On a UNIX like system, perhaps file managers are the second most used software, after a terminal emulator.
There are many file managers, both GUI and CLI even web browser based, though the GUI versions are most widely used.
File managers are often integrated part of a desktop environment, like Dolphin for KDE desktop and Nautilus for Gnome. But they are somewhat bloated and depends on some part of the relative desktop environment.
So here some Qt based desktop environment independent file managers.
Why Qt based ? Qt based GUI offers a more cleaner look and feel compared to GTK+ based apps, they also could customized with custom Qt style sheets.
1. PCManFM Qt
PCManFM is the file manager of LXQt desktop but no LXQt related dependency, the author ported the PCManFM to Qt, therefore the PCManFM Qt .
Like the original GTK+ version it's also very lightweight and loads very fast.
It's enough feature rich like app launcher, bookmark editor, open in terminal, simple file search utility and like so.
The pre-compiled binary package is available in most GNU/Linux distro's software repository.
Actually the recent version 0.12.0 is quite usable, specially if compiled against Qt 5.9.x or above.
This new version fixes some previous bugs like problem with custom actions, hide the menu bar etc. etc.
2. QtFM filemanager
This is another very small Qt 4 based file manager with some basic features, like a bookmark bar on left side, tabbed file browser etc.
Two distinct feature of QtFM are
- You could add custom keyboard shortcuts to speed up the work flow.
- You could add custom actions like create archive in the contextual menu.
Official website www.qtfm.org .
The only disadvantage is you've to compile the binary yourself to use it.
Yefm is a fork of QtFm, could be compiled with both Qt 5 and Qt 4, with two pane file browser and multiple tabs.
This lightweight qt filemanager also includes a bookmark manager, a mime type editor. Custom actions like extract here , compress file etc. etc. also could be added.
There is a nice menu to toggle different settings and GUI style. Currently no binary packages available, download and compile yefm from github repository .
Like the previous, there's no precompiled binary packages to test it quickly.
This is a Qt 4 based file manager with modern features and lots of settings to play around. You could add custom action like file archiving support to the contextual menu.
There are some special inbuilt tools inside Dino file manager.
- A simple HEX editor, QHexEdit fork.
- A simple but effective Qt based text editor.
- A clipboard manager with clipboard history.
Both pre-compiled binary and source code available in sourceforge .
New breeze file manager is an advanced Qt 4 based file manager with custom QtWebkit based GUI, the interface focuses on maximum visible space usability.
NewBreeze file manager could show quick preview of Folder, text, html, image, odt and pdf files. The GUI is highly configurable and lots of settings option.
The unconventional interface is hard to adapt when using first time, to be honest, it's not very usable. Download it from the Qt apps website.
There are many Qt based file managers around not listed here, more will be developed soon.
Facing problem to change Qt5 application style, icon theme, font style ? Here is how to change Qt5 application style with qt5ct .
All file managers listed here are still under development or not picked up by mainline GNU/Linux distros, except PCManFM Qt, so you may need to compile them from source code. If you have any suggestion or question, just leave a comment.
Ole-André Rodlie says
QtFM is now maintained at https://qtfm.dracolinux.org.
Latest stable release is 6.0.3 and 6.1-beta1 is available.
Ole-André (new maintainer of QtFM)
Arnab Satapathi says
That's awesome! Glad to know that it got a new maintainer. I truly appreciate your effort.
Tested the 6.1-beta1 release. It's lot better than the previous versions, liked the custom actions feature.
However it needs more polishing.
Could I send you some feature request, suggestion, or possible bug issue?
Marcus Britanicus says
Nice article on Qt-based light weight file managers. I think all the FMs you've listed now compile with Qt5.
A lot has changed since you reviewed NewBreeze. I do hope you check out the latest version. It has a far better GUI than the one in the pic above. Also one small correction: NewBreeze UI is not based on QtWebKit. It is based on QWidget and QAbstractItemView/QAbstractItemModel.
Another nice light weight file manager I've come across is Andromeda: https://github.com/ABBAPOH/Andromeda
Arnab Satapathi says
Thanks Markus, I'm pleased to have the NewBreeze developer here.
As NewBreeze is now available to download as deb packages, I'll review it ASAP.
And thanks for informing about Andromeda.
Thanks for article!
Thanks for article.
NewBreeze - how do I use it as the default file manager in LXQT (archlinux)
Thanks in advance and good luck.
Thanks sir for the feedback, it inspired me a lot.