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Show HN: fman – file manager for programmers (fman.io)
178 points by mherrmann on Mar 2, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 207 comments

Glad I looked inside the .deb file before I installed this. It does the following things:

- Adds `/etc/apt/sources.list.d/fman.list

- Adds `/etc/cron.daily/fman`, which does this:

The `/usr/bin/update-fman` script does this:

    set -e
    apt-get update -o Dir::Etc::sourcelist="/etc/apt/sources.list.d/fman.list" -o Dir::Etc::sourceparts="-" -o APT::Get::List-Cleanup="0"
    apt-get install --only-upgrade fman -y
As far as I'm concerned, it's great to add your repo to `/etc/apt/sources.list.d/` - this allows me to receive automatic updates to fman on my schedule. It's not great to run a script as root that brute forces an update to fman every single day.

Also, if I delete this, it'll just come back when the next update happens.

I didn't know it was considered such a bad practice, sorry. I will either remove this or ask permission from the user BEFORE doing it [1].

[1]: https://trello.com/c/LZcZRM8a/153-linux-don-t-install-auto-u...

I would suggest just removing it. Debian/Linux have a system wide update mechanism for everything - the OS & apps - and it's very strongly preferred that you just use that.

The UX of asking stuff during install is also pretty bad - and goes against the grain; it's vanishingly rare that Linux install packages ask questions. Even if you make it a startup/in-app/config option, it would also be a strange question to ask on Linux:

Would you like auto-updates? Of course, everything on linux auto-updates, why do you ask? No - I mean would you like me to force-update just fman everyday? What? No!

Also, don't forget to update this page while you're at it: https://fman.io/docs/obtaining-updates

Done. fman 0.3.1 is out. Per your suggestion, it just removes the cron job. I wrote an apology [1].

[1]: https://fman.io/blog/an-apology-to-linux-users/

The equivalent seem true for Windows, in which two Windows Tasks are added to C:\Windows\Tasks that automatically update fman every 24 hours.

  C:\Users\marcus\AppData\Local\fman\Update\fmanUpdate.exe /ua /installsource scheduler

I never unsderstood why one would choose this method over just running the updater everytime or every couple of times when the application is started. I mean, if I'm not eving using the application why would I want it to check for updates? But when I do, and I enabled it, then yes please check for updates.

It's a technical problem. On Mac, that's how it works [1]. On Windows, it uses Google Omaha, the same technology that is also used by Chrome [2]. This technology simply works that way, I believe because of permission issues (eg. user not allowed to write to C:\Program Files) and (I think) because it's harder on Windows to move/delete/overwrite an executable while it's running.

[1]: https://fman.io/blog/codesigning-and-automatic-updates-for-p...

[2]: https://fman.io/blog/google-omaha-tutorial/

As mentioned in the parent, this is documented on the home page [1].

[1]: https://fman.io/docs/obtaining-updates

This behaviour is described on the home page [1]. Sorry it's not to your liking. fman's features are prioritised according to the number of votes they receive on a public Trello board [2]. There's a card for making it possible to disable automatic updates [3].

The intention is obviously not for it to come back when you delete it. If you remove it in the same way you installed it (via the package manager), then the files you mentioned are removed as well.

[1]: https://fman.io/docs/obtaining-updates

[2]: https://trello.com/b/WpIUiPAd/fman

[3]: https://trello.com/c/PZ664CEQ/9-make-auto-update-functionali...

> This behaviour is described on the home page.

This should be a big, fat warning with a clear description on how to install your package without the root cronjob. And that warning should appear right on the front site, not just some sub site.

> Sorry it's not to your liking.

This is not about personal taste. This is about violating well-established best practices that have very good reasons to exist.

Running custom scripts as root, and especially adding custom cronjobs as root, should only be done if absolutely required for the tool to perform its task at all, e.g. for tools like logrotate.

Everything else is a violation of trust, and thus a no-go for package maintainers.

If a user wants daily updates, they configure the APT or Synaptic accordingly. It is the decision of the user, preferably for the whole system, at a time convenient for them. This is certainly not the decision of a single package maintainer.

Keep in mind that many people choose a Free Software distribution like Debian because they developed an aversion to uninvited extra code running on their machine. Why? Because this is what was forced on them by their old proprietary operating system.

Per your (and other people's) suggestion, I just released fman version 0.3.1 that removes the cron job. Again, I apologise. I did not know it was considered such a bad practice. I also wrote a blog post [1] that explains how to make sure that the cron job really has been removed.

[1]: https://fman.io/blog/an-apology-to-linux-users/

That is obviously not the home page. It is not even the first page when a user opens the documentation.

Also, you make it sound like disabling automatic updates is something that requires work, hence needs to be prioritized on a task board. In fact it is quite the opposite: work was needed to enable automatic updates in the first place!

I didn't mean that fman would come back.

I meant that if I remove the cronjob and update script, the next time I get an fman update via my regularly scheduled update manager, fman's .deb installer will put the cronjob and script back.

> Don't be a free user.

Now that's just rude. Not even the linked article [0] manages to convince otherwise. In fact, it even shows the opposite standpoint:

> If your free software project suddenly gets popular, you gain resources: testers, developers and people willing to pitch in. If your free website takes off, you lose resources.

If you don't want users to use it for free, don't offer it for free, but don't insult your users.

