Version 1 (modified by tpgww, 9 years ago)

Reinstate content from old wiki

If you would like to see any particular feature in emelFM2 - here is the right place. Though, please keep the early state of development in mind.

Ability to sort files by name/size/date with keyboard only. Currently, the mouse is required. Thanks for emelFM2.


Next release 0.3.7 will have actions named (in english) "pane_active.sort*" for respective columns. Users will need to apply their own preferred keybindings for these.

Ability to copy/move the items from a bar to other bars would be nice (drag & drop would be the best), as emelFM2 interface is made up from bar, no? Currently we can only copy & paste the items within one bar.


Added copy/paste for next release 0.3.7. Only one page of a config dialog is visible at any time, which rules out DnD.

It would be nice to allow standard taskbar actions such as copy, move, rename, etc. to run as "root" when a certain key is pressed (i.e. "Shift") while clicking on the action. I realized there is a command to "run something as root", but this way you have to type in the command and password. With my suggestion, you only have to type in the password and the action will be executed as "root"


I propose to make the filetypes(the extensions) case not-sensitive. Some filesystems like fat32 are allways mounted in uppercase.whyki

Only if we can find a nice automatic way to determine, at runtime, whether a particular filesystem is case-insensitive. AFAIK, only FAT and some Apple FS's are relevant. For anything else, we would risk alienating users who do not have case-insensitive context. 0.3.7 does attempt to discover relevant fileystems, and also has a config option to enable insensitive checking everywhere.

I want ssh connection with emelFM2 Like this: ssh:// Use SSH to show /home from IP And if I run command, it run command on


We regularly look out for a suitable vfs library, to allow this sort of thing. The emerging gvfs (a glib replacement for gnome-vfs) currently looks like it will be a good choice. It's some way off ready, though.

emelFM looks great, but I miss a explorer-like tree-view...


From v.0.3.3, you can open windows to show a directories-tree, and use them to select the directory to be displayed in the associated file pane.

I would love to be able to change the order of columns ie have the modified column next to the size column so I can change the sort order without having to scroll to the far right every time.



That will be possible with the new file panes, which (according to the ROADMAP) will be introduced at version 0.0.13, --tooar, (2004-05-27T23:37:37Z)

From 0.1.0, the columns in filepanes can be dragged to whatever order you want

Please make a 'list' view for the file panel. In that only file names are listed without all other attribute information. In line with the 'ls' default Fri Nov 24 20:02:33 EST 2006Fri Nov 24 20:02:33 EST 2006Fri Nov 24 20:02:33 EST 2006Fri Nov 24 20:02:33 EST 2006output format.

That's already possible. Click config, old options,columns and uncheck all but Filename. Arnout

I was wondering if there are any plans to add i18n features to this - translation capabilities.



yes, after version 0.1.0 probably. --tooar

Yes, i18n support could be sweet

Versions from 0.1.0 have all strings ready for translation. Volunteer-translators welcome ...

  • no way to invoke it with 1 pane only. I.e. override the last setting. And if the last setting was 1-pane, on start i see 2 panes, which switch immediately to 1.

This should be fixed with the latest pre-release.

  • "Open with" opens a dialog. But before the dialog is appears, the main window is unfocused. I think it's more pleasant to inverse the order. First open the dialog window, and then care about changing the main window.

I agree that this behaviour is not very nice. When the dialogs have been redone, they won't block the main window anymore. Until then, i'm afraid it's not possible to change the order without breaking other stuff.

From 0.1.0, that behaviour no longer applies.

  • With my big fonts, the Config dialog has the left column scrolled (not visible completely). But what is missing is a small size compared with the other(right) column. I think it's better to make the small/left column visible completely.

It is difficult to find a reasonable default size for the config dialog in case the right part is within a GtkScrolledWindow?. I'll try to find a way, but i don't know how soon. --tooar, (2004-04-06T23:41:51Z)

Ehhh... I can define a keybinding to go down into the command line, but how do I get back to the file list? Such a function seems not to exist.

