X File Explorer – Today’s Featured Application

A week or so ago, I was upgrading my Slackware systems to Current and noticed an unwanted “feature” had been added to my Xfce 4.10 Thunar file manager.

Thunar now shows all unmounted partitions on my systems by default. Years ago, I had this issue in Debian and had to create custom 10ignore-disks.fdi configuration files in /usr/share/hal/preprobe/95userpolicy to eliminate the display of unwanted volumes in Gnome/Nautilus. Unfortunately, that’s not a viable solution in my current situation. My Slack is not utilizing HAL anymore in its current version. I was at a loss on how to resolve this issue. With numerous partitions across three drives on my main system, it really made for a cluttered up Thunar left pane. See Fig 1 below:

Fig 1: Thunar showing unmounted volumes in left pane


I’m sure there is a resolution for this annoyance, but I haven’t found it as of yet. However, I did find a fabulous “work-around”, as mentioned in my previous article here about my adventures upgrading from Slack 13.37 to Current. I found a neat little file manager called X File Manager or Xfe. The more I use this little app, the more I really like it. See a shot in Fig 2 below:

Fig 2: Xfe showing standard Linux file system in left pane


As you can see in the above screenie of Xfe, I have just my standard Linux file system tree in the left pane. That’s how I want it. That’s how Thunar used to be before the recent upgrades to Xfce 4.10. Coincidentally, I had this same issue in Arch Linux when they first introduced Xfce 4.10 to their repos. I had other issues there also, namely failed auto-mounting, which I also experienced in Slack with this new upgrade. X File Manager solves it all.

This is a feature-rich and lightweight file manager. My only complaint is that it doesn’t use my already installed Xfce4 icon themes. That’s no big deal, though. The interface is fully customizable in regards to colors, fonts, highlighting, etc. I’m using the standard issue Tango theme that came with it. I can easily create (or modify an Xfce4 theme) a custom icon theme for it should I really want to some time in the future, but for now I’m just happy to be rid of the unmounted volumes and have my auto-mount back. It’s actually one-click mounting in Xfe. Still, faster than CLI mounting/dismounting… depending on your typing speed. πŸ˜‰

So, if you’re tired of Nautilus, Dolphin, Konqueror (my old fav) or Thunar, give X File Manager a shot. You might find that it grows on you.

Xfe Homepage

From the above Xfe Homepage:

What is it ?

X File Explorer (Xfe) is an MS-Explorer or Commander like file manager for X. It is based on the popular, but discontinued, X Win Commander, originally developed by Maxim Baranov.
Xfe is developed since 2002 by Roland Baudin, a French Linux enthusiast.

Xfe aims to be the file manager of choice for all light thinking Unix addicts!

Have fun!




14 Comments on “X File Explorer – Today’s Featured Application”

  1. someslack says:

    I deal with this by adding all these volumes to /etc/fstab like this:

    /etc/sdc5 /mnt/blabla ext4 defaults,noauto 0 2

    Although this way they disappear from the desktop too, but I don’t want my desktop cluttered anyways πŸ˜‰

  2. someslack says:

    Hmmm… there’s a better way and it worked for me. Create a file /etc/udev/rules.d/hide-partitions.rules

    Now let’s say you want to hide sda6, sdb2, sdb7, and all partitions from sdc. You could put these in the file you created:

    KERNEL==”sda6″, ENV{UDISKS_IGNORE}=”1″
    KERNEL==”sdb[27]”, ENV{UDISKS_IGNORE}=”1″
    KERNEL==”sdc?”, ENV{UDISKS_IGNORE}=”1″

    Yes, it accepts shell wildcards. Now reboot.

  3. Imrael says:

    I really like this file explorer, but I still won’t change over from Gnome Commander, as I did not manage to enable directory traversal via cursor keys 😦
    This is the feature I like about gnome commander most and miss it in every other FM. And GC is really fast as well on my machine (ArchLinux, Fluxbox).

    • Hi Imrael,

      Unfortunately, or fortunately – depending on how you look at it, there is no be-all do-all file manager out there. You know the old saying, “You can’t please everyone all the time.” That’s very true. We all have our own likes and requirements when it comes to applications that we use on our systems. I was at one time a hard-core Konqueror fan. When I swore off KDE (when 4.x came out), I really missed Konq. I learned to love Thunar, eventually, even though it was so much less feature rich than Konqueror was. Oh well, we adapt, I guess. πŸ˜‰



      • Imrael says:

        I hope so πŸ™‚

        Having read your forum postings on systemd, I decided to upgrade my Laptop with a 750 Gig hard drive, installing arch from scratch and in the process get a full systemd installation without the old initV running.
        Let’s see how well I can adapt to that ^^
        Thanks anyway for the reports of your systemd experiences and for the rest of your blog (+1 for my RSS feed reader, looks like I will have to find better feedreader soon… too many feeds πŸ˜‰ )

      • Too many feeds? HAHA! I know that feeling. Not to mention all my Slackware and Arch mailing lists. My email Inbox is flooded regularly. πŸ˜‰

        Systemd was surprisingly painless for me. Hope it is for you also. πŸ™‚

        Thanks for reading/commenting.


  4. […] X File Explorer – Today’s Featured Application […]

  5. lamm says:

    I use Linux Mint xfce and want a file manager with two panes. Therefore, xfe seems to me ideal, but for one thing: I cannot see any other partitions or drives, as I can with Thunar, for example. Am I missing something? Please thelp.

    • Hi lamm,

      I’m sorry that I won’t be of much help to you. What you’re referring to is file manager volume management. One of the reasons I liked xfe was the fact that it did NOT clutter up the left (tree view) pane with all the unmounted volumes on my system at that time.

      I don’t know if there’s a way for xfe to display volumes in the tree view. Unfortunately, I don’t use this app anymore. I went back to Thunar in Xfce after they improved the volume management system on that file manager.

      Xfe still seems to be an actively developed app, though. You might find some more information on their website –> http://roland65.free.fr/xfe/index.php?page=home Or maybe by contacting the developer directly –> http://roland65.free.fr/xfe/index.php?page=contact

      It’s a great little file manager. I hope you can get it working as you’d like it to.



  6. lamm says:

    Hi Eric,
    Thank you for your reply. I have sent an e-mail message to the developer, as you suggested. If this leads to a solution, I will report this.

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