Best File Managers for Ubuntu and Other Linux Distributions

Last updated: August 30, 2022 | James Kiarie

File management is one of the most essential and frequently carried out tasks carried out by Linux users. This involves locating, copying, moving, and deleting files and directories. In a GUI environment, the file manager, as the name suggests, allows you to seamlessly manage your files in a Linux environment. There are quite a number of file managers that can come in handy and make file management a delightful experience.

This guide covers some of the best file managers for Ubuntu and other Linux distributions.

1. Nautilus

Nautilus the default file manager in Ubuntu that comes with the GNOME desktop environment. Nautilus is a GUI-based file manager that provides a simple way to manage your files and applications.

Nautilus file manager
Nautilus file manager

Main features include:

  • The ability to display the contents of your home directory with one mouse click.
  • Gives you access to both local and remote files.
  • Allows you to customize the appearance of files and folders.
  • Saves frequently accessed elements in the Favorites folder for quick reference.
  • Archive file handling- Displays the content of a ZIP, tarball, RPM, CPIO, or other archive formats.

To install Nautilus on Ubuntu 22.04, run the command:

sudo apt install nautilus

2. Konqueror

Konqueror is a versatile and powerful file management tool that also functions as a web browser and FTP client. It is a core part of the KDE Software Compilation and is distributed under the GNU GPLv2 License. It can run on most Unix-like operating systems.

Konqueror allows browsing your local directory- to locate, copy, view, move, or delete files. It also allows browsing in different views, which differ in their usage of icons and layout.

Konqueror file manager
Konqueror file manager

Main features include:

  • Split views and multiple tabs for easier navigation of files.
  • Support for downloading files from FTP, HTTP, and BitTorrent sites.
  • Remote file management system using KIO system.
  • Integration with KDE applications such as KGet Download manager.
  • Automatic updating of directories.
  • It uses KHTML as its browser engine which is compliant with HTML and also supports JavaScript, CSS, and other standards.

To install Konqueror on Ubuntu 22.04, run the command:

sudo apt install konqueror

3. Dolphin

Dolphin is a lightweight KDE file manager that focuses on usability. Browsing, creating, moving, or deleting files is simple and fast. Dolphin contains plenty of productivity features that will improve your workflow and save time.

Dolphin file manager
Dolphin file manager

Dolphin supports several view modes: a grid view of all the files, a more detailed view, and a tree view. You can customize Dolphin and carry out file management according to your specific needs.

Key features include:

  • Built-in terminal emulator: The terminal emulator Konsole can be displayed in Dolphin allowing you to run commands in the current folder.
  • Multiple tabs and split view for navigating multiple folders at a time.
  • Navigation bar for URLs, allowing users to navigate through the local directory hierarchy.
  • Transparent network access through the KIO system.
  • Support for dockable panels for additional information, and folders.
  • You can extend functionality with powerful plugins to suit your workflow.

To install Dolphin on Ubuntu 22.04, execute the command:

 sudo apt install dolphin

4. Krusader

Krusader is a powerful twin-panel file manager modeled after the Midnight Commander file manager. It is built for KDE Plasma and other desktops in the *nix world. The Krusader GUI come with dual panel where files and folders are displayed. This makes drag and drop, and copying from one panel a whole lot easier.

Krusader file manager
Krusader file manager

Krusader comes with more features that enhance the functionality of Midnight Commander, and these include:

  • Terminal integration - Terminal that allows you to enter CLI commands for the active panel.
  • An internal viewer and editor.
  • Support for File transfers with (S)FTP.
  • Archive file handling- Displays the content of a ZIP, tarball, RPM, CPIO, or other archive formats.
  • Directory synchronization.
  • Powerful batch renaming.
  • File content comparisons.
  • Easy editing of file permissions and ownership.

To install Krusader on Ubuntu 22.04, execute the command:

sudo apt install krusader

5. Thunar

Thunar is a simple, modern file management tool for the Xfce Desktop Environment. It is lightweight and focuses on usability, but its functionality can be extended through third-party plugins.

Thunar file manager
Thunar file manager

Key features include:

  • Bulk Renaming – allows users to rename multiple files at once.
  • Terminal emulator integration.
  • Support third-party plugins that extend functionality. Some of them include the media tags plugin, volume manager, and VCS plugin.
  • Emblems - allows you to visually mark your files and folders for quick reference.

To install Thunar on Ubuntu 22.04, execute the command:

sudo apt install thunar

6. Nemo file manager

Nemo is a relatively new file manager for the cinnamon desktop environment. It ships with Linux Mint. It is a fork of GNOME and allows you to browse and preview files and launch applications associated with them. It works on local and remote filesystems.

Nemo file manager
Nemo file manager

Nemo also comes with new extensions such as Nemo-image-converter, Nemo-filename-repairer and Nemo-emblems.

Key features include:

  • Supports tree view for directories.You can browse folders by parent and child view.
  • Display free hard disk space in the sidebar and bottom information bar.
  • Supports dual-panel view.
  • Includes an option to open any location as a root user
  • Supports mounting and unmounting of external media
  •  Bulk renaming of files and folders
  • Nemo allows toolbar customization
  • Opens in terminal 
  •  Displays File operations progress information 

To install Nemo file manager, run the command:

sudo apt install  nemo

7. Sunflower file manager

Sunflower is a powerful file manager for your Linux Desktop, written in Python. It is easy to use and integrates seamlessly into the GNOME desktop environment.

Sunflower file manager
Sunflower file manager

Key features include:

  • Emblems that allow you to visually mark your files and folders for quick reference.
  • A built-in terminal that allows for quick access to the command line.
  • Support for multithreading.
  • Easily extensible with Python and GTK+
  • Supports plugins that extend its functionality

To install Sunflower file manager, first download the Sunflower Debian package.

sudo dpkg -i sunflower-0.5.63-1.all.deb


File managers help improve your user interaction with the desktop. Linux provides several viable choices and each one mentioned above will most likely meet most of your needs. Choose a file manager that works best for you.  All these file managers are open-source and free to use. 

Among file managers, Nemo and Thunar are my favorites. Please advise yours.



Please add comments below to provide the author your ideas, appreciation and feedback.

Leave a Reply

Leave a Comment