[0] https://blog.pinboard.in/2011/12/don_t_be_a_free_user/

Especially when you make licenses scarce: https://fman.io/buy

> I'm sorry, we're sold out :-( 100 licenses were made available on March 1, and all are gone. Please join the waiting list below to be notified when new licenses become available.

Not sure I understand the intent here of keeping people from paying you.

This was rightly also pointed out by others. I'm sorry. I didn't expect to be sold out and am working on a solution. If you leave your email on the waiting list [1] then you'll know immediately when a solution is available.

[1]: https://fman.io/buy

Curious now. How is it a problem to sell it more than a 100 times?

Nvm. Found your comment

I just did a blind purchase. Partly because I hate osx finder that much, partly because I want to support people who ask the right price for their products, and partly because it was the right time;I like to get up early tomorrow and install something new.

And who knows, it might even replace my xplorer2 (http://zabkat.com/) on Windows..

Can people even explain why they hate Finder, or is it just a fashionable bandwagon to jump on?

While I do prefer Path Finder [1] for file-heavy workflows, Finder is perfectly usable with a few tweaks here and there:

- Get TinkerTool [2] to show hidden and system files, pathname in the window title etc.

- Tweak and create your own keyboard shortcuts for Finder in System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts -> App Shortcuts.

- Trim the Finder Sidebar and Toolbar to only show you the most relevant items, or hide them outright.

- Tags are your friends! Use them freely. They can be used to effectively store a file in multiple "folders", and are very handy in combination with Spotlight and even Siri.

- Show the Comments column and use them too if you need to! (Comments are applied from the Get Info panel.)

- You can customize icons for files and folders by Get Info -> Drag an .icns file to the icon in the Info panel. To delete a custom icon, click the icon in the Info panel and press Backspace.

[1] http://cocoatech.com/pathfinder/

[2] http://www.bresink.com/osx/TinkerTool.html

Even if it was perfect in every other way, littering .DS_Store files all over the place would still make Finder an abomination. And thanks to the joys of version control, users on other platforms can enjoy some of the pain if you forget to add a Mac-specific .gitignore entry. And the frustrating part is that per-directory view settings are a feature I wish didn't exist in the first place...I would prefer that when I changed those settings, it applied to all directories.

I have other annoyances, but that's the reason I hate Finder.

> why they hate Finder

I can never remember how to open a file; it should be easy, like Enter (rename?!) or Space (open a window with the icon made huge?) or maybe even desperately Shift+Space (same as Space, but animate it much more slowly and don't let you kill it until it's done animating many rage-inducing seconds later!) (It's Cmd+O.)

Navigate to? (I don't think it exists.)

Copy works, but move doesn't.

There's no delete. Trash doesn't count.

Instead of just dropping a "+" in the sidebar, it's completely non-apparent how to modify the favorites. Not on the list? The user's home folder. (It's configurable, but it's buried in the preferences, and even then, it's a set list. If your favorite isn't on the list, tough.)

It's a menu command; ⌘O for Open, or ⌘+DownArrow for Navigate Into (as opposed to ⌘+UpArrow for Navigate Out/Enclosing Folder). You can search for menu commands in any app's Help menu (try it!)

Other than "That's how it works in Windows so it should be like that in every OS" people don't really give a reason for WHY Enter should be used for launching apps and files from a file manager. To me using Enter to enter text editing (rename) feels more intuitive and personally, I appreciate that you cannot accidentally start processes with a single keypress.

As for modifying favorites, drag items into the Sidebar. How is that not intuitive? Common locations are in the Go menu.

"Delete Immediately" is Alt+Option+Backspace, which shows up when searching for "Delete" in the Help search box, but again, when working in the GUI the Trash is supposed to remain a default safeguard against accidental deletion.

You can change most shortcuts for any app from System Preferences -> Keyboard.

No offense, but you should RTFM. You can move and delete and go to folder. As with many Apple UIs these "advanced" features are not easily discovered.

I Googled the open shortcut prior to writing the post; I'll admit I didn't Google them all.

It seems that move is possible, it's ⌘+C, ⌥+⌘+V, but that really doesn't feel intuitive (though you might argue I'm too used to Win/Linux keyboard commands). Finder's own context menu only denotes ⌘+X, unless you hold ⌥, which I just learned after wondering how the search box was able to find this item in the menu that I'd never seen.

Found some other ones. I didn't think moving or opening a file was an "advanced" feature. Opening in particular seems like such a prominent, common operation that it should have a more prominent place on the keyboard than ⌘+O


Is there a manual? The Help's search was a bit useful in pointing out some menu items I'd missed, but the menu really just has "Mac Help", which appears to be about the entire OS, not Finder.

I've used many file managers on Windows and Linux and Finder is the only one I still (after a couple of years of use) have trouble doing things I would consider basic. Usually I just give up and use the commandline instead.

I think his point are those aren't advanced feature but basic feature that should be intuitive.

Finder is the best file manager that I've ever used.

If anything, because it's the only one with column view that also sorts files in a rational manner (to me, at least): every element inside the parent directory is sorted alphabetically.

It's got a minimalistic design versus Windows Explorer having a button for every operation you can perform, and it's easy to use via keyboard shortcuts.

Its only defects is that it replaces directories instead of merging them in case of conflicts, but at least they finally implemented cut and paste a few macOS versions ago.

