How to install and use midnight commander

Hello my dear Linux Yogi’s,

in Today’s illustration I am going to show you how you can install midnight commander or for short mc and how you use it. If you are a veteran computer geek like me you were hacking away on old dos computers and most likely had Norton Commander running for more efficient disk operations like copying or moving files and folders.

So Midnight Commander is a Norton Commander Clone of some sort and it is very nice to work with for someone who spends a lot of time on the Linux console like me.

The installation is super simple and it does not require any additional repositories to be added. It is already part of the standard repositories. Issue the following commands to update your system and install midnight commander.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get install mc

after it is installed you can start is by simply issuing the following command:

mc

and you should see something like this in your terminal window or on the console.

mc main window
mc main window

on the bottom there is a menu which can be used with your “F” keys but not if you use it in a terminal window. If you use it in a terminal window just use the mouse to click on it. By hitting “F1” or clicking on it the help menu appears which provides some help about the midnight commander.

mc help
mc help

By hitting “F2” or clicking on “2” the User menu opens up and provides you with some functions.

mc user menu
mc user menu

The buttons “3” – “8” or “F3” – “F8” are file and folder operation commands and don’t require explanation. The “9” or “F9” activates the Top Menu to pull down, you can also click on it with the mouse and “10” or “F10” closes Midnight Commander.

mc left menu
mc left menu

Click with your mouse on the top menu with the name “Left” and it will show you commands that are specific to the left window pane.

mc file menu
mc file menu

By clicking on the “File” menu you will be presented with file operation commands.

mc command menu
mc command menu

Click on the “Command” menu will show you the operation commands.

mc options menu
mc options menu

By clicking on the “Options” menu you will see option that can impact how midnight commanders appears and behaves.

mc right menu
mc right menu

And last but not least by clicking on the “Right” menu you will see commands specific to the right window pane.

I encourage you to play around with midnight commander and don’t worry if you miss configure it simply go ahead and delete the hidden folder .config/mc and everything is back to defaults.

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you enjoyed it. Please consider to register or subscribe to this blog and forum. If you have something you like me to write about feel free to use my contact form and drop me a line.

Until next time, Namaste my friends!