Science and technology

Discover the options of the Linux Double Commander file supervisor

Double Commander is a graphical dual-pane file supervisor for Linux, within the custom of Midnight Commander (mc). While Midnight Commander (just like the DOS utility Norton Commander earlier than it) has its followers, its viewers is proscribed by the truth that it solely runs in a terminal window. Not everybody needs to make use of a “flat” interface embedded in a terminal to browse their file system, and so Double Commander offers an identical interface in a method that feels acquainted to many desktop customers.

(Seth Kenlon, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Install Double Commander

To set up Double Commander, go to its website and obtain a package. It’s not packaged for a selected Linux distribution, so simply obtain an archive to your CPU structure.

If you solely wish to strive it out, you may unarchive it after which launch it out of your Downloads folder.

To set up it completely, unarchive the package deal, transfer it right into a location in your path, after which symlink doublecmd to the executable within the supply listing:

$ tar xvf doublecmd*tar.xz
$ mv doublecmd ~/.native/bin/doublecmd-X.Y.Z
$ ln -s ~/.native/bin/doublecmd-X.Y.Z/doublecmd ~~/.native/bin/doublecmd

How to start out Double Commander

To begin Double Commander, use the command doublecmd.

Alternatively, you may add an entry for Double Commander in your utility menu. First, create the file ~/.native/share/functions/doublecmd.desktop and enter this textual content into it:

[Desktop Entry]
GenericName=Double Commander

Now Double Commander seems in your desktop utility menu. Note that this doesn’t make Double Commander your default file supervisor. It solely provides it as an utility you may launch once you wish to.

Two panels

Dual-panel file administration is a practice inside a subset of file managers, and to some customers it is just a little unsettling. If you consider it, although, most file administration duties contain a supply location and a vacation spot location. You may be used to a workflow that goes one thing like this:

  1. Open a file supervisor and discover a file you wish to transfer.

  2. Open one other file supervisor window and navigate to the folder you wish to transfer the file into.

  3. Drag and drop the file from one window to the opposite.

You may use a variation of this involving, as an illustration, a right-click to repeat mixed with some navigation and one other right-click to stick. Either method, the elements are the identical. You find the supply, you find the vacation spot, and you then make the switch.

Given that widespread issue, it is smart {that a} file supervisor like Double Command has a persistent view of the supply location and the vacation spot location. At the very least, it saves you from having to open one other window.

Double Commander interface

Once you get used to the concept of two concurrent views in your file system, there are much more options to find in Double Commander.

  • Menu bar: At the highest of the window is a menu bar. That’s fairly normal conceptually, however the menu entries are most likely in contrast to any menu bar you have seen earlier than: File, Mark, Commands, Network, Tabs, and extra. These are task-specific menus, which is nice as a result of you may ignore a complete submenu you do not use.

  • Toolbar: Under the menu bar, there are buttons for widespread duties comparable to opening a terminal, copying a file, synchronizing two directories, and extra.

  • Locations: The location bar is located just below the toolbar. It lists units and file system places, together with your boot partition, optical media drive, digital shared places, the foundation listing, your private home listing (listed as ~), and extra.

  • File checklist: Most of the Double Commander window is occupied by the twin panel view of your file system.

  • Command: My favourite function of Double Commander is the only command subject beneath the file checklist pane. This means that you can enter an arbitrary command to run throughout the lively pane. This is nice for the odd command you must run in a listing that no file supervisor expects you to run, and so no file supervisor has a perform for. It’s the brute power methodology of the plugin mannequin: Provide a command line and let customers run what they should run every time they should run it.

  • Functions: Along the very backside of the Double Commander window, as with Midnight Commander, there is a checklist of widespread features, every assigned to a Function key in your keyboard.

Using Double Commander

Using Double Commander is lots like utilizing any file supervisor, besides that Double Commander is targeted on teams of actions. For occasion, the File menu is not an compulsory entry with simply New Window and New Tab, it is stuffed with helpful features, like making a symlink or laborious hyperlink, altering attributes, evaluating contents, bulk renaming, splitting and mixing information, and extra. Double Commander is direct. It will get straight to the purpose, serving as a stand-in for all of the instructions you’d usually run in a terminal.

Graphical command interface

More than another file supervisor I’ve seen, Double Commander feels prefer it’s meant to be a graphical interface for instructions. You can map virtually every part in its interface to a command or sequence of instructions you are used to operating in a terminal.

Of course, the query then is whether or not you want a graphical command line. Why not simply run the instructions in a terminal? Interestingly, I had the chance to witness the worth of this lately. There are occasions, as a help individual for different pc customers, when making an attempt to get a consumer to navigate the terminal might be overwhelming. This is especially true when your consumer is texting on an app on their cell phone, and also you’re giving them instructions to kind right into a terminal on their desktop. This introduces a number of alternatives for errors, and what was meant to be “the fast way” of doing one thing finally ends up taking an hour.

It’s counter-intuitive to a terminal consumer, and it is not even all the time true, however there are occasions when a graphical interface actually is less complicated to offer directions for. Picture it: A zombie apocalypse rages exterior your compound, and the file permissions of a significant file should be modified in an effort to activate the firewall. “Open a terminal and type chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/foo…​no, that’s ch as in change, mod as in mode but without the e…​no, and then a space. Not between the ch and the mod, just after the mod. And then a space. It’s chmod and then a space. Not the word space, just press the spacebar. It’s the really long key under your thumb…​”

Or you could possibly simply say this: “Click on the file, now with that selected, go to the File menu up at the top and click on Change Attributes…​”

Double Command’s central function is in its highly effective options disguised as a non-threatening graphical file supervisor. Download and take a look at it out for your self.

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