This node will be frequently updated.


GXExplorer ( File/Folder Panes, nice toolbars. (Free)
Take Command/32 ( Command Line.
Drag and File ( File/Folder Panes.
FMEdit98 ( File/Folder Panes.
Windows Commander ( Dual Pane.
HaLWorks ( Multiple Panes, Extensions.
Anderson Commander ( Dual Pane, customizable toolbars.
WinBrowser ( NeXT-Like.

Servant Salamander ( *Top Five*
- Single/Dual Pane. Servant Salamander 1.6 beta 5 is my current primary file manager. It does everything I need, and I can edit the toolbars to my satisfaction. Use it.(Free?)

Singularity ( *Top Five*
- Single/Double Pane, customizable toolbars. This one duplicates nearly all the functionality of Windows Explorer, with tons of stuff added in. Its built-in Find command launches the explorer find though, and it takes slightly longer than most to load a directory listing, but I wouldn't hold that against it. (Shareware)

Magellan Explorer ( *Top File*
- Everything. If this one wasn't so damn unstable on my system, and was faster loading, I'd register it. It can do pretty much anything, and can look like just about any file manager you could think of. It even duplicated the functionality of the Internet Neighbourhood FTP client, FTP sites right alongside your drives. (Shareware)

2xExplorer ( *Top Five*
- Dual panes, and rather fast loading time. Changing folders by entry requires clicking on a toolbar entry field, and typing in your address. The great thing about this is that you could specify 'c:\dropbox\a*.html', and it will filter that list for you. It has a decent internal file finder, and folder information display, although the internal options are rather sparse, the loading time and search options make up for it. The latest version, RR, adds a sorely needed drive/navigation bar, and a bookmark menu. Note: This one allows you to open a folder by specifing it via command line params, like explorer. (Freeware)

PowerDesk ( *Top Five*
- This one is pretty much a clone of explorer, with additional functions. It has a nice assortment of built-in tools, however... (adware/commercial)

TurboBrowser (
- Not bad, but it has a few quirks. It has an integrated media viewer, File/Folder Panes, and everything is dockable, but it takes rather a long time to refresh each folder. Also, many of the functions it had previously are now seperate programs. (shareware/commercial)

ExploreCool (
- File/Folder/Preview panes, with navigation, drive and media toolbars. This one would be great, if it wasn't for how it doesn't use windows icons, instead limiting you to generic 'document' and 'program' icons. Also, it doesn't use the Windows context menus, making it useless for most of my tasks. (Free)

FileQuest (
- File/Folder/Personal/Bookmarks panes, MDI interface. Sparse toolbar, with tiny 'browse to' entry field. Custom tools bar, multiple file panels, this one has everything. The 'up one folder' icon is hideous in my theme, looking like a throwback to Windows 3.1. The Personal bar is neat, but I wish I could specify a different folder set for each type, instead of it indexing my entire drive. With a little work, this one could be the best on this list, but at the moment, no. (Shareware)

FileAnt (
- Multiple panes with folder views. It organizes views using tabs, so you can have quite a few panes open. The toolbars/interface is skinnable, but only with a tiling image. The problem with this is that it wont let you use it without an image over everything. There's no real option dialog, everything is done using the drop-down menu's instead. (Freeware)

Nighthawk (
- File/Folder/Preview/Outlook panes, which is a new one on me. Decent loading time, and the toolbar is pleasant enough. Favorites list shared, and there is no options dialog, all the options are on the menu. However, it's somewhat nonintuituve as to how to display the file listing, and there appears to be no way to sort the file list 'by type'. (Freeware)

TWinExplorer (
- Adware. Instant turnoff. Dual panes, file with folder optional, and the gradient toolbars look horrid in my colour scheme. Also, you can't configure the interface for each pane seperately, and the options that are availiable are rather sparse. (Adware/Shareware)

SlashX (
- Multiple tabs allow you to view various file types and media, however since the design of the app puts the toolbar and tabs into the same window, on my system I was required to scroll up or down to access each. It takes much longer than acceptable to load, even under Explorer, and the interface it somewhat static. (Freeware?)

Super Explorer (
- File/folder panes, MDI interface. Basic toolbar navigation interface, but some problems. You can't disable the toolbars, taking up a good portion of the window; you can't change display fonts unless you have a printer installed (Even for folder tree/file listing); and the icon was stolen from WinZip. Annoying splash screen, but overall it does show promise, and is relatively fast loading. (Shareware)

A file manager is a program that is used to manage files, typically using some GUI or other non-command-line solution.

File managers typically list the contents of a directory/folder in some format. Many use lists of various kinds (often configurable), others use icon view, and many of the file managers support multiple different types of views to the directories. The systems use various methods of navigating the directory tree (full path display, directory tree display, way to go to the parent directory, etc...)

The files can be selected for various operations, such as moving, copying, or launching in applications.

If an action to the file requires a target directory/folder (as in case of copying or moving), the file managers offer different ways of specifying it. Many modern file managers simply need the file to be dragged to the target folder and dropped; Some file managers use a dual directory pane, in which the user chooses the target directory to one pane, selects files in other, and issues the command.

Many file managers support arranging of files to pretty patterns, creating new directories/folders, changing file permissions/icons/properties, and, of course, using whatever options the OS gives for the file - launching the file, or using other commands for the file (for example, an image file may have "open in image viewer", "open in graphics program", "print", and "set as desktop background").

My personal choice for file management in Linux is GNOME's Nautilus, but your opinion may be different, who knows...

Strengths of file managers: The file managers often provide an easy and consistent way of managing files. I like Nautilus for many reasons - for example, finding files from image directories is easy, because it shows image thumbnails as icons; finding directories is easy, because I can add distinctive emblems to them.

Weaknesses of file managers: File managers are good for simple cases, but not for very complex cases or special needs. For example, renaming a single file is easy in file manager, but renaming multiple files with consistent pattern is much easier on command line! (Of course, some file managers also support scripting and launching external programs, but it's often easier to do write a quick shell command than to make a script for the file manager...)

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