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As a happy Linux user for almost a year now, this is the bane of my existence. Does the Linux community hate tree views for some obscure reason?

I don't mean a tree view in the side panel. That's useless. I mean a proper tree view, such that, when I click the triangle, all files and subdirectories contained within the directory show beneath, and I can drag and drop files, open and close trees.

It is extremely frustrating to navigate and move files around deeply nested directories without this feature.

I've tried: Nautilus, PCManFM, emelFM2, Krusader. I find it hard to believe that even crazilly-full-featured file managers like Krusader would be missing this most obvious of features... and yet, here I am. For all the effort put into those file managers, is this so farfetched to ask for?

I just need a simple, single-pane file manager with a tree view option. Help!

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4 Answers 4

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Dolphin appears to have this capability.


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It do! Thank you kind stranger. – o_o_o-- Aug 29 '13 at 23:54

Nautilus does this.

Ubuntu up to version 12.10

  • Just switch to View > List.


Ubuntu 13.04

Feature is missing in this release

Ubuntu 13.10 and newer

  • activate Preferences > Display > Navigate folders in a tree
  • switch to List View


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Pretty same as OSX, I didn't know that. Nice to know! – Denys Vitali Aug 29 '13 at 23:42
Not anymore:… -- because convergence. By far the dumbest decision anyone has ever made... actually merging a commit that removes functioning code for a useful feature, because it's not as useful on some device that doesn't exist yet. – o_o_o-- Aug 29 '13 at 23:57
Bummer! Didn't know that. Sorry. One more reason not to update to 13.04... – Germar Aug 30 '13 at 0:04
Nah, it's still there. Preferences > Display > Navigate folders in a tree. Might have been missing for one release, though. – Dylan McCall Aug 30 '13 at 0:28
still there in 15.10 – Mateo Oct 26 at 0:54

You could use Marlin as well

enter image description here

Install with

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:marlin-devs/marlin-daily
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install marlin marlin-plugin-*
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very sexy indeed! – qed May 16 '14 at 20:44
For Ubuntu 14.04 you need to use a different ppa ppa:noobslab/apps – Abid H. Mujtaba May 27 at 5:42

I, too, have been bedevilled by this. I have learned that THUNAR can be configured to work almost exactly like Windows Explorer (the old Windows Explorer before Microsoft cluttered it up) or like the old Nautilus before the Gnome folks dumbed it down. Spend a week with Thunar and I think that you will find that you can set it up to do what you want.

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How would you do this? I'm using Thunar and can't see how to make it work in tree view... – landroni Nov 24 at 22:29

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