Forked from PCManFM, SpaceFM is a lightweight, highly configurable, desktop-indpendent multi-panel tabbed file and desktop manager. It features a built-in virtual file system, a udev or HAL-based device manager, a customisable menu system, and Bash integration. More information can be found at the official SpaceFM website.
SpaceFM provides a built-in file search feature similar to, which can be utilised with the following command:
$ spacefm -f
The command to allow SpaceFM to set wallpapers and enable the use of desktop icons is:
The native desktop menu of the window manager will be replaced with that provided by SpaceFM. However, it can easily be restored from the SpaceFM menu itself by selecting
Desktop preferences and then enabling the
Right click shows WM menu option in the
If using the native desktop menu provided by a window manager, enter the following command to set or amend desktop preferences at any time:
$ spacefm --desktop-pref
It is worthwhile to consider adding this command to a keybind and/or the native desktop menu for easy access.
Creating new icons
User content such as text files, documents, images and so forth can be dragged and dropped directly onto the desktop. To create shortcuts for applications it will be necessary to copy their
.desktop files to the
~/Desktop directory itself. Do not drag and drop the files there as they will be moved completely. The syntax of the command to do so is:
cp /usr/share/applications/<name of application>.desktop ~/Desktop
For example - where installed - to create a desktop shortcut for, the following command would be used:
cp /usr/share/applications/lxterminal.desktop ~/Desktop
For those who used the Xdg user directories program to create their
$HOME directories no further configuration will be required.
The session or autostart command to run SpaceFM as a daemon / background process (i.e. to automount removable media such as CD/DVDs and USB flash-drives) is:
How SpaceFM may be autostarted as a daemon process or to manage the desktop for a standalone window manager will depend on the window manager itself. For example, to enable management of the desktop for Openbox, the following command would be added to the
spacefm --desktop &
Review the relevant wiki article and/or official home page for a particular installed or intended window manager. Should a window manager not provide an autostart file, SpaceFM may be alternatively autostarted by editing one or both of the following files:
- xinitrc: When using the SLiM display manager or Startx command
- xprofile: When using a display manager such as LXDM or LightDM
Additional features and functionality
Less experienced users should be aware that a file manager alone - especially when installed in a standalone Window manager such as Openbox - will not provide the features and functionality users of full desktop environments such as Xfce and KDE will be accustomed to. Review the file manager functionality article for further information.
Mounting remote hosts
SpaceFM supports mounting remote hosts via udevil. In order to add a remote host add the access URL into the URL bar. A terminal window should pop up showing the mounting process which is useful for error tracing. An overview of the supported remote hosts can be found in the udevil help. For example to mount a remote FTP server one would enter:
Tips & Tricks
Open archive in app instead of extracting
By default, SpaceFM is configured to extract an archive when double clicking on it. If you instead want to open it with your default archive manager such as, then select an archive, right-click for context menu, and then: Open / Archive default / Open With App