Use the same key binding. This is a toggle, if the command line already has focus, it switches focus back to the file panes. --tooar, (2004-04-06T23:41:51Z)

Does not work in the latest pre-release - focus stays in the command line.

Are you using the right action? I'm talking about the old "INTERFACE : Goto Command Line" action. That should be bound to ctrl-z by default. --tooar, (2004-04-09T02:07:09Z)

Well, yes, kind of. It works now - I haven't seen the Ctrl-Z binding, so I created my own - Ctrl-Space, which DOESN'T go back to the file list. Ctrl-Z does. Thank you :)

Yes, sorry for the confusion. Right now, the keybindings only work in the file panes. The command line has its own, hard-coded key bindings (in this case CTRL-z to get back to the file panes). I'm aware of this problem and I'll try to find a solution. --tooar, (2004-04-20T23:41:36Z)

How about a Gnome menu item? It's just a little .desktop file in /usr/share/applications/.

Also nice would be an entry in /usr/share/application-registry/ so we can add it to the Gnome popup menu for folders.

Gnome needs a good two-panel file manager and this looks like it might be it, so some Gnome support would be very useful.

Oh, yes, somebody else has already suggested this but i somehow totally forgot about it. I'll add applications and application-registry entries. --tooar, (2004-05-02T10:52:18Z)

-> It would be great to be able to use 'ftp:/' and 'smb:/' in the dir line, like in some other fm and to have the ability to focus this dir line by default to be able to cd easily to a directory. I also have to clik on the "show hodden's" bar to focus it before clicking buttons.

emelFM2 needs substantial re-development to do that "natively". That's a possibility for a future release. In the meantime, additional UI elements (keybinding, alias, button, menuitem) could be customised to use gnomevfs-mount

From v. 0.1.2 there are keybindings (Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2) to toggle focus to/from dir lines, in case you don't want to use a mouse click to change that focus

I dunno wether this a (known) bug or not.... makefiles don't fit into the otherwise very nicely working file extension mechanism.

the extension "<none>" and the command "make" can be added to an existing filetype category, or a new one, via the configuration dialog

I've just tested out the new vesion 0.10 I would like to have the copy as per default and it should per default also show the progressbar. As it is in total commander and its clones. The same for the move command.

remove command with progressbar should also be default.

In most instances, those operations are now completed in a very short time, so a bar would come and go too quickly to be of any guidance. Otherwise, it's very easy to initiate a copy or move by using the corresponding item from the plugins context sub-menu instead of from the actions sub-menu.

another great feature is to have a "mounter bar" or something like that. Then you have bar with all your fstab entries or manual definied partitions. It's kinda different to the bookmark feature. I like the way tux commander has it implemented.

From v. 0.1.2 there is a commandbar button with submenu for toggling mountable "devices", based on mtab/fstab contents (or other things for some non-linux os's). Similarly, command completion applies to any entered command starting with "mount" or "umount"

How about switching between panel1 and panel2 with tabulator, also as it's default by most file managers.

That's now a default key binding. --tooar

I hope that this requests will help in making emelFM2 even better. thanks Ralph (

emelfm2 is great, because I was looking for something to replace emelfm. I saw the screenshots and thought: This is great! But I've been using it now and I found some features missing.

* Skins or an option to edit for example the background color. It would be great if skins would be available, because I want a black background with green text (it's better for late at night)

* Option: To use emelfm original way for entering/exiting directories (just use the arrows on the keyboard)

* Option: If I type an 'o' I want to go to the files starting with an 'o'. When I type an 'O' I want to go to the files starting with that letter.

* Option: When renaming a file/dir I would love it, if it didn't happen in a seperate window, but just in the 'list' window.

SWAT [ 03 September 2005, 18.57 ]

UI colors are derived from the current gtk theme, or else, configurable within the app. Some of the ScreenShots show an effect like the one you want.

Key-bindings can be set to whatever you want. By default, left and right arrows, and shift-up arrow, are assigned to directory navigation.

When a file pane is focussed, typing character(s) (as many as you like) selects the next item whose name begins with what you type.

