The best free file manager for Mac OS and not only


Overview of free file managers for Mac OS X

When you use your Mac, file browsing options are important. The default file browser for Mac OS is Finder. However, many Mac users find it to be lacking in a few essential features like dual window mode. Fortunately, there are many alternatives - paid and free. Among the free file managers can be noted Moroshka, Midnight commander and muCommander.

Moroshka can be installed directly from the App Store. It looks like this:


The program makes a positive impression and has features such as bookmarks, archieves support (writing zip, 7zip and tar), hex viewer. The program is lightweight and runs fast. However the source code is closed.

The second file manager is Midnight Commander. It work in the console and is open source. It can be installed with ports or brew. Midnight Commander looks like this:

Midnight commander

The main disadvanatage of MC is console.

Third file manager, attracting attention is muCommander. It is written in Java and runs on all major desktop Java-platforms - Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Solaris, FreeBSD. It's open source. The applications looks like this (muCommander support color themes):




  • Virtual file system with support FTP, SFTP, SMB and HTTP/HTTPS
  • Bookmarks
  • Packing an unpacking ZIP, TAR and GZip archieves
  • Themes support
  • Configurable hotkeys
  • Crossplatform
  • Sending files via e-mail
  • Open source


  • No file search
  • Bad text editor and viewer (the maximum filesize is 1 MB, large files open slowly, only text files and images)
  • Launch takes some time (because it's java)
  • Some minor bugs (for example some hotkeys doesn't work on Mac OS)
  • Doesn't support packing to 7zip archieves
  • Doesn't contains hex viewer/editor

I cloned the source to github and made a few fixes

Version of 2.01.2014

Features and fixes:

  • Implemented Find File dialog. Hotkeys F3 / F4 allows open the viewer / editor for found files
  • Fixed hotkeys for viewer and editor - hotkeys Ctrl+S and Ctrl+F (have not worked) replaced for Mac OS to Cmd+S and Cmd+F
  • Added Terminal command (F2) for Mac OS and WindowsXP
  • TextArea component replaced to RSyntaxTextArea big files open now much faster, the maximum file size is increased from 1 to 10 megabytes
  • The last entered string stored in the search dialog text for viewer/editor
  • Added commands for jumping to next (hotkey = space) and previous (hotkey = backspace) image for image viewer
  • The editor / viewer windows are enlarged to full screen size
  • Added new dark theme - "Trol" (see screenshoot above)
  • Fixed issues with theme editor panel

The easiest way to install the updated muCommander muCommander on MacOS - download dmg image from the official site and then replace the file /Applications/ on the updated jar.

Version of 14.01.2014

Features and fixes:

  • Syntax highlight in viewer and editor and some predefined themes for that
  • Store caret position, encoding and syntax type in viewer and editor for last 100 files
  • F3 hotkey for directory calculate it size, F4 hotkey shows permission setup dialog
  • Multithread loading - muCommander starts faster now
  • Commands "goto next" and "goto prev" for images viewer
  • Implemented undo/redo commands in editor
  • Simplified files mark/unmark dialog - only file mask with * and ? macroses
  • Added PDF viewer
  • The application compiled for Java 1.7, the older JVM doesn't supporting now
  • Fixed viewer and editor issues for Windows
  • Fixed bugs in theme editor
  • Fixed some other bugs

Version of 10.05.2014

Features and fixes:

  • HEX file viewer
  • New images formats support. Now muCommander supports the following image formats: png, gif, jpg, bmp, wbmp, ico, psd, tga, tiff, pnm, pbm, pgm, ppm, scr.
  • StatusBar for images viewer window
  • Search history for text and filenames
  • Support of non-latin filenames in RAR-archives
  • Fixed issues with RAR-archives
  • Improved win1251 charset autodetection
  • Autodetection of XML-files for text-viewer
  • Fixed some other bugs

Version of 23.06.2014

Features and fixes:

  • Saving the size and position of windows and dialogs
  • Speed optimization of opening for viewers and editors
  • Migration to 7-Zip-JBinding for 7zip decompressor. Decompression speed should increase. Fixed issues with temporary files in mucommander directory on decompression.
  • Implemented calculator with support of hex (etc. 0x12), octal (etc. 0123) and binary (etc. 0b10101010) numbers (Alt-C)
  • Symlink creator (Alt-F7)
  • Symlink editor (F4)
  • Fixed some minor issues

MacOS installation: unpack file into /Applications/ directory (need to backup and cleanup the direcotry /Applications/ if it already exists). For other platforms just replace file mucommander.jar.
IMPORTANT: For Windows you sholud to download mucommander.jar and mucommander.exe, NOT only exe.

* * * The latest version can be downloaded here * * *

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