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Summary help replacing me
This article covers installation, configuration, and general usage tips for PCManFM.

From the project home page:

PCMan File Manager (PCManFM) is a file manager application developed by Hong Jen Yee from Taiwan which is meant to be a replacement for Nautilus, Konqueror and Thunar. Released under the GNU General Public License, PCManFM is free software. PCManFM is the standard file manager in LXDE, which is also developed by the same author in conjunction with other developers.


pcmanfm is available in the official repositories.

It's recommended to install gvfs for trash support, mounting with udisk and remote filesystems.

Notable variants are:

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 udevil and pmountAUR.

Auto mounting USB external storage devices

To auto mount USB external storage devices only simply install gvfs.

If they do not auto mount after installing, try rebooting your system and try again.

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.

NTFS read/write support

Install ntfs-3g. See NTFS-3G for more informations.

Trash support, browsing network shares, and automounting with gvfs

To resolve the "Operation not supported" error when clicking on Trash Can, you must install gvfs.

To browse network shares:

  1. Install these packages: gvfs gvfs-smb gvfs-afp.
  2. Start PCManFM.
  3. Type smb://server name/share name to access Windows/CIFS/Samba file shares.
  4. Type afp://server name/share name to access AFP file shares.

If you get dbus- or session-related errors, see General Troubleshooting#Session permissions.

Tips and tricks

One click for open folders and files

Open PCManFM in file explorer mode, go to Edit > Preferences > General > Behavior, and select Open files with a simple click. This option works with desktop icons too.


No "Applications"

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. E.g. you can set the value in your .xinitrc file with the line:

export XDG_MENU_PREFIX="lxde-"

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.

If you have e.g. oxygen-icons installed, 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!

Else, 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.

No "Previous/Next Folder" functionality with mouse buttons

A method to fix this is with Xbindkeys.

Install xbindkeys and 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.

--desktop parameter not working or 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

Mounting a filesystem on a system device requires authentication as an administrator by default. It requires the lxpolkit package to be installed.

To enable this action without authentication for all users, create the following polkit rules file:

polkit.addRule(function(action, subject) {
    if (action.id == "org.freedesktop.udisks2.filesystem-mount-system") {
        return polkit.Result.YES;