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Kemal Cholovich
Kemal Cholovich

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#007 Midnight Commander Tutorial | Efficient work with files and directories in the linux terminal | Linux tool | sudo mc


GNU Midnight Commander (also referred to as MC) is a user shell with text-mode full-screen interface. It can be run on the OS console, in xterm and other terminal emulators.

GNU Midnight Commander allows you to manage files while making most of you screen and giving you a clear representation of the filesystem, yet it's simple enough to be run over a telnet or ssh session.

GNU Midnight Commander is released under the GNU General Public
License version 3 or any later version. A copy of the file is
included with this distribution package.

Install Midnight Commander

First, install the utility:

On Debian or Ubuntu run:

sudo apt-get install mc
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On CentOS, the command is:

sudo yum install mc
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Launch Midnight Commander
To start Midnight Commander with the command prompt:

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mc themes examples

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Keep in mind that running as root is not a good idea unless you need to modify or delete files/directories owned by this user. In most cases, reading or copying objects owned by root doesn’t require special privileges, so try to run mc as a regular user.


Please read the file INSTALL for installation instructions
and full list of dependencies.

How to install mc
Short Video Guide


GNU Midnight Commander was conceived as a free clone of John Socha's
Norton Commander (TM). It also takes the best from more recent software
with similar interfaces. GNU Midnight Commander comes with mouse support
on xterm and optionally on the Linux console.

Some features are specific to the POSIX environment MC runs on, some are
familiar to the users of similar software for other operating systems.

The features include:

* Built in Virtual File System: manipulate remote file systems
      through the FTP and SMB protocols or over secure shell, browse
      contents of tar, ar, rpm, zip, cpio, lha and rar archives just
  like local files.

* Almost all operations work with the virtual file system,
  enabling you to do complex tasks, like viewing files in
  archives on an FTP server.

* Mouse support on most terminal emulators for X Window System
  as well as on the Linux console.

* Learn Keys: GNU Midnight Commander may be configured at run
  time to support any kind of input keys for a given terminal,
  making its operation possible even on most weird terminals.

* Text and hex editors are available for you to use (hex editor
  is a part of the viewer).

* Hotlist allows you to keep a list of common visited locations,
  including remote sites and directories inside archives.

* Command completion: By pressing Alt-Tab in any place where a
  filename or an executable are expected, GNU Midnight Commander
  will complete the name for you.  If you press Alt-Tab for the
  second time, you get a list box with all possible completions.

* Subshell support: Run your commands by a real shell
  interpreter.  GNU Midnight Commander interacts with bash,
  tcsh and zsh to provide you with all of the facilities
  available in your preferred shell.

* Find file command can search for the file contents.

* Background operations allow you to copy or move files from
  any virtual file system while you do other tasks (i.e., you
  can do background FTP copies).

* FTP proxy is supported.

* Linux file recovery: If you are using Linux, you can recover
  deleted files from an ext2 or ext3 partition with the undelete
  file system.  This is a low level file recovery function that
  can recover files deleted by any program on Linux.

* External panelization: You can run any arbitrary external
  command and GNU Midnight Commander will display the output
  generated as a file listing that can be manipulated as a
  regular directory.

* Emacs-like key bindings are used in all widgets.

* Context dependent actions (open, view, edit) are available.

* The built-in file viewer, together with the context dependent
  actions is used to format man pages on the fly, coloring mail
  messages and more.

* The built-in editor supports syntax highlighting and external
  actions, such as spell checking and formatting.
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