> It's got a minimalistic design versus Windows Explorer

I recently installed Windows 10 to play a few games, the latest version available from Microsoft, hoping that it would have improved since the last time I saw Windows over a year ago, and I wish I could describe this without hyperbole, but the user interface remains a veritable nightmare.

I'm not a Finder power user, but when I use it I always run into the same problem: I can't ever open Finder and make my way to a specific directory (e.g. ~). I work around it by opening a terminal and navigating there and doing `open .`. Is there something I'm missing? TL;DR: How can I open Finder and go to any specific directory I want?

Type ⌘⇧G or select Go -> Go to Folder... for a field into which to enter a path.

Also supports tab completion!

Try Alfred? https://www.alfredapp.com/

I just open it up, type whatever folder name I need, hit enter and I'm where I'm at.

> - Get TinkerTool [2] to show hidden and system files, pathname in the window title etc.

You probably already know this, but just in case - starting from Sierra, you can display/hide hidden files in Finder with Shift+Ctrl+. (dot)

I use ls, cp, mv in a shell. I don't get file managers.

A fuzzy matcher for changing directories would be kinda cool though. I wonder if someone has worked on that.

There are many. I use https://github.com/clvv/fasd which is quite simple an unintrusive. I often type things like "z s" and end up in the right place =P

There's also https://github.com/junegunn/fzf/ for a more "graphical" method.

I dont come from a osx background and when it was forced on to me for half a year i found finder to not really be very intuitive.

Gnome shells super key magic, which is way less than finder, is working way more intuitive for me. Finder always appeared to me like a tool i have to build my workflows for and not a tool that helps me with my existing workflows.

May does not help that i am not used to using file explorers other than ls and cd at all.

What I don't like about Finder is that it can't be used efficiently with the keyboard. It's the same with Windows Explorer.

Navigate, open, close, cut, copy, paste, rename, delete - what's missing?

All these things are possible via the keyboard in Finder/Explorer. But Finder/Explorer aren't as optimised for keyboard usage as dual-pane file managers (of which fman is an example).

Eg. to copy a file in a dual pane file manager, you usually use some shortcut to jump to the source directory in the left pane, then some shortcut to jump to the destination directory in the right pane, then press F5 to copy from left to right.

In Finder, what you'd do (with keyboard only) is most likely [home directory] down-down-down to source directory, Cmd+C, up-up-up-down-down-down-down to destination directory, Cmd+V. It's hard to describe, but it just takes a lot more time.

What's the difference between dual-pane and two windows?

I tend to start with spotlight rather than with a home finder pane.

This looks like a lovely project but I would also suggest [midnight commander](https://www.gnu.org/software/mc/). It's a console based file manager that is available everywhere.

I tried mc ftp client, and it was not a enjoyable experience.

Did you use it from within mc or as a standalone?

I use FTP or SFTP within mc all the time. It's fantastic - no shortcomings so far. Much easier than command line usage. You're navigating remote directories just as if they were local.

What did you find problematic with it?

Is any ftp client a enjoyable experience? Why not just mount it with fuse

The speed and efficiency of Norton Commander[1] was amazing

Happy that people bring it into our century

[1]: http://www.abandonwaredos.com/public/aban_img_screens/norton...

If you are still using Windows then Far Manager [1] is an amazing Norton Commander-like open source file manager with lots of available plug-ins. I miss it in Linux, although Midnight Commander is not bad too (which I'm using now in Linux).

[1] https://farmanager.com/

Double Commander is a decent OSS cross-platform GUI implementation of the same 'commander' interface

I've just tried it - configuring FTP links is more cumbersome and less reliable than in FAR, so I'll pass on it tight now. After all, what counts is how much time you can save using the right tools.

Thank you Andreas! fman is actually also currently on your platform, Product Hunt ;-)

kudos to the launch! ps: already upvoted :)

many thanks! btw, I'm not sure if you're still based in Vienna, but I'm from here :)

> don't be a free user!

sure, going to buy it

> i'm sorry, we're sold out :-( 100 licenses were made available on March 1, and all are gone.

guess i will be a free user :/

Never seen a developer both talk about the rationale of not being OSS to cover costs, then decline people wanting to give him money...

I'm sorry :( 1) I didn't expect to be sold out 2) I want to provide paying users with an awesome experience but need to be able to focus my resources to do that. I promise more licenses will be made available soon.

i totally understand your side. but you have to understand that the popup[0] that appears when i open fman without a license is really obnoxious. specially when i can't buy a license.

[0] http://i.imgur.com/m5uTyBe.png

Ha. That's the same popup Total Commander gives you when you don't have a license.

yup ;)

You're right, I'm sorry. I'll find a solution. I saw you signed up for the waiting list. I'll get in touch.

5$ just take my money edition sans feature-request feature?

How did you become "sold out"? Presumably you just need to generate keys and validate them. You should be able to generate an unlimited number of keys ..

....and I've lost interest in BOTH versions!

I understand, I'm sorry. I didn't think this through properly because I didn't think I would actually be sold out. I'm working on a solution. If you leave your email on the waiting list [1], you'll know immediately when a solution is available.

[1]: https://fman.io/buy

Loving the software, but I am finding the nag screen incredibly obnoxious (especially with its functionality, having a randomised button to click) when I can't even buy a license to get rid of it.

