Double Commander

2.1. Basic Help


1. Presentation
1.1. Origin
1.2. Usage
2. Interface
2.1. Menu bar
2.1.1. "Files"
2.1.2. "Mark"
2.1.3. "Commands"
2.1.4. "Network"
2.1.5. "Tabs"
2.1.6. "Favorites"
2.1.7. "Show"
2.1.8. "Configuration"
2.1.9. "Help"
2.2. Button toolbar
2.3. Drives button bar
2.4. Drives list
2.5. Tabs bar
2.6. Current directory bar
2.7. Tabstop headers bar
2.8. Status bar
2.9. Command line
2.10. Terminal window
2.11. Function key buttons bar

1. Presentation

Welcome to Double Commander!

1.1. Origin

Double Commander – is a project started by Russian programmer Alexander Koblov (, as a fork of Sexi Commander (author – Radek Cervinka,

1.2. Usage

There are several ways to get Double Commander:

Version archive is also available.

First, you must choose which operating system (Windows, Linux, macOS(*), FreeBSD), whether 32 or 64 bit and then you may select the version to download.

For Windows there is an executable file .exe (Inno Setup) or .msi and an archive .zip (which is the so-called portable version).

For Linux there are versions based on GTK toolkit and based on Qt. Also portable version is available (compiled binaries packed with XZ, use to launch).

Note: The features of the update of the portable version are described in the FAQ.

On the first launch Double Commander will automatically detect the system language, and set it for the interface. DC is translated into many languages. The language can be changed in the menu via Configuration > Options... > Language.

Double Commander determines and uses the current system theme. It looks like this (Ubuntu, two themes and two icon sets):

Main window

As can be seen from the figure, there are left file panel, a command line and a lower window that is a log viewer (it shows all the actions from the file manager).

Double Commander uses Total Commander plugin API, so under Windows you can use plugins from Total Commander (many of them are compatible with DC).

DC is distributed with several pre-installed plugins: several packer plugins (WCX) for working with archives as directories (virtual file system, VFS), file system plugin (WFX) for working with FTP, some content plugins (WDX). Version for Linux includes WFX plugin for working with network storage (SMB/CIFS), search plugin (DSX) and lister plugin (WLX) for viewing video. Version for Windows includes two WLX plugins: Windows Media Player and Explorer Preview plugin. Other plugins can be installed manually.

2. Interface

Double Commander's interface.

2.1. Menu bar

Menu bar

The Menu Bar provides access to all the features of Double Commander. But do not forget that the majority of actions can be performed in other ways: by using hot keys or buttons on the toolbar.

2.1.1. "Files"

This menu contains almost all the actions that can be made on files. Please consider all the items:

Create Hard Link... (internal command cm_HardLink). With this item, Double Commander creates a hard link to the file under the cursor, and places it in a folder, open on the adjacent panel.

Hard link

Link name – here is the path to the link and its name. The name is the last word after the last path separator character in the line.

Existing destination – the object, on which the link is created.

Create Symbolic Link... (internal command cm_SymLink). All like the hard link above, but link is symbolic.

Create Directory (internal command cm_MakeDir) – creates a new subdirectory in the current directory. The file name (without extension) or directory name under the cursor will be offered, this is useful for creating multiple directories with similar names. You can also create several subdirectories in one operation, just separate the subdrectories with the directory separator (in Unix/Linux system it will be "/" and in Windows it will be "\"), for example, directory1\directory2\directory3.

Create Shortcut (Windows only) – Double Commander creates a shortcut (Microsoft Windows .lnk file) to the file under the cursor, and places it in a folder, open on the adjacent panel.

Change Attributes... (internal command cm_SetFileProperties) – allows to change timestamps and attributes (Windows) or file permissions (Linux and other Unix-like systems), including subfolders or not.

Show file properties... (internal command cm_FileProperties) will show the default "Properties" dialog (Windows) or Double Commander own dialog (Linux and other Unix-like systems) like this:

Show file properties: Properties Show file properties Show file properties

which indicates the file or folder name, size, write and last access time, and also owner and group. On the "Attributes" tab you can change the access to the file (if you have the rights to do so). The "Plugins" tab is optional and is only available if you have a suitable content plugin (in this case it was deb.wdx).

Using item Edit comment... (internal command cm_EditComment) you can create or change file comments, which stored in a file descript.ion. Supports UTF, ISO, KOI and ANSI encodings.

Comments only work with normal files on the local file system, but not on remote or virtual file systems (e.g. on FTP server, in archive, etc.).

Calculate Occupied Space (internal command cm_CalculateSpace) item calculates the size of selected objects in rounded units and in bytes.

