mc  4.8.26
About: GNU Midnight Commander is a feature rich full-screen text mode file manager.
  Fossies Dox: mc-4.8.26.tar.xz  ("unofficial" and yet experimental doxygen-generated source code documentation)  

mc Documentation

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Introduction Dependencies Features Mini-documentation Where to get more information Reporting problems


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.


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


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.


These are hints for the text mode edition:

  • Use the F-Keys for invoking the commands in the function key bar. If your terminal doesn't support F-keys, you can use the sequence to invoke the corresponding F-digit key.

  • Tab changes the current panel.

  • All input lines have emacs-like key-bindings (command history is accessed through the M-p and M-n keys).

  • The panels accept C-n, C-p for browsing the panel (like in Emacs).

  • M-Enter copies the currently selected file name to the input line.

  • M-Tab completes the current word (or tries to).

  • The Virtual File System is a cute addition to the project, you may browse in tar and compressed tar files as well as browsing remote machines with the fish file system.

  • Please read the manual page.

You can access the whole documentation online with the F1 key, although it's not as nice as the groff printed manual page :-)

Where to get more information

There is a webpage for GNU Midnight Commander at

This page also has current information about mailing lists and some useful advices how to report bugs.

You can download the latest version of GNU Midnight Commander from

Reporting problems

You can report bug on our site, please read

Also you can use mc mailing lists to discuss problems.

There are two mailing lists, and Use if you are prepared for a more technical discussion with the developers of the package, otherwise use

Please don't sent HTML e-mail to either of those mailing lists.

Include the output of "mc --version", the operating system and the distribution (if applicable) you are using, the compiler and the configure flags used to compile the program (if you know them).

If the program crashed and produced a core dump, please provide a stack trace of the program.

You can do this by running gdb like this:

gdb mc core (gdb) where