Looking forward to you fixing that so I can actually use it :)

You're 100% correct. It's stupid to say "buy me" and when you do want to buy say "sorry, you can't buy". I didn't think this through properly (because I didn't expect to be sold out) and am working on a solution. If you leave your email for the waiting list [1], you will know immediately once a solution is available.

[1]: https://fman.io/buy

Just curious, what's the rationale behind invite-only licenses?

I think your business model is interesting. However, I'd be careful in letting users decide the direction of the project. It might be okay-ish now if the userbase is small, but when you hit a not unreasonably large number of people (500? 1k?), that can quickly deteriorate.

What if the most upvoted suggestion is something that you have no use for? Or if it is something that no future customer would want? Are you going to sink development hours into it due to the promises you made? What if the top features are continually fluctuating? I saw you are the only one who can add cards, and that is a deterrent for now.

This is a project I will be keeping my eye on, but I didn't buy a license today because "making paying users happy" gives me a bit of pause. Good luck going forward and I hope to want to buy this within the next year! The idea of a Sublime-like file manager is intriguing.

That's an interesting point. I've had feature requests I don't agree with. The problem is that one feature may make one person happy, but (say) complicate the UI and thus make another person unhappy. It's a balance between my vision and what people want.

Exactly! Granted, this is a very early stage of development, so it may not be as big of a deal.

Another thing to keep in the back of your mind (if you don't mind more unsolicited advice) is that you are building something that is the base for plugins. For it to be as successful as Sublime is, the core has to be rock solid and be made up of core features only. Be careful with feature creep. And consider putting things that you may not feel are part of that core into plugins initially (think vintage in Sublime). If they are, then migrate them over.

(I promise, no more telling you how to oversee your project!)

Thank you for the advice :) Actually, all the basic functionality - copying/moving files, the Cmd/Ctrl+P "GoTo on Steroids" feature etc, are implemented in a plugin. I do this to make sure that fman's (Python) plugin API is powerful enough that plugin developers can do just as much as me.

Wow that's... actually a really good idea

It'll be interesting to see how that plays out.

Btw why are the Linux and Mac versions both 21mb but the Windows version is only 1mb? Magic? I'm gonna assume magic.

Also: it doesn't seem to use Electron! Cool! But wait, it uses Python + Qt instead?

When there's doubt about feature requests, I side with conservative choices because I hate bloated software.

The Windows version is an online installer that always fetches the latest version from the update server. It's based on Google Omaha, the same technology that also Chrome uses for auto-updating. I wrote a blog post about this [1].

It uses PyQt instead of Electron. I was very tempted to use Electron, but its startup time is prohibitive. I wrote a blog post about this as well [2].

[1]: https://fman.io/blog/google-omaha-tutorial/

[2]: https://fman.io/blog/picking-technologies-for-a-desktop-app-...

Random question: why is the Windows distribution. 1MB and Lin/Mac 21MB?

The post you're responding to literally explain exactly that. The windows installer is a downloader, the others aren't.

It was late, but you are right :(

I like it at first glance, it is a lot more aesthetically pleasing than the other alternatives others have mentioned. I will try it out for a while and buy it if I like it enough.

Why is there a limited number of licenses available?

I want to see "who's in". As a commercial project [1], fman needs to first and foremost appeal to its paying users. Limiting the license sale in both time and quantity lets me select for these people.

[1]: https://fman.io/blog/fmans-business-strategy/

"fman needs to first and foremost appeal to its paying users"

I can speak, as a paid user of many software products, that actually being able to PAY for something, makes it far more appealing to me...

- I'd like to have relative folders showing up when doing the CMD+P within a folder.

- Autocomplete when moving a file.

- There's 'select' but not 'unselect'. It's easy to work around but it was tedious to use.

- I like having some visual shortcuts or spatial information about he dirs. Now I go into a dir and the top one is kinda lost. Just my opinion.

- Maybe let me use CMD+O to open folder/file instead of Enter, which should rename it. At least it would follow macOS pattern.

Seems fine but not sure if I'll be using it. Maybe.

Thank you for the suggestions. Implementation of fman's features is prioritised by the number of votes they receive on a public Trello board [1].

- Relative folders in GoTo in Steroids (Cmd+P): I've added a card on the Trello board for this [2].

- Autocomplete when moving a file: likewise [3]

- You're right about deselect. It should be there. I haven't had time to implement it. One user used the Python plugin API [4] to implement deselect [5].

- fman's ancestors in spirit are dual-pane file managers like Norton Commander or Total Commander, which for 20 years use Enter to open folders/files. Of course, you're free to override the default key bindings [6].

[1]: https://trello.com/b/WpIUiPAd/fman

[2]: https://trello.com/c/TEIdHUjH/142-goto-on-steroids-should-al...

[3]: https://trello.com/c/uavERPwD/143-auto-complete-paths-in-cop...

[4]: https://fman.io/docs/plugins-introduction

[5]: https://github.com/raguay/DeSelect

[6]: https://fman.io/docs/customizing-fman

Interesting. I would give it a try if I weren't using Sunrise Commander (an Emacs plugin[1]).

On a related note: it's good to see more and more apps include a command line, where you can invoke any function of the program. Menu + icons + hotkeys strategy may be a good UI for normal users, but the command line - especially with good completion, like with Helm[2] - is much more convenient if the program has more than just a couple functions. Emacs (M-x) and Vim (:) worked like that since the beginning, I wonder what happened, what caused even programmers' tools to shed their command lines for more than twenty years?

