Install Midnight Commander

Whats Midnight Commander?
Midnight Commander is Shell application (visual file manager) for SSH like Norton Commander, that older geeks may remember from the time of DOS, or like Total Commander, the most advanced Shell application today.

Why do I need Midnight Commander?
Like every file manager, it enables the users to easily copy, move, delete and manage files and folders, having a full-screen text mode user interface. You can also use MC to connect to other server’s FTP and copy files from/to other servers.

How to install Midnight Commander?

Before you begin to install any software it’s best to make sure the package files are up-to-date. Tutorial 3

Raspbian users can install Midnight Commander from the standard repositories with the following command:

Once installed, you can launch Midnight Commander with the following at a terminal prompt:


Midnight Commander will start up with two panels open, as shown in the figure below:


Midnight Commander Click on the picture to enlarge.

Using the Up and Down keys will move the cursor around the directory listing, while Enter will descend down into a directory. Escape will go back up one level. The Tab key will move the focus between the two panels. Using these, you can navigate to anywhere within your current system in a particular panel.

In order to do some file management, get to the files you want to move or copy in one panel, and the location to which you want to move/copy them in another. The bottom of the screen displays the hotkey combinations: F5 is to copy files, and F6 is to move or rename them. Pressing one of these keys will display a dialog confirming your action. You can move focus between fields and buttons in a dialog or by using the Tab key, and use the Space bar to press a button. Using these functions alone, you can do some emergency file management to copy or delete things that are hanging up your system.

There are a number of other file-related tools available from the menu bar (yes, this text-mode program has a menu bar, and you can access it with F9):

  • The “File” menu contains actions to be performed on the files or directories in the currently-highlighted panel. Additional functions include creating links (hard and sym-) and changing permissions (chown) or mode (chmod).
  • The “Left” and “Right” menus allow configuration of how that panel should display, as well as enabling access to remote connections (shell or FTP).
  • The “Options” menu contains overall configuration for Midnight Commander.