Which Linux file manager has a UI that mimics Windows File Explorer in a way that it supports a split view with:

  • a directory tree on the left, and
  • a file list on the right?

One you can try is xfe (X File Explorer).

sudo apt update
sudo apt install xfe

enter image description here

  • 1
    Beautiful. Tried a few, but missed this one, thanks. – Danijel Nov 12 '20 at 19:08

Thunar (the default file manager on Xubuntu) also supports this option under View > Side Pane > Tree

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • The right side is not good, xfe seems much better there. – Danijel Nov 23 '20 at 9:24
  • @Danijel That is also customizable with Ctrl+2 or View > View as Detailed List – pizzapants184 Nov 26 '20 at 4:09


is a fork of GNOME Files, formerly Nautilus, for the Cinnamon desktop which retained the tree view that it had at the time of the fork.

nemo sidebar tree view

1 Installation

2 Configuration

To switch to sidebar tree view:

  1. Access Nemo’s main menu; you may need to press Alt to toggle its visibility.

  2. Select ViewSidebarTree view.



I run it in i3 window manager:

PCManFM in i3


If you're into KDE or Qt-based software, Dolphin will also do what you want.

It offers various panels in addition to displaying the files in the current folder. One panel, the Files panel (top left in screenshot), shows the files as a hierarchical tree similar to the programs mentioned in the other answers.

It also has a Places panel (bottom left in screenshot) which allows you to add links which go directly to the folders of interest without navigating through the file tree.

Dolphin showing Files and Places panels

  • 3
    While this may be correct, how about some explanation oi why Dolphin is a good choice or even a screenshot to show why? As it stands, this is more of a comment than an answer. – Mark Kirby Nov 19 '20 at 16:44
  • 1
    I think KDE can still use the old file manager, Konqueror (apps.kde.org/en/konqueror), too. It might be more familiar to one used to MS Windows. – pbhj Nov 20 '20 at 16:34
  • @MarkKirby You're right. Fixed it . – Joe Nov 22 '20 at 3:36

Double Commander

You can install Double Commander, simply from software GUI for ubuntu 18.04, 20.04:

enter image description here

You can also install it from terminal too, there are 2 versions, based on the libraries GTK and QT.

First open a terminal with CRTL+ALT+T

if you want to install GTK version run:

sudo apt install doublecmd-gtk

if you want to install Qt version:

sudo apt install doublecmd-qt

It is a very powerful file manager where you can customize a kind of dashboard to launch easily your preferred programs.

enter image description here

or use it with its standard interface

enter image description here

homepage: https://doublecmd.sourceforge.io/

plugins that you can install: https://github.com/doublecmd/doublecmd/wiki/Plugins

  • Would you mind updating your answer with a link to the software's author? – RockPaperLz- Mask it or Casket Nov 20 '20 at 5:10
  • 1
    homepage added with guideline, wiki, plugins. Hope you find it useful :-) – pat Nov 20 '20 at 15:23
  • Thank you pat! I appreciate it! (And others may too!) :) – RockPaperLz- Mask it or Casket Nov 21 '20 at 3:01

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