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Revision as of 10:47, 3 February 2013 by CrashLog (talk | contribs) (fixed typo)
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PCManFM is "an extremely 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.

Trash support and automounting with gvfs


Tips & troubleshooting

No "Applications"

# pacman -S gnome-menus

You can try this method: Delete all files in the $HOME/.cache/menus directory, and run PCManFM again.

PCManFM requires the environment variable "XDG_MENU_PREFIX" to be set. The value of the variable should match the beginning of a file present in the "/etc/xdg/menus/" directory. In case you have installed the "gnome-menus" package, you can set the value in your .xinitrc file with the line :

$ export XDG_MENU_PREFIX=gnome-

See these threads for more informations : [1], and especially this post from the Linux Mint Forums [2]

No icons?

If you are using a WM instead of a DE and you have no icons for folders and files, specify a gtk icon theme:

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

gtk-icon-theme-name = "oxygen"
Note: All instances of PCManFM have to be restarted for changes to apply!

If you do not have oxygen-icons installed, use an different one (gnome, hicolor, and locolor do not work). To list all installed icon themes:

ls ~/.icons /usr/share/icons/

If none of them is suitable, install one. To list all installable icon packages:

pacman -Ss icon-theme
Tip: For an alternative GUI solution, install lxappearance and apply an icon theme from there.

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]'"
"/usr/bin/xvkbd -text '\[Alt_L]\[Right]'"

Actual button codes can be obtained with package xorg-xev


xbindkeys &

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

One click for open folders and files

Open PCManFM in file explorer mode, and go to: Edit > Preferences and in geral > behavior select Open files with a simple click

this option work in the pcmanfm --desktop too

--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.

"Not authorized" errors when accessing/mounting USB drives

In various WM (in use with PolicyKit), You might receive an "Not authorized" errors when trying to access e.g. an USB drive.

If not existing, create (including the directory actions, which ain't existing by default in there) /etc/polkit-1/actions/org.freedesktop.udisks2.pkla to contain the following:

[Storage Permissions]

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-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.


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