We'll have to think about in-situ name editing ...

emelfm2 is one of the best filemanagers I know, but it seems that some functionality was lost maybe since previous versions. What happened to the ability to use the mouse to drag down and select multiple files? Now it defaults to some kind of drag'n'drop functionality. While I realize that DnD is great for some people, I really like the other functionality better. Is it possible to add this as an option?

Luna (

Selection and DnD arrangements in 0.1.0-0.1.2 conform to gtk standards. 'Drag-selection' capability was reinstated in 0.1.3, though it's slightly different from the form in versions <= 0.0.9

Since the new changes to DBUS/Hal, it would be nice to support "pmount" to mount/unmount external devices like usbstick.

Comete [24 Nov 2005]

You could add aliases for mount and umount commands. However it seems that pmount expects a device, not a directory, as a parameter. So its use as one of the default actions for directories would be eliminated. Pumount should be ok.

It's really a good filemanagers, I have a problem, sometimes the files are not opened with the application, i have to right-click 2 or 3 times on the file to find the application.

Would you please send an email to the mailing list, describing the problem in more detail.

Emelfm2 doesn't have a extention column, it could be usefull.

How select files with the keyboard, like the spacebar in other filemanagers. I use ctrl+click, but i have not found only with the keyboard.

Spacebar used to be assigned to the switch-active-pane action, but now some gtk widget/theme intervenes, and makes that key do something else ('activate' the selected item). In emelFM2 v.0.1.3, ctrl-i toggles selection of all items in the active pane, but there's no key binding to [de]select a single item. We'll add one. Perhaps that should be shift-i, if space can't be made to work.

Thanks Lionel

Is it possible to make first item in list selected automaticaly on enter to directory?

Thanks, Yasha

emelfm2's approach to this is (sort of) stateful. When you open/display a directory that has been displayed before, the initially-visible items will be centred around the one that was 'current' when the directory was last departed. If there were selected item(s) last time, then the first of them will be selected when you re-visit. The extension of this is: upon first-display of a directory, nothing will be automatically selected, as nothing can have been selected before.

It's a bit risky to automatically select an item that's not displayed - a user may perform some task on the item without having intended to do so. On the other hand, it's even easier (as from the 0.1.4 release) to manually select the initial item in a newly-displayed directory.

So this means that this option will be available in 0.1.4 or not? That will help a lot to work without mouse!

Superseding the above remark about <Shift>i, by default, <Shift><Control>space will toggle selection of the currently-focused item. When a directory is first displayed, the first item in that directory has the focus.

Thanks again, Yasha

But of course, when we first open a directory, the top line will be visible. There is a configuration option which allows such item to be automatically selected.

Is it possible to get the output in a "tabbed" format? eg. when I run multiple child procs, each child proc would have its own output window

is it possible to get a progress indicator for moving/copying files?

thanks, Jeremy

The copy and move plugins both provide such an indicator

--thanks found the plugins, anything about the tabbed output?

Version 0.1.6 supports ouput-pane tabs. But not a tab for each child! Current tabbed terminals reasonably expect the user to decide what is done in each tab.

-- ok good point, what I was originally thinkg was something like the following: say I want to unzip a file in dir then move to another dir and do the same, the output from the first archive is displayed in one tab while the next archive being unzipped get displayed in another tab. The operations don't have to be unarchiving but that makes for simple examples.

Is it possible to have an option to preserve modification, access, change times (like cp -p) when copying/moving files ?

Thanks, hika

Version 0.1.7 supports preserving mtime and atime for copied files. In general, preserving ctime is not possible. "cp -p" does not do that.

Cool, I see that file.copy_with_time has been added. Now I have another request :) Can the boolean "sametime" be applied to all copy operations (for example : file.cpbar, file.copy_as ...) ?

Thanks, hika

Have you considered supporting a more complete command line system? I heavily use the xterm for doing work and the missing aliases, environment settings, colors, directory stack, etc. make it hard to swap xterm for emelfm2. If emelfm2 was equivalent to xterm + the integrated filemanager, that would be the best. No more cd <>; ls; ls -lt | head, etc. All this is moved to the filemgr GUI as it should be (assuming the connection between xterm directory and GUI directory is maintained, regardless of the xterm changing it, or the GUI changing it.)

