If you are an advanced Windows or GNU/Linux desktop user, you should have heard of Norton Commander and Midnight Commander. These Applications are the principal representatives of orthodox file managers. In the era of MS/DOS and early Linux terminals, the concept of orthodox file managers managed to boost productivity and make personal computing much easier. In fact, many advanced users keep using such tools until today with Midnight Commander, for example, still being under active development, more than 20 years after its initial release.
Orthodox file managers have made their appearance on Android Operating System as well. One fine example is Ghost Commander. This App continues the tradition of orthodox file managers: It features a dual panel interface and it is fast and lightweight. Also, it is Open Source (GPL v3), allows deep customization and provides plugins for cloud services. It comes with no Ads at all, which allows it to have a clean and non-obstructive user interface.
- Copy/move/delete/rename/create files and folders
- Access external Storage/USB On-The-Go using Storage Access Framework
- Edit text files using built-in text editor
- Built-in simple picture viewer
- Open a zip archive as a folder. Also extract files from zip archives, create add files to zip archives
- Advanced file search
- Sort files and folders by name/size/date/extension
- Calculate of file and folder size and MD5 and SHA-1
- Change permissions of files and folders
- Save shortcuts to frequently visited folders to the favorites list as well as on the App’s main screen
- Connect to an FTP site, download/upload files and folders. Support for both active and passive modes.
- Configurable user interface: show/hide icons, change row size as well as background and foreground colors.
- Remount partitions
- Send files via email, Bluetooth etc
- Support for root operations and bash commands execution
- Full operation through keyboard: every action has a hotkey
Features provided by plugins:
- Open a Windows network shared folder using Samba protocol. Copy files/folders to and from it.
- Connect to Dropbox/Box/Google Drive any WebDAV enabled cloud storage and manipulate files.
The idea behind dual paneled file managers is that the user can simultaneously navigate to two different locations. Files and folders can then be moved or copied between the two locations easily. It might take some time to get used to this interface but once you master it, it can really boost productivity. Also, it is possible to operate Ghost Commander exclusively through keyboard, without even touching the display, since it assigns all of its functions to different keys. So, if you have a device with a physical keyboard, navigation and file or folder manipulation becomes quite easy. Lastly. if you make use of Dropbox or other similar file storing services, integration with Ghost Commander is seamless. All you need to do is install the corresponding plugin and enter your login credentials.
Another thing that one must consider, is the way this file manager handles multiple files selection. Gnome Commander tries not to overload the display with extra check-boxes. So, each file row is divided into two zones: By tapping on the left side of the row the App opens files and folders. By tapping on the right side, items are selected. Zones can be swapped under App settings.
Ghost Commander is a file manager boasting an idea from the past, that can be of handy even today. If you are doing lots of file operations on a daily basis on your device, if you need easy access to your cloud file storage or, if you are into new experiences, you should definitely give Ghost Commander a try.