Midnight Commander


GNU Midnight Commander (also known as mc, the command used to start it) is a free cross-platform orthodox file manager and a clone of Norton Commander. It was started by Miguel de Icaza in 1994.

It's a feature rich full-screen text mode application that allows you to copy, move and delete files and whole directory trees, search for files and run commands in the subshell. Internal viewer and editor are included.

Midnight Commander is based on versatile text interfaces, such as Ncurses or S-Lang, which allows it to work on a regular console, inside an X Window terminal, over SSH connections and all kinds of remote shells.


  1. Download the latest source tarball

     wget http://ftp.midnight-commander.org/mc-4.8.16.tar.xz
  2. Extract the downloaded archive

     tar xvJf mc-4.8.16.tar.xz
  3. Make the newly extracted folder your working directory

     cd mc-4.8.16*
  4. Configure the installation

     ./configure --prefix=$HOME --with-screen=ncurses
  5. Begin compilation of the application using the settings used in the previous step

  6. Install the application

     make install
  7. Steps 5 and 6 can take some time, so just wait for it to complete.

  8. (Optional) Remove the source code:

     cd ..
     rm -r mc-4.8.16*


  1. Add the bin directory to your PATH (if you've done this previously, you do not need to do it again)

     echo "PATH=\$HOME/bin:\$PATH" >> ~/.bashrc && source ~/.bashrc
  2. Start Midnight Commander

  3. For more usage examples and documentation check out: mc's documentation


  1. Edit .bashrc

     nano ~/.bashrc
  2. Put the following at the bottom of the file

     export NCURSES_NO_UTF8_ACS=1
  3. Reload your shell session

     source ~/.bashrc