Difference between revisions of "PCManFM"

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===Not able to mount USB or other devices?===
===Not able to mount USB or other devices?===
  # pacman -S consolekit
  # pacman -S consolekit
Make sure that you also add "ck-lauch-session dbus-launch"(in this order) to .xinitrc.
Make sure that you also add "ck-launch-session dbus-launch"(in this order) to .xinitrc.
===No icons?===
===No icons?===

Revision as of 07:02, 4 June 2011

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PCManFM is "an extremly fast, lightweight, yet feature-rich file manager with tabbed browsing". Source: PCManFM on sourceforge. PCManFM is the default file manager of the LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment).


Run the following command to install:

# pacman -S pcmanfm

You will also require gamin (a replacement for fam, which required a daemon) to pick up events such as file and directories changes:

# pacman -S gamin

Volume handling

PCManFM is able to mount and unmount devices, both manually and automatically. This feature is offered as an alternative to CLI tools such as pmount. There are various 'up-to-date' versions of PCManFM (see below), and different volume handling strategies can be chosen.

Mounting with udisks

The current release of PCManFM is able to handle volumes through udisks. If you want to use this feature, make sure the D-Bus daemon is installed and running. See the D-Bus page for details. Note that you will most likely need to start dbus-launch from your .xinitrc or the autostart script of your window manager. Instructions how to do so can be found on the D-Bus page or the page for your window manager.

Mounting with gvfs

If you prefer to use the Gnome Virtual FileSystem, the procedure is the same as before but requires additional packages:

  • gvfs (and dependencies);
  • (optional) gvfs-smb, gvfs-obexftp, gvfs-afc, etc. in order to support additional features.

Note : You must have a /media folder.

Mounting as normal user

To be able to mount devices like removeable USB harddisks, flashdrives or DVDs as a normal user, the PolicyKit toolkit needs to be configured accordingly. The configuration files can be found in the subdirectories of Template:Filename. The rest of this section will show you how to configure PolicyKit to allow users belonging to the "storage" group to mount and umount temporary devices.

Note: Many users experience trouble mounting with lightweight windows manager and SLiM, adding ck-launch-session dbus-launch after exec in login_cmd option usually help
Note: Currently PolicyKit is configured to allow (un)mounting for users in group storage by default. Therefore this step is not necessary

First off, start a terminal and make yourself root:


Then switch to the right directory:

cd /etc/polkit-1/localauthority/50-local.d

Fire up your favourite text editor and create a file:

nano 55-myconf.pkla

Note that you can name the file anything you want, as long as the name ends with .pkla. Type in or copy/paste the following lines:

[Storage Permissions]

Do not forget to save the file. PolicyKit will notice the changes in the file and update its behaviour without any action from you. Last thing to do is making every user that should have the ability to mount drives a member of the storage group:

usermod -a -G storage USERNAME

Get back to your existence as a humble user and enjoy your ability to mount your USB Drives:


If you want to grant other permissions instead of granting them to members of the storage group, or simply want to know what you were just doing, check out the manpage:

man pklocalauthority

Tips & troubleshooting

No "Applications"

# pacman -S gnome-menus

Trashcan not working?

# pacman -S gvfs consolekit

Make sure that you also add "ck-lauch-session dbus-launch"(in this order) to .xinitrc. gvfs requires many gnome dependencies.

Not able to mount USB or other devices?

# pacman -S consolekit

Make sure that you also add "ck-launch-session dbus-launch"(in this order) to .xinitrc.

No icons?

If you are using a window manager over a desktop environment and notice you have no icons for folders and files, install an icon theme:

# pacman -S tango-icon-theme

Then edit Template:Filename or Template:Filename and add the following line:

gtk-icon-theme-name = "Tango"

NTFS Read/Write Support

Install ntfs-3g:

# pacman -S ntfs-3g

gnome-open opens "Find" dialog instead of the directory

Remove or rename the file Template:Filename. If you're running pcmanfm-mod from AUR, remove or rename the file Template:Filename.

Available Versions

There are several versions of PCManFM currently available:


This is the package in Arch's extra repository as "pcmanfm". The current git test version of it is available in the AUR as pcmanfm-git. More information is available on the LXDE Forum.

PCManFM 0.5.2

The legacy PCManFM (version 0.5.2, which is currently "pcmanfm-gtk220" in the AUR repository) is frozen and is no longer being maintained by the original author. This version uses HAL for mounting. More information is available on the project page.


PCManFM-Mod adds user-definable commands, other features, and bugfixes to the legacy version of the PCManFM file manager v0.5.2. This version builds and installs as "pcmanfm-mod" and will run independently of other versions of PCManFM you have installed on your system. This legacy version is still desired by some due to more stability than the newer 0.9.x rewrite in progress, less Gnome dependencies, and the use of HAL rather than gnome-vfs. PCManFM-Mod is available in the AUR as pcmanfm-mod and as pcmanfm-mod-prov (latter provides pcmanfm). More information is available at IgnorantGuru's Blog.