Somehow, I can't find any options to enable tree view in Lubuntu 18.10 File Manager. Would it be possible to do that? If yes, please let me know how.

If not, what is the alternative?


I've accepted answer from DK Bose as he provided answer for 2 of my questions.

I've been exploring another alternative and would like to share this as no one provided similar info yet.

Default File Manager (FM) for Lubuntu 18.10 is PCManFM-Qt. However 2 things I don't really like about this FM are it doesn't support tree view and dark background. It turns out I was wrong. I was only looking the tree view setting in View menu as shown in DK Bose's screenshot below.

Please take note that you won't find that setting there. Here is how to change the default "Places" setting to "Directory View". enter image description here

However, PCManFM-Qt still doesn't support dark background. As I was reading about another FM, I found this link https://www.tecmint.com/top-best-lightweight-linux-file-managers/ and found PCManFM 1.3.0.

Apparently, PCManFM 1.3.0 is also developed by the same person, Hong Jen Yee (PCMan). And the best part is PCManFM 1.3.0 does support bookmark while Thunar is not.

The installation is very easy.

sudo apt install pcmanfm

enter image description here

The best part about PCManFM 1.3.0 is it does support dark background and bookmark too. Sorry Thunar, I found better alternative now for FM.

Hopefully this would help others too.

  • 1
    I don't see Tree View as an option. So the short answer, AFAICT, is it isn't possible. If you know of a file manager you like that provides the feature, just install and use it.
    – DK Bose
    Feb 24, 2019 at 5:48
  • 1
    I couldn't find it either, but I'd suggest dolphin (from KDE desktop; it's Qt like LXQt) where you can select Control->Panels->Folders to have it view (tested on my Lubuntu 19.04
    – guiverc
    Feb 24, 2019 at 5:56
  • @guiverc as you point out, Dolphin, even on 18.04, does what you say. The only issue is that it pulls in "baloo"-related packages and I don't know what the effect on that will be in Lubuntu 18.10. Maybe you can ask in IRC?
    – DK Bose
    Feb 24, 2019 at 6:16
  • 1
    @DKBose I booted a Lubuntu 18.10 box, and dolphin was already installed [a QA-test box, I forget why I installed it, but it's a i686 lower-powered box and is fine]. It had the Control->Panels->Folders I'd mentioned earlier too.
    – guiverc
    Feb 24, 2019 at 6:37
  • Not sure why everyone here is saying "can't find". PCManFM does have the Directory Tree, except Qt version is not accessible from menu bar or keyboard shortcut (clarified for 16.04 and 18.04). The side pane is there, and the Places/Directory Tree option is found in the side pane also.
    – user37165
    Feb 28, 2019 at 14:29

3 Answers 3


Another Qt based (like Lubuntu 18.10 is) alternative is dolphin from KDE

By default it didn't show as you wanted, but select

Control -> Panels -> Folders

to have folders show in a tree like fashion on the left panel.

The following picture was from my 19.04 box, but it responded identically on the 18.10 QA-test box (x86/i686) besides me I just tested it on.

Dolphin on Lubuntu 19.04

there may be other alternatives, and which is best for you is your choice. Sorry I couldn't get it to view on my play with pcmanfm-qt

Install with sudo apt install dolphin


A file manager that may do what you want and won't pull in too many dependencies is Thunar. Install it by running sudo apt install thunar. After it's installed, you'll find it under Menu > System:

The image shows how to switch to Tree View.

Tree View with Thunar

Note that Thunar is a gtk application and nicely obeys the Blackbird theme of light text on a dark background as described here.

As other answers indicate, there are other options available. If your interested to know the list of dependencies pulled in by each, you could do a simulation of an install by running sudo apt install -s thunar or sudo apt install -s dolphin or sudo apt install -s caja, etc. The simulation requires the inclusion of -s but does not need sudo and so is quite harmless.


Another alternative is Caja from MATE DE (GNOME 2 fork).

By default its Side Pane shows Places, but you can switch it to Tree view:

Tree view

You can combine Places view in side pane with List View of main panel to show directory tree:

List view with three

Also as free bonus you can enable Extra Pane (with F3) to combine views - for example List View in the left and Icon View in the right:

List View + Icon View

You can install Caja with

sudo apt install caja

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