[1] https://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/Sunrise_Commander Screenshot: https://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/SunriseCommanderScreenshotOn...

[2] Screenshot: https://github.com/emacs-helm/helm/blob/master/images/helm-b...

Yes, I very much agree that a command line with autocomplete like Sublime Text's Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+P should be available in many more applications. I find menus a horrible way of exposing functionality. It's just so tedious to find anything.

I can tell this is inspired by Norton Commander.

My obvious question: Why use fman when I can use Midnight Commander (for Linux) and Far Manager for Windows? Both are very powerful and mature.

One reason I ask: fman requires a paid license for business use, whereas the other two do not.

(Wrote a Midnight Commander guide once: http://nawaz.org/media/docs/mc/mc.pdf )

Both are command-line only and some people just want a GUI.

Neither mc nor far cause problems in GUI environments.

I use Windows at work. All I have to do is click on the Far icon and it pops up in a window.

You can do something similar with mc in Linux.

MC and Far are TUI, not command-line. Just because it's text-mode doesn't mean it's not a UI.

Far even does drag and drop between panels, and context menus (and it uses the standard Shell context menu, just rendered in text mode).

Default key bindings kind of suck...but actually pretty useable once you've gone and overwridden those.

Here's some of my overrides:

[ { "keys": ["Ctrl+Enter"], "command": "copy" }, { "keys": ["Shift+Enter"], "command": "rename" }, { "keys": ["Ctrl+Shift+Enter"], "command": "move" }, { "keys": ["Left"], "command": "go_up" }, { "keys": ["Right"], "command": "open" }, { "keys": ["Enter"], "command": "open" }, { "keys": ["Alt+Enter"],"command":"open_with_editor"}, { "keys": ["Ctrl+Alt+T"], "command": "open_terminal"}, { "keys": ["Ctrl+Alt+Enter"], "command": "open_native_file_manager" } ]

Hmm the linux download gives me a .deb file only. I know I could try to extract the binary from it... but I'm too lazy. (ArchLinux user)

Sorry about that. Features are prioritised according to the number of votes they receive on a public Trello board [1]. There's a card [2] for ArchLinux support.

[1]: https://trello.com/b/WpIUiPAd/fman

[2]: https://trello.com/c/sOyQA73P/80-create-a-packaged-version-o...

Should this PKGBUILD work?

  pkgdesc="A modern file manager for power users"
  package() {
    tar xzvf "$srcdir/data.tar.gz" -C "$pkgdir/"

a .deb file is an ar archive containing two .tar.gz files, one of which (data.tar.gz) contains the binary along with required files under the same paths you would install on your system.

This example from tldp.org will help:


  $ ar tv parted_1.4.24-4_i386.deb
  rw-r--r-- 0/0      4 Mar 28 13:46 2002 debian-binary
  rw-r--r-- 0/0   1386 Mar 28 13:46 2002 control.tar.gz
  rw-r--r-- 0/0  39772 Mar 28 13:46 2002 data.tar.gz

  The 'data.tar.gz' file contains all the files that will be
  installed with their destination paths:

  drwxr-xr-x root/root         0 2002-03-28 13:44:57 ./
  drwxr-xr-x root/root         0 2002-03-28 13:44:49 ./sbin/
  -rwxr-xr-x root/root     31656 2002-03-28 13:44:49 ./sbin/parted
  drwxr-xr-x root/root         0 2002-03-28 13:44:38 ./usr/
  drwxr-xr-x root/root         0 2002-03-28 13:44:41 ./usr/share/
  drwxr-xr-x root/root         0 2002-03-28 13:44:38 ./usr/share/man/
  drwxr-xr-x root/root         0 2002-03-28 13:44:52 ./usr/share/man/man8/
  -rw-r--r-- root/root      1608 2002-03-28 13:44:37 ./usr/share/man/man8/parted.8.gz
  drwxr-xr-x root/root         0 2002-03-28 13:44:41 ./usr/share/doc/
  drwxr-xr-x root/root         0 2002-03-28 13:44:52 ./usr/share/doc/parted/
  -rw-r--r-- root/root      1880 2002-03-07 14:20:08 ./usr/share/doc/parted/README.Debian
  -rw-r--r-- root/root      1347 2002-02-27 01:40:50 ./usr/share/doc/parted/copyright
  -rw-r--r-- root/root      6444 2002-03-28 13:37:33 ./usr/share/doc/parted/changelog.Debian.gz
  -rw-r--r-- root/root     15523 2002-03-28 02:36:43 ./usr/share/doc/parted/changelog.gz

I see any reason to distribute this as a .deb package for Linux. Why is this not distributed like Sublime Text? As tar.gz or tar.bz2 to extract and run?

Looks nice and minimal, but a bit too barebones, mouse seems neglected even for basic usage. I'm missing /.. to go up on the top of the folder, for example. Or even better, It'd be nice if I could click anywhere on the path to go there directly.

I'll keep an eye on the project as it is something I would gladly use.

My all time favourite nc clone is Altap Salamander, but sadly it's windows only. https://www.altap.cz All the others I've tried, FAR, TC, etc. seemed too ugly or clunky.

It's still somewhat early days. There's a card [1] on the feature requests list for making ".." configurable. The reason it's not there by default is that I want to keep the UI as clean as possible. But if you vote on the card (like many others have), then the implementation of this feature will be moved up in priority.

