Yes, I am using Midnight Commander

Today Alan Pope was surprised that I am using Midnight Commander. It was not the first time when I saw such reaction.

Why am I using mc? It is “simple” tool, works fine and I know it. Some of its features are useless today (like /#sh: way of handling copying over ssh which got replaced by sshfs) but if it works why I should abandon it? I can use it remotely (try it with Nautilus/Dolphin/Thunar), on every type of terminal (but was incredibly hardcore on HP2623A one).

But thing which I love it in is “patchfs”. It allows to handle diffs like archives but with read/write operations. I can remove not wanted parts from patch without going into editor. When I was dealing with crazy/huge patches I was able to clean them in few minutes

14 thoughts on “Yes, I am using Midnight Commander

  1. Martin Owens

    would it be possible for you to make a small video explaining how patchfs works? I’m very interested in the design.

  2. KeithZG

    To be fair, you can run Nautilus/Dolphin/Thunar remotely; ssh -X is your friend :) But I’ll grant that that wouldn’t always work, and patchfs isn’t something easy to replicate.

  3. Dmitrijs Ledkovs

    I may want to add, that it could simply be a networking effect. I have met a few developers from Poland who use mc =) There are similar trends with other editors & shells from within company/community/country/etc…

  4. Robert

    Pcmanfm chokes on the symlinks when I back up my kernel. My solution is to use mc. It has never let me down. Emelfm2 works good too, but mc is a lot easier on the eyes.

  5. allenbeme

    Sssssssshhhhhhsssssshhhhhh! Don’t talk too much about how good it works. Some will try mod it to work on tablets.

  6. Víctor R. Ruiz

    I’m a big fan of mc! It’s the first thing I install on a machine, along vim. I was a user of PC Tools in MS-DOS, and mc was a perfect fit when I begun to use Linux. mc makes you much more productive than using bash or GUI file managers. mc r00lz!

  7. Seegras

    I get the same reaction, being a Unix sysadmin/engineer for 15 years or so. Some people somehow assume either a) the commandline can not be improved. Well, it already was, decades ago. Or b) real Unix wizards (or whatever) don’t use something like this.

    The point is, where file management is concerned, mc is simply the fastest and most scalable solution. It’s faster to work with than with any graphical file manager; and you’ve always got the commandline right there, and the full-screen console only a Ctrl-O away. And it works over ssh nicely.

    I’ve got hundred of thousands of files, sorted, and I can manage them thanks midnight commander. Try that with only the shell, or with a graphical file manager. You’ll get crazy or need factors more time.

    And you can plug in everything else you need. Press F3 (view) on a movie-file? It displays meta-data like codec and running time. Press Enter, and it starts your movie player if on a local X. press F3 on a binary, it displays the ldd-output. And so on.

  8. artfwo

    Word! mc is the first thing I install as well. My favourite feature is the lynx-style navigation, but I’m quite a fan of patchfs too.

  9. Nicola Larosa

    It’s a fricking shame that mc is not on the standard Ubuntu install. As Seegras eloquently described, there’s quite nothing like that interface paradigm. I’ve been using it for thirty years, all along its many implementations: Norton C., Volkov C., Windows (then Total) C., Midnight C., Krusader, Total C. again (on Android), many others. It’s truly a gift.

  10. muzzol

    mc abolutely rocks!!

    the only thing that bothers me is that syntax highlighting is not well mantained and I get some weird colorization sometimes.

  11. GDR!

    I had no idea of patchfs. And I make some money every month selling diff patches. Incredible.

  12. funlw65

    I also used PC Tools (version 6 I think it was) under DOS and it was fantastic compared to Norton Commander. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PC_Tools_(Central_Point_Software)

    An image with PC Shell 5.5 (can’t find images with 6 and 7): http://vogons.zetafleet.com/files/pcshell55_181.gif

    I am a mc user and I find it more productive for file management, archives, and in general I work faster with it. To be sure I will always have a linux with mc on it, I downloaded the entire Debian distribution on 8 DVD’s and currently I’m using it under Linux Mint Debian.

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