Midnight Commander Notes


Description Shortcuts
Move to other tab Tab
Select current file/folder Ctrl + t
Add to hotlist Ctrl + x, h
View hotlist Ctrl + \
Go back one step in folder history Alt + y
Show folder history Shift + Alt + h
Show command history Ctrl + h
Compare files * Have the cursor over the two files you want to compare (one in each tab).
* Ctrl + x, Ctrl + d
Calculate folder size Ctrl + space bar
Quick view mode Ctrl + x, q
Insert the file or folder name over which the cursor is in the command line Ctrl + x, t
Clear command line Ctrl + k, Ctrl + w

New Installation:

When installing a new instance of Midnight Commander I like to set it up as follows:
Modification Steps
Setup Midnight Commander to exit in the current directory. Before starting Midnight Commander find the mc-wrapper path.
It is usually in /usr/share/mc/bin/

Add to ~/.bashrc the following line:
alias mc='. /usr/share/mc/bin/mc-wrapper.sh'
  • Set-up main view listing mode to show:
    - item size in human readable
    - item modified time
    - item permissions
    - item selected marker
  • F9 -> Left -> Listing mode
    Select "User defined"
    Set it to
    half type name | size:4 | mtime | perm | mark

    F9 -> Right -> Listing mode
    Set it the same as Left
  • Navigate in/out of folders using right/left arrows
  • F9 -> Options -> Panel options
    Mark Lynx-like motion
  • Set theme to dark
  • F9 -> Options -> Appearance -> select "dark"

    F9 -> Option -> Save setup Saves the setup to ~/.config/mc
  • Set the default viewer
  • Copy /etc/mc/mc.ext to ~/.config/mc
    Make a symbolic link: ln -s mc.ext bindings
    Now you can customize which programs to use as default file
    Restart mc for changes to take effect.