/DVD and other devices. Now they are gone and I can’t get access to them.

    What is worse, sudo apt-get remove pcmanfm left me with NO file manager. It should at least be polite enough to restore what it removed. Or at least ask and re-install.

    NUTS!

  9. The Geek

    It’s very difficult to uninstall nautilus, as it draws the desktop. You can try relaunching it with Alt+F2 and nautilus, or log out and back in…

    Otherwise, try apt-get install nautilus if it’s really removed.

  10. Ry

    I’m unable to make it mount a partition from a slave drive, have i missed something?

  11. Zeke Krahlin

    Nautilus IS a tabbed file manager. Just hit -T. Or select from the menu: “File>New Tab”.

  12. chim cham

    Zeke, this post is from 2007 when Nautilus did not have tab capabilities. Tabs were not available in Nautilus until 8.10 Intrepid.

  13. Slym

    That PCMan File Manager is really really fast! Greybeard was right about the thumbnails though :/
    Any idea how to fix it? It’s ultrafast with everything else, but when you open a folder loaded with images it creates previews of only a few random ones and does it slowly as well…

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