Calculate size

Compare by Contents (internal command cm_CompareContents) shows a window with two panels with the files to compare (usually text).

Compare dialog

It's a simple visual comparison and merging tool with a typical features: navigation between differences (next, previous, first or last), copying blocks of text from right to left and from left to right, editing files in-place, undo and redo the last changes, saving with a different name and other.


Also see description of <Added>, <Deleted> and <Modified> parameters and Position of frame panel after the comparison.

The two files will be chosen as follows

In the Tools > Differ section, you can set an external differ tool.

Multi-Rename Tool (internal command cm_MultiRename)

Multi-Rename Tool

Allows renaming any files by defined mask. For example, some files with different names could be renamed into Picture1, Picture2, Picture3, etc. First, select files to be renamed and then start this tool (see figure above). There you can see the old and new names for your files. See this page for detailed descriptions.

By selecting item Pack files (internal command cm_PackFiles) we call a standard dialog to pack files to the zip, tar and other archive formats: the list of supported formats depends on the added packer plugins and external archivers.


If the list of available formats is too long and does not fit in the window, Double Commander will bring them into the drop-down menu (in this case, use the checkbox with the "=>" label).

Also we can unpack files via Extract Files (internal command cm_ExtractFiles). The same dialog is called when you copy files from the archive.


In the Extract files matching file mask line, you can specify a mask, determining which files will be unpacked. The history of masks can be found in the drop-down list. The next line specifies the destination directory (where the archive will be unpacked). It can be changed manually or by clicking on the browse button at the far right.

Checkbox Unpack each archive to a separate subdir (name of the archive) creates a folder in the destination with the same name as the archive and extracts the files into that folder. You can extract several archives at once with this option and each will be extracted into its own folder in the destination. By default it is unchecked and its state is not saved for the next call of the extract command.

Unpack path names if stored with files – If checked, the directory structure in the archive will be kept. Otherwise, all files will be extracted without re-creating the directory structure.

Checkbox Overwrite existing files disables confirmation of overwriting existing files.

Test Archive(s) (internal command cm_TestArchive) will validate the integrity of the content of selected archive files or file under cursor. If archive content is corrupted, error message will be reported. The list of supported formats depends on the added packer plugins and external archivers.

Items Split file and Combine files (internal commands cm_FileSpliter and cm_FileLinker)

Split file

Split the file to directory – specifies destination folder for the split files. By default, the directory of the inactive file panel will be used.

The next group of parameters allows to select the size of the split parts or its number. You can enter your own value or use one of the presets:

If you use the Number of parts parameter, the size of the parts is always displayed in bytes.

If Require a CRC32 verification file is enabled, Double Commander will create a text file with the name of the source file and the extension ".crc", which contains the name of the source file, its size and checksum (the CRC32 algorithm is used). This is an easy way to check that the file is combineed correctly and its parts have not been changed during the move.

On click OK button you get several files with the extension ".split" in the target directory. To combine the file again, select all ".split" parts and click Combine files (cm_FileLinker). You also need to specify the order of split parts to combine.

Combine files

This function is very useful, if you have small drives and large files. It is possible to move the file parts.

Item Calculate check sum... (internal command cm_CheckSumCalc) is used to calculate the checksum to check files integrity. The following checksums are available: BLAKE2 (BLAKE2s, BLAKE2sp, BLAKE2b, BLAKE2bp), BLAKE3, CRC32, HAVAL, MD4, MD5, RIPEMD128, RIPEMD160, SFV, SHA, SHA2 (digest sizes 224, 256, 384 or 512 bits), SHA3 (digest sizes 224, 256, 384 or 512 bits), Tiger/192.

Calculate checksum

Save checksum file(s) to: – line specifies name and path to the calculated checksum.

Create separate checksum files for each file – if checksum calculates for multiple files, this option allows to create separate checksum files for each target file.

Choose your preferred checksum and – select algorithm which will calculate checksums.

Item Verify Checksum... (internal command cm_CheckSumVerify) will start verification the list of checksums from the checksum file under the cursor. Also you can run this command by double mouse clicking on the checksum file (or using the Enter key).

Double Commander can check files one by one: select the file, run this command, now enter its checksum (or paste from the clipboard) and select the algorithm.

You can use checksum files, which generated by other programs, but first make sure Double Commander supports their algorithm and format.

Item Wipe (internal command cm_Wipe) for secure deletion (shortcut Alt+Del by default): before deleting from the hard disk, the selected file will be renamed with a random name, and its contents will be overwritten with zeros, ones or random data. You can set number of wipe passes in Configuration > Options... > File operations. Directories and links will just be renamed before deleting.

