zzzFM file manager

Forum Forums General Software zzzFM file manager

  • This topic has 142 replies, 18 voices, and was last updated Oct 12-2:21 am by marcelocripe.
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      zzzFM is derived from the SpaceFM v1.0.6 codebase (which had been unmaintained since 2018)
      SpaceFM had been previously distributed as “PCManFM-Mod”, derived from the PCManFM file manager

      license: GPL3+

      The zzzFM source code and localization (.po) files are available for inspection / download here:

      compared to spaceFM:

      * zzzFM has a significantly smaller memory footprint

      * zzzFM does not significantly “bleed memory during extended use” (spaceFM does)

      * zzzFM omits HAL support (which was deprecated in debian, back around 2011)

      * zzzFM does not support user-installed “plugins”, nor “import/export”

      * zzzFM does not pretend to be an “imagefile browser” application

      * zzzFM’s icons are not wedded to, are not dependent upon, specific GTK iconsets

      * zzzFM’s UserManual both omits “cruft” (e.g. blather about v2.6- kernel polling, HAL)
      and includes an addendum containing manpage content and tips for “udevil” and “devmon”

      * zzzFM provides improved localization coverage, compared to the debian spaceFM package.


      If you would like to use zzzfm to manage desktop icons
      (ala ‘space-rox’ desktop sessiontype), you can:

      sudo mv /usr/bin/spacefm /usr/bin/spacefm_REAL
      sudo ln /usr/bin/zzzfm /usr/bin/spacefm

      then logout, choose a space-* sessiontype, login
      (or switch via the desktop “Other Desktops” menu entries)


      zzzfm startup memory usage
      (per ps_mem.py, which produces inconsistent results across multiple test runs)
      gtk2: 7.5MB ~~ 8.1MB
      gtk3: 10.1MB ~~ 15Mb

      Merge requests are welcome. It will be “up to the community” to retrieve
      the .po files and setup a transifex project (or launchpad.net?), and to
      submit a merge request after a new batch of translations has been performed.

      • This topic was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by christophe. Reason: corrected stale links as requested by poster

        This sounds really good.

        confirmed antiX frugaler, since 2019


          I have been playing with it for a bit and it seems to work as expected.
          I will install on my tablet to try to reproduce the original spacefm bug where right-clicking on the desktop creates a (hand) drag icon which doesn’t let me launch the WM menu (sometimes)

          * zzzFM does not support user-installed “plugins”, nor “import/export”

          I know you dislike it, but could you create an option (enabled in Preferences > Advanced) to enable/disable Trash use? As the trash plugin can no longer be imported, having the functionality of the trash to be enabled/disabled may help with new users.

          antiX Live system enthusiast.
          General Live Boot Parameters for antiX.


            Agree with xecure on having the functionality of the trash to be enabled/disabled may help with new users.

            Along with single click another seemingly unsurmountable hurdle for many ex windozers is when delete means just that.

            No comment on what that says about the capacity to adapt in the individuals concerned.


              Very, very nice work, Skidoo!

              First the install problems:
              There’s a typo on your install instructions:
              the first line should de:

              cd /tmp 

              I tried to copy/past your code, but wget got me:
              “503 Service Temporarily Unavailable”

              So I manually downloaded both file and installed them

              First the pros:

              This looks and feels exactly like spacefm, so no learning curve for antiX spacefm users! Reading it’s homepage, it’s stated it’s a spacefm fork- that’s why it look identical!
              It runs on about half of spacefm’s RAM!
              It’s light and fast- even on single core crappy machines:

              The cons:
              -I got no thumbnails for video files- but that’s not even close of being a deal breaker for me
              The “home” bookmark points to “/home/demo”

              My suggestions:
              -I see what you did there… The default config almost makes it look like rox-filer… You can configure it to show devices/bookmarks… Users may get a bit spooked because they don’t see their internal drives displayed on the left side tab- so having it set to display internal drives by default could be great. If folks like using rox, they’ll use rox- probably folks that will use zzzfm would like what they (wrongly) call a “File managers with more features” than rox-filer.
              -I like and use all the time the bookmarks: having it set to be displayed by default is a nice touch to make users of other file managers feel “more at home”, because they get to see, right from the start a feature they are used to.
              -Please provide a 32 bits .deb file, if possible! Folks with really old machines, with low specs are the ones that benefit more from a nice File Manager that uses very little RAM
              – Add, on right click menu, the option ( start terminal here)- I added this to my spacefm- it helps, because people are using to seeing it there on many file manager
              – Oh boy… you really did your part to keep the old Linux applications developer’s habit of making up wierd names 🙂 please, please, rebrand this… I’ll even take “aFM”, “XFM” (the first and last letters from antiX, although this should work on any Debian OS- “a file manager” sounds “smart”), just plain “FM”, whatever… (just kidding, but not really)
              – About the lack of plugins / trash – that’s a bit problematic- most people (Linux users, I mean) don’t use spacefm, and those few that use it, don’t generally use plugins (or so I thinl)- so, you did great by shaving some resource usage. Most people do like and use a trash bin /recicle bin. I did a small “how to” use trash-cli to get a trash bin that works great on spacefm, no extra resource usage needed- if folks feel it needs a trash bin, you an add “trash-cli as a recommendation/dependency and include a zzzfm-trash-cli.desktop”, so user’s have it’s icon available system wide (or simply add a bookmark and/or right click menu entry to access it)- this will make it a File manager that even lazy users, used to other OS’s that does everything for them, feel right at home using!