[1]: https://trello.com/c/i3iA6BFZ/2-entry-in-folders

I love it. 1) you're charging 2) it's OSS-ish 3) and you seem to have a business model that'll work long-term. Don't listen to me because I'm not a paying client, but keep up the good work!

Another idea for how to charge people: "enterprisey" usage, e.g. 2000+ files in one folder or anything that normal file managers choke on.

Thanks but it's not OSS (why: [1]). Where did I get you confused?

[1]: https://fman.io/blog/fmans-business-strategy/

I think the "open source promise" link on the homepage made me think it was already OSS. As you know, people on the internet can't be depended upon to read :)

This isn't something I'm likely to use (I'm a command line person), so take any suggestions from me with a grain of salt.

But ...

Most GUI file managers show a popup menu when you right-click on an item. fman doesn't. I'm sure the keyboard shortcuts are fine once you've memorized them, but a good right-click menu would be useful for casual users.

Also, Ctrl-Shift-P shows a list of keyboard shortcuts, but it seems to be fixed size, and it only shows about a third of the list at a time. My screen is more than big enough to show the entire list.

You're right. I simply haven't had time to implement this. Features are prioritised according to the number of votes they receive on a public Trello board [1]. There's a card for implementing a proper context menu [2].

Regarding Ctrl-Shift-P: I've created a card for this [3]. You can vote on it to have it moved up in priority.

[1]: https://trello.com/b/WpIUiPAd/fman

[2]: https://trello.com/c/wHX5czeT/22-make-it-possible-to-open-fi...

[3]: https://trello.com/c/PhdT0G7v/144-ctrl-shift-p-allow-to-beco...

Is that Stripe modal asking you to enter your credit card number, without knowing what server is it going to, an official Stripe thing? I would never enter any sensitive data there.

Yes, it's called Stripe Checkout [1].

[1]: https://stripe.com/docs/checkout/tutorial

Just found this comment from years ago, I completely agree and cannot believe this system has been around for years! https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5082918

PS. Great app, BTW!

Thanks! :-)

I have no problem with them charging for their software, but it's kind of lame that you have to download and run it before they even tell you it requires buying a license...

Sorry you had a bad experience :/ I can somehow see why and I guess I should make it clearer. There's a "Buy" link in the navigation and on the separate download page [1] it says that a license is required.

[1]: https://fman.io/download

I think, paying attention to the comments here, you should consider that your communication is an issue. The whole license in general, the need for it, the "it feels OSS, but its not" ... the artificial license limit... lots of red flags, and a lack of clarity.

The person who said the thing about OSS corrected himself (I assume it's a he) and admitted he just hadn't read the page properly.

I just explained why the limit isn't artificial.

But you're right, I'm sure my communication can improve. I've been spending a lot of time on this project so am somewhat "blind" to mistakes. All I can do is listen to the feedback here and improve.

I think we'll just have to disagree on the "artificial" thing. It "appears" artificial.

I think the combo of the nag screen and the inability to pay to get rid of it is a big part of the problem. If you're not going to let people buy the software, you shouldn't add a penalty/hurdle/annoyance to their usage.

You're right that the combo sucks. I'll have to come up with something. I didn't think this through properly in advance.

Until I read these comments, you home page made me think it's OSS. I went back and read what Open Source Promise actually means. It means it's NOT opensource right now. That's not obvious, especially when stating it on the home page.

Cute project. I really like keyboard-driven graphical applications, they have so much potential.

The licensing seems bit curious, whats the rationale in limiting the amount and time?

You mean why the current license sale is limited in amount and time - I answered this in another comment: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13777696

Did the installer for fman just install Opera as well? When I went to uninstall fman using the Windows control panel, I sorted by install date and Opera was shown as being installed after fman was, within just the past few minutes. I don't think I had Opera installed already, but even if I did it's extremely unlikely that an auto-updated just happened to occur during the couple of minutes I had fman installed.

Nope. I have no idea why you see Opera as being installed after fman. Maybe it was installed and updated itself?

Well midnight commander already does this...


(yes it is a clone of norton commander for linux, which is also a clone of pctools 4.3 for DOS and yes I use these since as long as I have been coding and it is CLI based with productivity shortcuts)

Nice! I have been wanting something like this.

I saw the feature requests on trello, but couldn't find "Create a new file"

I'm currently the only person who can add cards to the list. But just email me at [michael] at [herrmann] dot [io] and I'll add your suggestions/bug reports!

Why the limited number of licenses?

I answered this in another comment: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13777696

This reminds me of those "urbit addresses" that went on sale for like 200 USD each and the website made it seem like people gobbled it up with abandon. Why only sell 100 licenses? Somehow it all seems made up (honest, outsider point of view).

I've addressed this in two other comments [1], [2].

[1]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13777696

[2]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13778808

If I buy this, do I get the source code in a modifiable and non-obfuscated form, even if not under the terms of an OSS license (i.e. no redistribution)? I mean, it's a programmer's tool so not having sources would be a big downside.

Nope, sorry. If that is a hard requirement for you, then you'll have to find an alternative.

The front page returns a 500 error and is blank. On the upside, I like the minimalism!

[edit: It's fixed now - see below]


works for me... :/ Can you try again?

Thank you very much. I'll investigate.

Should be fixed now!