Item Delete (internal command cm_Delete) – will delete the selected files or the file under the cursor to trash (recycle bin) or permanently. By default, Double Commander moves files to trash, you can change this in Configuration > Options... > File operations. Deleting to trash can might not be available for all platforms.

To delete files inside archive (in this case the files will be deleted directly), you need to add a suitable WCX plugin or configure an external archiver, also the archive format must support the delete operation.

Item Exit (internal command cm_Exit) – closes Double Commander.

2.1.2. "Mark"

There are some commands in this group with which you can select files in different ways.

First and second items Select a Group and Unselect a Group (internal commands cm_MarkPlus and cm_MarkMinus). These commands select groups of files by a mask. With this mask you can specify file names or extensions.

Select a group

E.g. select all files that have the extension .txt. Also there is a drop down list with masks history.

Third and fourth items Select All (internal command cm_MarkMarkAll) and Unselect All (internal command cm_MarkUnmarkAll). They make it possible to select or unselect all items from the panel quickly.

Fifth item is Invert Selection (internal command cm_MarkInvert). It makes currently selected files unselected and vice versa.

Sixth and seventh items Select All with the Same Extension (internal command cm_MarkCurrentExtension) and Unselect All with the Same Extension (internal command cm_UnmarkCurrentExtension). These functions help to select and unselect files with the same extension as the file under the cursor.

Eighth and ninth items Save Selection (internal command cm_SaveSelection) and Restore Selection (internal command cm_RestoreSelection). The first command will save in internal buffer current selected items. Then later, the second command could be use to re-select again the same items that were selected before.

Tenth and eleventh items Save Selection to File (internal command cm_SaveSelectionToFile) and Load Selection from File (internal command cm_LoadSelectionFromFile). Like the previous commands, but using a plain text file (one filename per line).

Twelfth item is Load Selection from Clipboard (internal command cm_LoadSelectionFromClip). Will select files and folders by the list from the clipboard (one filename per line).

Thirteenth and fourteenth items Copy Filename(s) to Clipboard (internal command cm_CopyNamesToClip) and Copy Filename(s) with Full Path (internal command cm_CopyFullNamesToClip). First command copies the selected file list to the clipboard, second copies too, but with full file paths.

Fifteenth item is Copy all shown columns (internal command cm_CopyFileDetailsToClip). Will copy file information of selected items onto the clipboard: one file per line and the contents of the columns will be tab-delimited.

The last item is Compare Directories (internal command cm_CompareDirectories). Will select the items, in both active and inactive panels, that are not present in the opposite panel (by default only files will be selected). Files with the same names will be compared by modification date, after that, newer files will be selected.

2.1.3. "Commands"

First item is Search (internal command cm_Search). This tool is designed to search for files and folders at the specified criteria. Can also be used to search by file content. See this page for detailed descriptions.

New search instance... (internal command cm_AddNewSearch) – opens a new instance of Search dialog window with default settings. It will also allow to launch a new search instance to search something else while a long search is in progress.

View current search instances (internal command cm_ViewSearches) – will show a window with a list of search instances with brief information (status, number of files found, if finished, and file mask) and the ability to switch to one of them.

Fourth item is Directory hotlist (internal command cm_DirHotList). This command is the same as pressing the "*" button.

Selecting this item we get a popup menu with the Directory Hotlist, in which we can choose:

Please see the dedicated Directory Hotlist help page about how to use and configure it.

Synchronize dirs... (internal command cm_SyncDirs) open the directory synchronization tool: the directories of the left and right panel will be scanned, you will see the differences in their content and you can make them the same.

Run Terminal (internal command cm_RunTerm) opens a terminal at the current directory (settings at Tools).

Execute internal command (internal command cm_DoAnyCmCommand) opens a window with a list of all internal commands and their description. Commands are grouped by category, quick filter and sorting are available: you can execute the selected command, copy its name, or open the Internal commands page (some commands support parameters).

Flat view (internal command cm_FlatView) will scan all the directories of panel to show all content in one single panel.

Open VFS List (internal command cm_OpenVirtualFileSystemList) will open a list of added file system plugins (WFX plugins) that use their own file systems or provide access to other file systems and devices (local or remote). As well as virtual folders:

Swap Panels (internal command cm_Exchange) swaps left and right file panels with all opened tabs.

Target = Source (internal command cm_TargetEqualSource) opens the same directory in the inactive file panel.

Show Occupied Space calculates and shows the total size of all files in the sub-folders of the current directory. The <DIR> text in the Size column of the active panel is replaced with the total size.