              I’ll try it out some more and provide some more feedback, if I feel I have something more to say.

              Great, great job, Skidoo!


              • This reply was modified 2 years, 12 months ago by PPC.

                @Skidoo: I began translating the po file to pt-pt, but it’s huge…

                @To everyone that feels that zzzfm needs a trash/ recycle bin– I tested it with trash-cli and it works great! I just takes, literally, a couple of minutes to set up, gets you 95% of a normal trash/recycle bin features:

                Installing it:

                sudo apt update
                sudo apt trash-cli 

                Using it with zzzfm:
                – Open zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzfm (oh! Sorry, I fell a sleep, sorry, skidoo 🙂 )
                – Right click a file you want to delete or don’t mind losing if anything goes wrong; right click “Delete”; Click the “+” (plus option) and select “Command”; Enter what you want your send to trash option to look like (I recommend “Send to Trash”); Click the “ok” button; enter, without quotation marks, the command “trash %F”; Click the “Menu item” tab; in the Icon field enter (without quotation marks) “gtk-delete”. Click the “OK” button.
                -Now you have a “send to Trash” menu contextual entry with an icon. To use the “delete” key to send files/folders to the trash can: right click a irrelevant file again; right click your “Send to trash” menu entry; select “key shortcut”; press the “delete” key and confirm you want to replace the delete command with the “trash %f” command.
                -If you want to remove the trash icon from the “delete” menu entry: right click a file; right click “delete”; Select “proprieties”; delete the “gtk-delete” from the icon field and save your changes.
                -To access your deleted files: jump to ~/.local/share/Trash/files if you want, set a bookmark to it and rename it (the bookmark, not the folder) “Trash”. You can also set that bookmark’s icon to “gtk-delete”

                How to use this “Trash bin”:
                To permanently delete files/folders that are on your trash bin, select them, right click them and choose the original “delete” menu entry.
                To direclty permanently delete files/folders, without using the trash bin right click them and select “delete” and click the confirmation window.
                To restore files/folders that are on your trash bin: what makes the trash-cli package so great to use, instead of simply using a “move to trash folder cli command” is that it provides a cli “restore” features that restore the file to it’s original place. But there’s no GUI way to do that, so simply go to your Trash folder and move the file/folder you want to restore back to where you want it.

                • This reply was modified 2 years, 12 months ago by PPC.
                • This reply was modified 2 years, 12 months ago by PPC.

                  Please provide a 32 bits .deb file,

                  I will try to build one for buster this afternoon, using skidoo’s source.

                  Add, on right click menu, the option ( start terminal here)

                  This would also need to be translated, as only having it in the config file will lead to same issues as experienced with spcefm configured for antiX.

                  antiX Live system enthusiast.
                  General Live Boot Parameters for antiX.


                    @Xecure- Thanks for trying to build the 32bits version, I bet that would be appreciated by many antiX users!
                    – About the ” start terminal here”- I’m not picky: It can just say “Terminal”- it’s the same in many languages, or even better: “Roxterm”, and feature the terminal icon- that would make it as multilanguage as possible, forcing users to use the default terminal (hey, how many folks that really need a nice looking GUI File Manager to get by do change the default terminal?)

                    On my previous suggestion, to add a “Trash bin”: I did some testing- if you skip the trash-cli instalation process and instead of “trash %F” you use the “mv %F ~/.local/share/Trash/files”, you’ll end up with the same end result (you no longer have a cli tool to restore stuff sent to trash, but, then again, GUI file managers aren’t really meant for cli savyy users, so using the File Manager to move files/folders from the trash bin to wherever you want to restore them to, does the same job).

                    If no unexpected bugs pop up, I’m all in favor of using this masterwork as the replacement for spacefm in antiX 21- it can be even be forked (I know, it ends being a fork of a fork, of a fork) and renamed something like “spacefm for antiX”, so users still have spacefm as file manager, and space-*** desktops to choose from.
                    The nice part is, that, if anticapitalista goes for that at puts all the localization files up for translation on transifex, we end up having a fully localized, light, nice looking (well, at least following the minimum design standards most people expect from a file manager – once devices and bookmarks are turned on), that’s still under active development! Both roxfiler and spacefm are now dead projects. Having an actively devolved secondary file manager in the distro can only get us some much needed “good press”.