Thanks, Adam ( Ex Nextstep user)

We're not much fond of re-inventing wheels, fully-chromed ones at least. emelFM2 provides some "light" versions of non-core functionality where it's very convenient (and command-line + output-pane falls into that category), but in general, we try to encourage and facilitate use of other specialist applications, and provide functionality that doesn't elsewhere exist or is difficult.

That stated, e2 does have aliases and some colors, it can access environment variables (can they be set too ?) Making a fully-fledged terminal/shell work on all OS's that support gtk would be no small thing.

Would it be possible to make the file panes tabbed widgets? By this I mean you could open several new tabs in each pane for a seperate directory. I've been using the latest release of emelfm2 and am very impressed with the usability of it. I am something of a file whore and emelfm2 makes managing all of them fairly easy. The tabbed file pane feature would great though as I could have quicker access to several different directories without resorting to the bookmark feature, which is itself very handy.

Thanks for a great piece of software.

No, this software (and others of its type) is all about 2 filelists. Much of its core functionality revolves around processing things from one known place to another known place, and it's not likely to all be re-written. As well as bookmarks, you can get menus of visited directories by pressing a <Control> key before clicking a foward or back button in a pane toolbar - those menus give quick access to lots of places, and they're cached between sessions. Last but not least, the UI is crowded already.

Please, make filetype recognition case insensitive. For example: I configured emelfm2 to open files ".avi" with mplayer, but when I am trying to play file something.AVI, it asks me, what to do with this file. It is very annoying.

Thanks, Alexandr Orlov.

Seems to me that *NIX filenames are fundamentally case-sensitive. In principle at least, a .AVI file is not a .avi file. The proper solutions are: rename your .AVI files (the rename plugin will change case, and handle lots of files at once) or add AVI to the extensions that go to mplayer

Fri Nov 24 20:02:33 EST 2006

I may well be missing this, but is there a way to set the font for the viewer or a way to make the 'usage/commands' 'view' buttons respect the setting for viewer? Either way would get me monospaced font but, as is, I get variable-width font. I see a way to change the fonts for a couple of other things, but not this. And I've already changed the viewer, but that only works for files selected in the panes. Thanks.

The font used in the internal viewer or editor is the same as for the output pane, but that's hardly user-fiendly. A specific view/edit font option will be in the next release.

-- Hm, I was going to work around it by just making a taskbar button, but it also does it from the 'Help' button for the CONFIGURATION file from the config dialog. That'd be two buttons and counting. So, yeah - custom viewer fonts and/or universal viewer settings. :)


1) New files in bold It would be nice to have any new files in a directory in bold. For example, I unpack an archive and the archive does not create its own directory but instead dumps its contents to cwd. If all new files from that archive were in bold they'd be easy to spot. Or I also download everything from Firefox to ~/Downloads. This dir gets quite full sometimes and it's handy to have the recently downloaded file in bold.

How would we decide what is sufficiently recent? Managing fonts on a line-by-line basis is a bit slow, particularly for large directories. Doesn't sorting by ctime achieve what you want? BTW, archives contain what they contain, emelFM2 doesn't create any directory specifically to contain unpacked items.

2) Mouse focus. Would it even be possible to set Focus Follows Mouse? This saves alot of clicking when switching from a dir to command prompt for example. Maybe this is not even possible?

Isn't that normally about window-focusing, as opposed to widget-focusing? And perhaps you mean the so-called "sloppy focus", where focus remains on the last focused item when the mouse is moved over any non-focusable item. Enabling this certainly is possible for windows, but that's normally a function of your window-manager. There's no evident way to readily make every indiviaul widget respond to mouse-cursor arrival (as opposed to clicking). Recall that in the main window, focus can be toggled between various widgets by key-bindings.

Thanks, Glenn Greenfield


Could the configuration option Panes>Date Format be a text-input the user could enter strftime() formatting into and then have that interpreted, instead of the four dropdown options? Or could ISO8601 '2006-11-28' be added?

