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Revision as of 17:45, 19 February 2011 by Litemotiv (talk | contribs) (PCManFM2 and udisks: updated for current pcmanfm package in [extra])
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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 files and directories changes. This is required by PCManFM to start:

# pacman -S gamin

Then launch PCManFM with:

$ pcmanfm

To work with udisks without the need to install gvfs run the following command:

# pacman -S consolekit

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.

PCManFM and udisks

The last release of PCManFM is able to handle volumes through udisks. Follow the instructions below to enable it:

  1. Start the DBUS daemon, manually or editing your rc.conf file.
  2. In your .xinitrc file, which starts your Window Manager, edit the 'exec' line like the following:


PCManFM2 and gvfs

If you prefer to use the Gnome Virtual FileSystem, PCManFM2 allows you to do so. The procedure is the same as before, but you obviously have to install additional packages:

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


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"

Mounting as normal user with GVFS or Udisks and PCManFM2

It may be necessary to follow several steps in order for GVFS in PCManFM2 to allow normal users to mount drives. This includes having the D-Bus daemon running, and adding the following to your .xinitrc (before any instance of pcmanfm is started):

Template:File Note: This should be added after your "exec <WM>" line.

Note: The previous lines are already present in the startup script of the openbox windows manager. Therefore it is not useful if you are using openbox. Moreover, it seems that you should not add lines after the exec line.

Then edit the file Template:Filename Or if that file is empty edit this file Template:Filename and replace all instances of




Note: you shouldn't modify this file

(Credits to karabaja4 -- http://forum.lxde.org/viewtopic.php?t=1422&f=22)

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. The original author of PCManFM (Hon Jen Yee aka PCMan) is in the process of rewriting the program, which is currently in testing. This rewrite is sometimes referred to as "pcmanfm2", although its current version number is 0.9.7 RC1. This version uses GVFS for mounting and volume management. 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.