2.1.4. "Network"

Network Connect – will open a list of added file system plugins (WFX plugins), as the Open VFS List command in the "Commands" menu.

Network Disconnect – will close the active network connection.

The next items are for Windows only.

Map Network Drive and Disconnect Network Drive – will call the Windows system dialogs to connect and disconnect network drives.

Copy names with UNC path – will copy the full file name on the network to the clipboard: server name, share name, and relative file path.

2.1.5. "Tabs"

This group manages the tabbed file panels.

New Tab (internal command cm_NewTab) – adds a new tab on the active panel (with the current path) and switches to it.

Rename Tab (internal command cm_RenameTab) – allows to change the title of the current tab.

Open Folder in a New Tab (internal command cm_OpenDirInNewTab) – opens a new tab for the directory under the cursor, but does not switch to it (i.e. in the background).

Close Tab (internal command cm_CloseTab) – closes the active tab and switches the panel to the next tab (or the previous tab, if you close the last tab).

Close All Tabs (internal command cm_CloseAllTabs) – closes all inactive tabs. If they consist of locked tabs, it will prompt for confirmation.

Close Duplicate Tabs (internal command cm_CloseDuplicateTabs) – Double Commander will check the list of opened tabs and close duplicate tabs (separately for each panel!), only the first of them will be saved (counting from the left).

Tab Options – Using this submenu you can change the state of the tab:

The rest of the items of this submenu will do the same, but for all tabs at once.

Note: By default, Double Commander will not allow to close a locked tab without confirmation (item Confirm close locked tabs in the folder tabs settings section).

Switch to Next Tab (internal command cm_NextTab) and Switch to Previous Tab (internal command cm_PrevTab) – respectively switches to the tab on the right (next) and to the tab on the left (previous).

Save Tabs to File (internal command cm_SaveTabs) and Load Tabs from File (internal command cm_LoadTabs) – The names of the current tabs and their associated directories can be saved in a .tab file and loaded from such a file.

Save current tabs to a New Favorite Tabs (internal command cm_SaveFavoriteTabs) – will save in the set of Favorite Tabs the current opened tabs. Later on, on request, you may reload these saved setup using the next menu item.

Load tabs from Favorite Tabs (internal command cm_LoadFavoriteTabs) – will show a popup menu with the ability to select one of the previously saved sets of tabs.

The last two items are for quick jump to the folder tabs and Favorite Tabs settings sections.

2.1.6. "Favorites"

This menu contains a list of your saved Favorite Tabs and some commands for working with them.

Save current tabs to a New Favorite Tabs (internal command cm_SaveFavoriteTabs) – will save in the set of Favorite Tabs the current opened tabs.

Resave on the last Favorite Tabs loaded (internal command cm_ResaveFavoriteTabs) – will resave the current tabs configuration over the last loaded Favorites Tabs entry.

Reload the last Favorite Tabs loaded (internal command cm_ReloadFavoriteTabs) – reload again the last Favorite Tabs setup that was loaded, i.e. this command is used to restore a saved set "as is".

The next item Configuration of Favorite Tabs is for quick jump to the Favorite Tabs settings section.

2.1.7. "Show"

Manages the displayed contents of the file panels.

The first three items allow to switch the view of the file list:

Quick View Panel (internal command cm_QuickView) – opens file in viewer program, but content of selected item shown in opposite panel (instead of a separate window). In this case, the viewer specified in the file association settings will be ignored. As we navigate to next items, displayed content is updated, this allows to view the contents of files simply by moving the cursor in the file panel.

Tree View Panel (internal command cm_TreeView) – shows the directory tree for the active file panel. Internal command cm_FocusTreeView switches focus between current file list and tree (shortcut Shift+Tab by default).

The next five items: Sort by Name (internal command cm_SortByName), Sort by Extension (internal command cm_SortByExt), Sort by Size (internal command cm_SortBySize), Sort by Date (internal command cm_SortByDate), Sort by Attributes (internal command cm_SortByAttr) – allows to choose different sorting orders for the files. Also you can click the left mouse button on the column headers to change the sort order.

Reverse Order (internal command cm_ReverseOrder) – invert the sort order for the active panel.

Refresh (internal command cm_Refresh) – makes Double Commander refresh the panels.

Show Hidden/System Files (internal command cm_ShowSysFiles) – controls the display of files and folders, which have the "hidden" or "system" attribute (Windows) or the name with a dot character in the beginning (Linux and other Unix-like systems). Same as the setting in the configuration – Show system and hidden files.