It's an interesting project, clearly stemming from scratching one's personal itch. Congrats on the Show HN, always an exciting experience :)

A bit of a reality check though if you don't mind - I think you will have very hard time selling this.

Windows chunk of your target audience will undoubtedly be already using Far and its many plugins, and thus have very little reason for switching. Conversely, those not familiar with Far probably won't be that interested in fman either.

Mac - desktop Mac market is exactly 1/10 of that of Windows. Perhaps Mac people are more inclined to pay, but it will still be peanuts compared to what a Windows version could bring.

Linux - I am frankly not familiar with a single Linux user, developer or not, who ever bought anything except for games.

[1] http://www.farmanager.com

I'm nearly sold out [1] so I don't see a problem selling this. Far manager is command-line only. 24% of my visitors are on Mac, Windows is 34% - hardly 1/10.

[1]: https://fman.io/buy

Just for some statistics, I just purchased it but the main selling point for me is cross platform. I use Windows/Linux at home and Mac at work, so a tool that works on all of them is a real boon to me. This way I can customize and use a single tool and use it no matter where I am. Same reason I purchased a copy of Sublime Text.

Is it electron based?

If you mean fman then no: I thought about this long and hard but startup speed is crucial and Electron just doesn't cut it. It's based on PyQt. I wrote a blog post about this: https://fman.io/blog/picking-technologies-for-a-desktop-app-...

I see the Windows version is a 1MB download and the Mac & Linux are 21MB, so I was surprised to ready Python and Qt are involved. I take it the Windows setup is a downloader?

Just FYI, Go has a (currently experimental, linux-only) plugin mechanism now. Of course, it's not cross-platform… yet.

Good to hear that... It would have been even better if it was C++ Qt based.

Congratulations! You exemplify the term "pathological customer"!

Is this a new name for someone who wants to avoid a bloatware?

I can understand why people don't like Electron, but what's wrong with Python?

> I'm nearly sold out

Can I ask what your sales goals/expectations are? Being "sold out" on software licenses certainly looks like a marketing trick rather than a meaningful demand quantifier.

> 24% of my visitors are on Mac, Windows is 34% - hardly 1/10

The 1/10 is the actual rate of Mac to Windows desktop shares. The fact that you are getting 24/34 simply means that you are either not reaching Windows audience or the product doesn't resonate with it.

Re "sold out": I explained this in other comments [1], [2].

I believe more and more people are using Macs, especially among my (narrowest) target audience (programmers). That's why I'm seeing ratios different from the average.

[1]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13777696

[2]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13778808

How are you "sold out" of a digital license?

Sounds like a very Nintendo-esque intential shortage to drive demand. Not saying its true, but it was my first thought, as well as 5 of the people in the slack room i shared the link in... all of which went from "ok, lets give this guy money" to "... nah... this doesnt feel right, now..."

It's a good question - I already explained this here in a comment: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13777696

You really haven't answered it, though. It's very nonsensical. If you want to see "who's in" and develop for your paying customers, then should you not let people become paying customers so you can develop for them?

Your logic seems to work if you were not allowing trials, but only paying... THEN you would have only paying customers... its your gig, but I think its been a while since i've seen something this strange in software... and its telling that you're having to post the link to your answer so often in these comments. It simply makes no sense, and seems to be serving to drive people away or make them doubt your intentions.

Sorry you find it so disturbing. Especially since you said in another comment that being able to pay for a piece of software makes it appealing to you. I think that's cool because I'm not a big fan of freeloaders.

I didn't think fman would be so successful here. I believed that if I had told people "buy this whenever you feel like it", then they simply wouldn't have bought. At least that would be what I would do.

Another reason is that I want to provide paying users with great support, want to ask "so what would you like implemented" etc., and I don't have the resources to do that for too many people.

I hope it makes more sense now... :/

I just think, unfortunately for you and the project... you took a good boost of traffic by getting a near-top HN story and just let it die. You probably won't get a gift like this again...

Speaking for myself, I won't be using the software. I would have paid for it, as I want a GUI side-by-side, but i couldn't. A nag screen I can't even pay to get rid of is all but insulting, so I won't be loading the software, so the whole "out of sight, out of mind" thing is going to take over, and I probably will never open it again...

Now, seeing your decisions, and I want to stress that I'm not judging you for making them, its your baby, you do what you want with it, and I don't presume to tell you what you should do - just trying to share a perspective that may not be singular... but those decisions make me question the path the software is going to take, because they fly in the face of what I would consider to be reason.

Sad to see you go, but I appreciate the feedback. Thanks for taking the time to share.

he's using artificial scarcity to build hype and pretending otherwise, hence the nearly incoherent answer

> Linux - I am frankly not familiar with a single Linux user, developer or not, who ever bought anything except for games.

I beg to differ. Grew up with Windows, but nowadays full-time Linux user. I paid some $40 for Sublime Text and it was worth every cent. Also donated to various services and projects, but maybe that does not count...

And now I also just paid $13 for fman, not because I'm sure about it, but because it's cheap, looks promising, and I sometimes miss Total Commander rather badly.

Linux user here, I'll buy what makes sense (e.g. Sublime Text) and is worth it.

The problem is that "except for games," commercial support around Linux isn't exactly great. I'm just a developer so my needs are covered, but around me are others with different needs - decent CAD tools, Photoshop - they're not sold for Linux.