                    P.S.- Skidoo did mention zzz’s (now that’s a mouth full of “zes”) low RAM usage- but I drop this pearl – you get a “regular looking” file manager that runs in just some more 3MB of RAM than roxfiler!!!
                    Quick, Dev team, please test-drive zzzfm, and if no bug found, replace spacefm- and (easier said than done) add a new step to the installer- choose default file manager- rox (a bit lighter, less modern looking) or zzzfm (a bit heavier, more modern looking)- if it comes with a pre-configured “trash bin”, I dare any of those negative reviewers on distrowatch to find something to bitch about (I know, I know, there’s always something that doesn’t please everyone).



                      I retract my words on the translation for terminal. There is already a menu entry in File > Terminal. We only need to also include it in the right-click of empty space. I usually press the F4 key on any opened folder (I forgot the menu entry already existed), so adding the entry to right-click menu should be “simple” (I don’t know how difficult it may be. I am just a fool).

                      This is the bug I am talking about:

                      Hold right-click on the desktop, move the mouse, release the right-click, and no icewm menu pops up.

                      I am use to it, but I consider this unacceptable behavior for any new user. I also find it a bit anoying on tablet touch screen (reason I use rox to manager the “desktop icons” on tablet).
                      If you can figure this out, and mounting encrypted USB devices (as reported here), we will be closer to the perfect File Manager.

                      antiX Live system enthusiast.
                      General Live Boot Parameters for antiX.


                        About both “bugs” Xecure mentioned:

                        1-I did not test using zzzfm to manage the desktop, but I can tell you this: I switched to my space-fluxbox desktop, that’s configured to not show the WM menu when I right click, held that button down and dragged the mouse, and the “bug” still acts like you described: no contextual menu is shown, only the “move icon” icon… You have to press “Esc” to make it go away. It does not seem like a particular nasty bug, unless you are using a touch screen, without a physical keyboard…
                        I generally don’t use a desktop managed by a file manager (just plain fluxbox or icewm desktops) so this “bug” does not bug me at all ( pardon the pun), but many users do like having desktop icons… So it could be nice if Skidoo found a way around that- I hope this extra info about the bug helps out in any way…

                        2-I skimmed the thread about mounting encrypted USB devices- I have no such device to use for testing, but it seams it’s more a case of antiX missing dependencies than a file manager bug (I got the impression that problem still happens when you try to mount devices with rox-filer).



                        After some testing, I just finished setting up my zzzfm looks (but this also applies to spacefm, of course).
                        If you want to have a Favorites tab on the left section of your file manager:
                        Go to it’s Bookmarks toolbar menu and make sure “Show bookmarks” is ticked.
                        If you want, you may delete any entry there (right click the entry on the Bookmarks tab, on the left side of the window and click the “-” option.

                        Now add the entries you want. Usually file managers have these:
                        History – not available, as such, under antiX, more on that below…
                        Home – go to your home folder, add it to bookmarks ; right click that bookmark > Proprieties > Icon: gtk-home
                        Documents – go to your home folder > documents, add it to bookmarks; right click that bookmark > Proprieties > Icon: gtk-file
                        Downloads – go to your home folder > Downloads, add it to bookmarks; right click that bookmark > Proprieties > Icon: download

                        Music- go to your home folder > Music, add it to bookmarks; right click that bookmark > Proprieties > Icon: tools-rip-audio-cd
                        Pictures- go to your home folder > Pictures, add it to bookmarks; right click that bookmark > Proprieties > Icon: viewimage
                        Video- go to your home folder > Video, add it to bookmarks; right click that bookmark > Proprieties > Icon: tools-rip-video-cd

                        Trash bin / recycle bin- go to ~/.local/share/Trash/files, add it to bookmarks; right click that bookmark > Proprieties > Icon: gtk-delete

                        If you want to make the Favorites bar even more sleek, select it’s entry the “Bookmarks” entry on the Bookmarks pane; rick click it, remove it’s description and set it’s icon to “bookmarks” (so it will display only a single star, on that initial line, without text)

                        If you really miss having a “Recent files” on your file manager:
                        Right lick on the bottom of the bookmarks pane > choose “+” > Call it “History” or “Recent files” > Click “ok” > command > enter this command there:

                        eval “zzzfm -g --label "Double-click a file to view:" --chooser --button close” && xdg-open “$dialog_chooser1”

                        Edit: GRRR the forum software is messing with me… Does not accept the command because it uses ticks, that are always interperted as “Code”, so I just attached a printscreen of the code…

                        Save it. Right click that new entry on the left pane > proprieties > Icon: history and save the changes.