Look for ISO8601 support in the next release. Custom formatting would be possible, but how many users are going to bother with that ?

Could right-clicking on the 'display hidden items' button in the pane bars make the action apply to both panes? And right-clicking make 'go to directory shown in other pane' be 'make other pane's directory go to the one shown in this one'? Ideally with a toggle so I could flip the default behavior and do that with a normal click. That button just feels backwards to me. I expect it to do a Midnight Commander-style Alt-O and flip the opposite pane.

As of now, there's no right-click processing for any toolbar button, though a few of them do respond differently if <Control> is pressed before left-click. Once upon a time, the "mirror" button action used to apply to the other pane (perhaps inspired by old habits), but that approach contradicts our fundamental aim for UI consistency - buttons in pane toolbars impact on the pane in question.

Oh, and when middle-clicking is set to 'go to parent directory' could it be prevented from appearing to select whatever happens to be under the mouse before it cds up?

Fixed for next release.

And I'll second the call for more terminal integration, even if it is just wishful thinking. If emelfm2 could just swallow an xterm or something, that would be fantastic. One thing that makes mc spiffy is Ctrl-O.

Gnome-terminal, Terminal, roxterm, tilda, sakura etc are based on vte, but if you want that level of functionality, why not just use them directly ? As to ease-of-use, feel free to bind Ctrl-O or whatever to $[command-xterm] &, just like the default commandbar button (which only responds to its mnemonic key if the button-label is visible)


I began using emelFM2 a few weeks ago and found it extremely nice, quick and easy to get used with... Could it be possible to have icons for files and folders (generic ones would be just perfect - and the ones used by the current theme more than perfect) ? It really helps the eyes to have visual clues. Thank you,


Very unlikely - in general, it's way too slow. Determining the correct icon for items other than directories requires "sniffing" each item. I read how it used to take nautilus a couple of minutes simply to display some large dirs. For many file managers, icon creation can be optimised by first creating just the few visible ones, but emelFM2 does not always show an opened dir at a pre-defined place, and determining what's to be initially displayed before it's actually displayed is quite difficult. So it'd have to create all icons, ... big delay. FWIW, filelist text colors can be individually set for registered filetypes.


Hi, EmelFM2 is very nice. I wonder if there is any possibility to select the default behavior for a file typen, i read that the first action in the configuration is the selected one, but it doesn't work for me, maybe i'm not doing in the correct way (i want to view script files instead of run them). Another nice feature would be that the output console will be able to show ansi escape chars. My distro uses a lot of them for output and looks a bit awful in the output.

Congrats for the great work.


It's correct that the first-recorded action in the configuration data for any filetype category is the one that is performed when an item of that category is activated (unless you select some other action via a menu). By default, shell scripts are in the "executable" category, for which the registered commands are to run and edit the item. You can readily add another action "file.view" at the start of those actions. Or it might make more sense to create an entirely new category just for shell scripts, with file.view etc, and leave the existing things in place for other executable items.

As to interpreting escape characters, well, the output pane is really just a buffer that echoes stuff, it's only a bit like a terminal. Adding full-blown termcap capabilities would be no small thing.

I would like to have a "quit program" command in emelfm2 as there was in emelfm1. I'm controlling my file manager with my joystick (see the kickass program so I want to be able to close emelfm2 by hitting the q key eg.


There's an action command.quit (or its translated equivalent) which is by default bound to F10. You can change that as you see fit, but presumably don't want it to be any letter that may be used for other purposes

Because of a seeing-disability, I kind of depend on a dark background with a bright font to be able to read. I want to make the suggestion to implement color management or inversion for the whole GUI in future code. I know that I am able to use a gtk-theme providing a black background, but being able to select that for applications separately is decisive for me.

I just call emelfm2 with 'env /path_to_a_black_background_gtk_theme'. However, I have to prefix an 'env /back_to_my_usual_gtk_theme' for some applications in the mime type definition. It works well, would be better though if one could just change the color of the pane backgound.Thanks for developing emelfm2!