PCManFM

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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).

Installation

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.

Note: You must have a /media folder.

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 on 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.

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 /etc/polkit-1. 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.

As root create /etc/polkit-1/localauthority/50-local.d/55-myconf.pkla (or some other filename of your choosing ending with .pkla) containing:

 [Storage Permissions]
 Identity=unix-group:storage
 Action=org.freedesktop.udisks.filesystem-mount;org.freedesktop.udisks.drive-eject;org.freedesktop.udisks.drive-detach;org.freedesktop.udisks.luks-unlock;org.freedesktop.udisks.inhibit-polling;org.freedesktop.udisks.drive-set-spindown
 ResultAny=yes
 ResultActive=yes
 ResultInactive=no

PolicyKit will notice the changes in the file and update its behavior 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

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-launch-session dbus-launch" (in this order) to the exec statement which launches your window manager/desktop environment in.xinitrc.

So for example

exec openbox-session

would become

exec ck-launch-session dbus-launch openbox-session

Be aware, 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 tangerine-icon-theme

Then edit ~/.gtkrc-2.0 or /etc/gtk-2.0/gtkrc and add the following line:

gtk-icon-theme-name = "Tangerine"

NTFS Read/Write Support

Install ntfs-3g (See NTFS-3G):

# pacman -S ntfs-3g

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

Remove or rename the file /usr/share/applications/pcmanfm-find.desktop. If you're running pcmanfm-mod from AUR, remove or rename the file /usr/share/applications/pcmanfm-mod-find.desktop.

No "Previous/Next Folder" functionality with mouse buttons

A method to fix this is with Xbindkeys:

Install xbindkeys:

# pacman -S xbindkeys

Edit ~/.xbindkeysrc to contain the following:

# Sample .xbindkeysrc for a G9x mouse.
"/usr/bin/xvkbd -text '\[Alt_L]\[Left]'"
 b:8
"/usr/bin/xvkbd -text '\[Alt_L]\[Right]'"
 b:9

Actual button codes can be obtained with xev[1].

Add

xbindkeys &

to your ~/.xinitrc to execute xbindkeys on log-in.

--desktop parameter not working / crashing X-server

Make sure you have ownership and write permissions on ~/.config/pcmanfm

Setting the wallpaper either by using the --desktop-pref parameter or editing ~/.config/pcmanfm/default/pcmanfm.config solves the problem.

Terminal emulator advanced configuration not saved

Make sure you have rights on libfm configuration file:

# chmod -R 755 ~/.config/libfm
# chmod 777 ~/.config/libfm/libfm.conf

Make PCManFM remember your preferred Sort Files settings

You can use View | Sort Files to change the order in which PCManFM lists the files, but PCManFM won't remember that the next time you start it. To make it remember, go to Edit | Preferences and Close. That will write your current sort_type and sort_by values into ~/.config/pcmanfm/LXDE/pcmanfm.conf.

Available Versions

There are several versions of PCManFM currently available:

PCManFM2

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

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.

PCManFM_with_Search

Latest PCmanFM version with search dialog in the AUR as pcmanfm_with_search.