                        • This reply was modified 2 years, 12 months ago by PPC.
                        • This reply was modified 2 years, 12 months ago by PPC.
                        • This reply was modified 2 years, 12 months ago by PPC.

                          Skidoo, I am not able to “autobuild” with sbuild not to 1386 nor amd64. I get these errors:
                          (cannot include the code snipet)

                          Building spacefm 1.0.6-5 from Debian displays this where I encounter the error (no error here):
                          (cannot include the sniped of code. The forum rejects it)

                          So, the error occurs here:

                          Merging translations into zzzfm-folder-handler.desktop.
                          make[3]: *** No rule to make target 'zzzfm-manual-en.html', needed by 'all-am'.  Stop.
                          make[3]: Leaving directory '/<<PKGBUILDDIR>>/debian/build-gtk2/data'

                          Just after compiling the translations for zzzfm-folder-handler.desktop

                          Can you recommend what and where I need to look into to fix this so I can continue building?

                          antiX Live system enthusiast.
                          General Live Boot Parameters for antiX.


                            @Skidoo: trying to run my above oneliner script always go me this error:

                            (process:22911): zzzFM-WARNING **: 19:15:49.506: /etc/zzzfm/zzzfm.conf: terminal_su '/bin/sudo' file not found

                            So I “sudo geany /etc/zzzfm/zzzfm.conf” and commented out the offending line- now the script does not produce any error…



                              reproduce the original spacefm bug where right-clicking on the desktop
                              creates a (hand) drag icon which doesn’t let me launch the WM menu (sometimes)

                              Yep, during testing I noticed the same. When right-click occurs, if the mouse cursor is moving, even ever-so-slightly… winds up being treated like an intended drag operation. If I manage to solve that, I’ll let you know.

                              I got no thumbnails for video files

                              libffmpegthumnailer drags in a lot of chained dependencies and “costs” everyone NOT interested in having those video thumbs the additional runtime overhead from loading those additional libraries… so that feature has been willfully omitted but, if you care to rebuild a personal copy, it is still available via a compile-time option.
                              simply remove the “–disable-video-thumbnails” from debian/rules prior to running dpkg-buildpackage

                              having the functionality of the trash to be enabled/disabled

                              when delete means just that

                              Grabbed a couple random quotes, as an acknowledgement of the fact that, so far, trash appears to be the “hot issue” in terms of feedback. (searched in page, “trash” occurs 41 times!)

                              First I’ll mention that you can have (you can create) a basic “Trash” custom command. Create a target trashbin directory, at whatever location (e.g ~/.local/Trash/, or ~/.local/share/Trash) then, click ‘Tools’ and create a new custom command ( mv %F ~/.local/Trash/ ) or right-click any file } Actions } right-click to activate DesignMode and add the custom command to that menu.
                              Probably (I did not check this detail to verify) you can even assign a keyboard shortcut key for the custom command.

                              The corbeille trash “plugin”, it created 9 separate command buttons, IIRC. On your system, you might (then, or now) want only one (only “SendToTrash”)
                              or two (also “browseTo trash dir”) or, if you do want all 9… yes, each of the “commands” provided by the corbielle plugin are quite a bit more complicated than “one-liner” bash commandstrings.

                              Not specific to “trash”, my primary disdain toward plugins — as implemented by spaceFM — was the vulnerability vector created by their “wget | install” availability (plus the “cop out” you-have-been-warned disclaimer buried in the UserManual.)

                              Without committing here to a promise of “bringing back an option to have Trash”, I will at least mention that the POSSIBILITY exists to “bring back” the functionality afforded by certain vetted plugins.
                              To be clear: although you cannot do this today, in v1.07
                              a package maintainer (and/or distro curator and/or local sysadmin) could elect to place (the equivalent of) corbeille and/or other select “plugin” content here, and it would become available to all users, system-wide. Whomever chooses to do so, they would assume responsibility for maintaining documentation which covers the “over and above” additional functionality provided by those “included” plugins.

                              A happy middle ground could be use of a separate “-goodies” package. It would install content to /usr/share/zzzfm/included/ plus any supplementary documentation (which probably begs a .destop file to advertise its availability).

                              Already (today) assembling a “goodies” package for SpaceFM would be feasible (install content to /usr/share/spacefm/included/) if someone cares to advance such a project.


                                So I “sudo geany /etc/zzzfm/zzzfm.conf” and commented out the offending line-

                                Well this is embarrassing…

                                I will fix the packaged conf file (and download instructions in post #1) and re-upload the .debs


                                  Building spacefm 1.0.6-5 from Debian displays this where I encounter the error (no error here):
                                  (cannot include the sniped of code. The forum rejects it)

                                  howabout pastebin.com
                                  and post a link

                                  oh. zipfile.
                                  I’ll check it out

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