Horizontal Panels Mode (internal command cm_HorizontalFilePanels) – sets the position of file panels: two vertical ones disposed in left/right or two horizontal ones disposed in top/bottom.

Operations Viewer (internal command cm_OperationsViewer) – shows a window with a list of file operations. You can change the order of operations in the queue, stop or pause a task.

2.1.8. "Configuration"

First item is Options (internal command cm_Options), it opens the "Options" window, see description on dedicated help page.

Other items: quick jump to some settings sections (Directory Hotlist, Favorite Tabs, file associations, folder tabs and archivers) and commands Save Position and Save Settings.

2.1.9. "Help"

Here you can get help information (this documentation) and information about the program:

2.2. Button toolbar

Toolbar sample

The toolbar is holding buttons to execute internal command and launch our applications.

A default configuration is propose but we will certainly each and every one configure it to our needs since it's probably the most configurable part of Double Commander.

That's why a dedicated page is made just for that under this link.

2.3. Drives button bar

Drives button bar

The Drives button bar helps you to change the drive quickly with one mouse click. Right click shows the context menu that contains operations such as mount/unmount, format, etc. (depends on the OS and drive type).

The last button is Open VFS list.

2.4. Drives list

Drives list

Helps to change drive, also contains additional information (size, free space) and navigation buttons – « * \ .. ~ < ».

Internal commands are cm_LeftOpenDrives for left panel and cm_RightOpenDrives – for right panel. Default shortcuts: Alt+F1 and Alt+F2, but they won't work in most Linux Desktop Environments, just replace them.

Drives list

Internal command cm_SrcOpenDrives will show this menu for active panel.

Additional navigation buttons:

"*" – shows the bookmarks hotlist, see the dedicated Directory Hotlist help page for details;

"\" or "/" – go to the root of the current drive (Windows) or to the file system root (Linux and other Unix-like systems). Exceptions:

".." – go to the parent directory;

"~" – go to your home directory;

"<" and ">" – commands cm_LeftEqualRight and cm_RightEqualLeft.

2.5. Tabs bar

Tabs bar

Display tabs. Click on tabs with left mouse or you can use the keyboard to navigate tabs (Ctrl+Tab and Ctrl+Shift+Tab by default). Locked tabs are marked with an asterisk (if Show locked tabs with an asterisk * is enabled).

2.6. Current directory bar

Current directory bar

Displays the name of the current directory. A left mouse click on this directory bar drops down a directories history (internal command cm_DirHistory) which allows to quickly navigate back to previous directories.

Directories history

A right mouse click on the directory bar will allow to copy the pathname to the clipboard or enter a new path manually (environment variables are supported, in Unix-like operating systems also you can use the tilde symbol "~" to indicate the current user's home directory).

It is now also possible to click on parts of the directory bar to quickly navigate back in the directory structure. Very handy if you want to go to a parent directory back many levels. This is known as a "breadcrumb" navigation feature.

2.7. Tabstop headers bar

Tabstop headers bar

Shows the column names. On left click sorts files by column. A small arrow to the left of the header text shows the sort direction. Also you can set the sort order for multiple columns by clicking on the header while holding down the Ctrl key. For example, try to sort files by extension, now click on the "Date" header with the Ctrl key: each file type will be sorted by date independently of the others.

The tabstop headers bar allows to change the width of the columns using the mouse, by default DC changes it for both panels and saves a new value for the next launches (see <AutoSaveWidth>).

On right click shows a menu to change and edit custom column style set.

Column set style dialog

Default, File count – existing styles.

Configure custom columns – opens Files views > Columns > Custom columns section.

2.8. Status bar


Shows size of selected items of the total size and also shows total items selected of total items in the panel.

2.9. Command line

Command line

Use to enter commands manually. Path to active directory shows in line beginning (C:\Program Files\Double Commander\ in screenshot). The button on the right with an arrow opens the history of the entered commands. Use Shift+Del to remove unnecessary entries from the history.

Double Commander independently handles the "cd" command, you can use it to change the current directory in the active panel. Environment variables are supported, in Unix-like operating systems also you can use the tilde symbol "~" to indicate the current user's home directory. If you use a path with the file name, Double Commander will place the cursor on this file.

Right mouse click will show the usual input box menu that contains standard commands Cut, Copy, Paste, Delete, Select All and submenu Insert Unicode Control Character.

2.10. Terminal window

Terminal window

Shows output of console commands.

2.11. Function key buttons bar

Function key buttons bar

Displays F3-F9 hotkeys. Enables you to select commands with a mouse click.

Created by Rustem (

English version by Rod J (

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