And now there's probably going to be the "well there aren't enough Linux users to justify it" but then there never could be if the software is unavailable anyway.

I'm aware that there used to be a Photoshop build for Solaris

Anecdote, but I am a Linux user and have paid for animation software (the name escapes me, I didn't do much with it). That said I feel like if more quality software existed for Linux, I feel there would be more of a market for it. I would gladly pay for quality CAD software, as well as a decent graphical suite and video editor.

I've "bought" a lot of free software through donations, and even bought the Windows version of LR to use through Wine.

Can't afford to buy GNU Parallel yet though.

Why go Far when we have Total Commander?

TC is great but it's not available on Mac (my original motivation for starting the project [1]) or Linux. Also, it's showing its age.

[1]: https://fman.io/blog/introducing-fman/

How well would this work as a replacement for Finder for basically every task?

The only use case I currently still use Finder for is previewing Pictures. But admittedly, my needs aren't that advanced.

The most mainstream missing feature is probably a search functionality (see the card [1] on the feature requests list). I don't miss it because I use the command line.

[1]: https://trello.com/c/ZtBmsZtA/98-file-search

Why would I use this over something like, say, Alfred? Alfred has a file launcher very similar to this from what I can on the screenshots. What's the appeal here? Cross platform support?

I would say cross platform and more of a focus on moving/copying files.

I use two-panel FMs on almost all of my machines, for convenience mainly. How would you convince me to try yours when there are several other alternatives, much more stable and powerful?

It's cross platform.

It's more modern than the alternatives.

It has a Python-based plugin API with a vibrant (given its young age! It's growing) plugin ecosystem [1].

Your installer was detected on my Windows 7 machine as a virus. http://imgur.com/a/47tsP

Yes, McAffee complains as well [1]. I don't know why :(

[1]: https://trello.com/c/dFLnJXLr/121-mcafee-complains-that-fman...

Because antivirus software tends to be a huge load of crap that will flag anything just slightly out of the ordinary with annoying popups to give moronic customers the impression their wasted money actually contributed to system security. Don't worry about it and tell users to remove that garbage from their systems.

If more developers stopped putting up with it for fear of being associated with malware, this shit would come to an end quickly.

Alternatively, you can bend over and ask them nicely to consider the flagging of your app a false positive. If you're lucky, they might add an ultra-specific whitelist entry so that their software will shut up until you update your app (or compiler, …) the next time. Repeat until your butt can't take it anymore.


This broke apt-get update on my system, by adding an https update method. I assume the author must have apt-transport-https installed, or something.

Sorry about that :/ It adds /etc/apt/sources.list.d/fman.list so you can update fman with apt. Isn't non-https unsafe?

No, because the packages are already signed with gpg. That way you can verify the checksum already.

Interesting (sorry, I'm new to Linux packaging). So would it be safe then to replace by http? (Not that I'd take this at face value, but I am interested in your opinion)

Here's some more information that sums that up quite nicely, most default mirrors are http so I'd say it's safe enough.



While we're at it, you absolutely need to remove that cronjob. No package should run their own update. That's the domain of the systems package manager.

Looks amazing. Keyboard people are gonna love it.

Isn't the gif on the front page from atom?

This looks like Norton Commander for DOS and subsequent clones. I always liked this two pane layout. This is nothing new.

All POSIX operating systems come with a powerful file manager for programmers: the POSIX shell and core utilities.

Licenses are already out within hrs on HN?

The launch (to my mailing list of ~1200 people) actually started a day earlier and was 50% sold out when it became popular here.

What's with the 100 license limit?

How about ranger? It's FOSS too.

But only for the command line.

I'll give this a shot, but I suspect bash will remain my 'file manager' of choice.

How about a right click/keystroke to copy current file path to clipboard?

F11 :-)

To install, you need no admin rights.

To uninstall, admin rights are required !!!

How can i uninstall this ??????

Sorry for the trouble - does it also "require" admin rights when you run C:/Users/<your user>/AppData/Local/fman/uninstall.exe?

Yes, it works. Thank u but this is counter-intuitive!

You're right sorry. I created a card for this [1] on the "issue tracker".

[1]: https://trello.com/c/onDHN3Q5/150-windows-uninstalling-via-c...

Looks really good on ubuntu!


Already annoyed by the un-quick quick open animation. How do I turn it off?

It's not possible yet, sorry. There's a card you can vote on [1] on the public feature requests board to have it moved up in priority.

[1]: https://trello.com/c/zTua4A7f/58-make-it-possible-to-disable...

Why do have a randomised button click to continue without a license?

Because it's a _nag_ screen.

It's sole purpose is to inconvenience you.

DoubleCommamder is a really good clone of Total Commander.


http://doublecmd.sourceforge.net/ is the url to "Double Commander" for those that googled for "DoubleCommamder" and could only find "DoubleCommand".

Typed it on my phone. I agree, the post was slightly lazy:).

worth mentioning: sunflower[http://sunflower-fm.org/]

No homebrew cask :(

I submitted one because of this comment. Enjoy!

No search?

Not yet sorry. Features are priorities by the number of votes they receive on a public Trello board [1]. There's a card [2] for search (which is not the highest-voted feature). But it will definitely come.

[1]: https://trello.com/b/WpIUiPAd/fman

[2]: https://trello.com/c/ZtBmsZtA/98-file-search

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