FILES(1)                    General Commands Manual                   FILES(1)

       files - X file manager with drag and drop capabilities

       files [-version] [directories ...]

       Files is a file  manager program for the X window system formely known
       as xfm. It provides virtually all of the features that you would expect
       in a file manager - move around your directory tree in multiple
       windows, move, copy or delete files, and launch programs with simple
       mouse operations. Directory displays are updated automatically in
       regular intervals when the contents of the directory changes. User-
       definable file types let you specify a command to be executed when
       double-clicking on a file. Last but not least, files can automatically
       mount and unmount special devices like floppies as you open and close
       the corresponding directories (mount points).

       files accepts a list of directories as command line arguments. For each
       directory, files opens a  file window. If no directory is given, the
       user's home directory will be used.

       Most of it should be fairly obvious. There is one or more file windows
       in which directories (also termed folders) are displayed. In order to
       perform an action, you either select items and then invoke a menu
       operation, or you drag items from a file window to a second (maybe the
       same) file window. You can also double-click on an item to start a
       corresponding action (like launching an application, editing a file, or
       changing directories), and press the right menu button on an item to
       bring up a menu containing operations for a single file or application.
       File operations are accessed from the file window menu bar as usual.

       The left-hand mouse button selects an item (and deselects all others in
       the same window). The second button toggles the selected state of an

       You can drag with the left-hand button to another window to move files
       from one directory to another. The second button used in the same way
       will copy files. New file windows can be opened by simply dragging a
       directory icon to the root window.

       The action taken when double-clicking on a file depends on the type of
       the file. If it is a directory, it is displayed in the file window. If
       it is an executable, the program is started. Other files are opened in
       the default editor (specified by the defaultEditor resource), unless
       another action is given in the rc file (see CONFIGURATION below).

       Directories can be displayed in three different forms: tree (display
       subdirectories in tree-like form), icon (display directories and files
       as icons) and text (similar to ls -l). These options are selected from
       the View menu. In the tree form, clicking on the arrows takes you up or
       down one level.

       Directory displays are updated automatically in regular intervals when
       the contents of the directory changes. You can also explicitly request
       a folder update by double-clicking on the directory name field of the
       corresponding file window.

       FILE MENU

       File manipulation operations.

           Create a new (and empty) file.

           Rename a single item (directory or file) or move selected items to
           another directory.

           Create a copy of a single item under a new name or copy selected
           items to another directory.

           Like Copy, but creates symbolic links rather than copying the
           selected items.

           Delete the selected items.

           Select items by pattern. The usual metacharacters are recognized
           (*, ?, [ ]). (Currently there is no provision for escaping these.)

       Select all
           Select all items in the current directory (except the parent

           Deselect all items.

           Terminate xfm.


       Operations dealing with directories and the file window.

           Create a new directory.

       Go to...
           Display the specified directory.

           Display your home directory.

           Display the parent directory.

           Delete all items in the current directory.

           Close this file window.

       VIEW MENU

       Options for the directory display.

           Select the tree form display.

           Select the icons form display.

           Select the text form display.

       Sort by name
           Sort directory by name.

       Sort by size
           Sort directory by size.

       Sort by date
           Sort directory by date.

           Specify a pattern to determine the files which should be displayed
           in the file window. (This only affects normal files, i.e. directory
           items will not be filtered. The Clear button in the Filter dialog
           form reverts to the full display.)

       Hide folders
           Suppress directory items.

       Mix folders/files
           Mix directories and other files.

       Show hidden files
           Show hidden files (files starting with a dot).


       Operations on a single file. This menu pops up when pressing the right
       mouse button on a directory or file icon.

           Open a file window on the selected item. This option is only
           available if the selected item is a directory.

           Edit the selected item using the program specified in the
           defaultEditor resource (only available if the selected item is not
           a directory).

           Same as Edit, but invokes a program for viewing the file
           (defaultViewer resource).

           Move the selected item.

           Copy the selected item.

           Create a symbolic link.

           Delete the selected item.

           Display information about the selected item (file size, permissions
           and such).

           Change the permissions of the selected item.

       Various aspects of files can be configured by changing corresponding
       resource settings in the applications default file. Some important
       resources are listed below:


           The path on which to search for bitmap and pixmap icons,

           The names of the system-wide configuration file used by files (see

           Set the time interval in milliseconds for which a sequence of two
           mouse clicks should be interpreted as a double click. Default: 300.

           Set the time interval in milliseconds in which to perform automatic
           folder updates. Default: 10000.

           Resources to request confirmation for various operations. XXX can
           be any one of Deletes, DeleteFolder, Copies, Moves, Overwrite and
           Quit. By default these are all enabled.

           The command with which files invokes your favourite editor.

           The command with which files invokes your favorite viewer.

           files calls other programs by executing your shell (as taken from
           the environment variable SHELL). Since Bourne compatible shells
           need one extra parameter, files needs to know about the type of the
           shell. If this resource is not set (default), or is equal to the
           special string AUTO, a quick-and-dirty test is done at startup.
           Set the BourneShells resource to a comma separated list of full
           path names of Bourne compatible shells if you experience problems.
           If your shell matches an entry in this list, files will assume it
           is a Bourne shell.

       There are way too many available resources to list them all in this
       manual page, so please take a look at the application defaults file for
       more information.

       Besides the application resources, files can be configured by means of
       a configuration file called .Filesrc located in your home directory. If
       this file is not found, files search for a system-wide one. The
       location of such file may vary and can be adjusted using the
       corresponding X resource. It is a plain ASCII files which can be edited
       using any text editor.  Any line in this file which starts with a hash
       sign (#) is interpreted as a comment; empty lines are ignored. Note
       that there exists a line splitting this file in two parts: file type
       configuration and device configuration. Also, if files has been
       compiled with the MAGIC_HEADERS option then another file called
       FilesMagic (system-wide) or ~/.FilesMagic is used (see below).

       The first half of the Filesrc file specifies the types of ordinary
       (non-executable, non-directory) files which files should recognize.
       Each file type associates a pattern with an icon and two different
       kinds of actions (commands to be executed on the file). If files has
       been compiled with the MAGIC_HEADERS option then it is possible to
       specify icons (but not actions) for directories and executables as
       well. Each line has the following format:


       As indicated, the different fields are separated by a colon (use \: to
       escape the : character, and \\ to escape the backslash character
       itself). The meaning of these fields is explained below.

           This field allows you to specify which files belong to the type.
           File types can either be specified by a filename pattern, which
           refers to the name of a file, or a magic header, which refers to
           the contents of the file, or both.

           There are three types of filename patterns: Literal patterns
           specify a literal filename such as ``core.'' Suffix patterns
           specify a suffix the filename must match, and are indicated by a
           leading asterisk, as in ``*.c.'' (All characters following the
           initial * are interpreted as literals; there is no expansion of
           embedded wildcards.)  Finally, prefix patterns specify a prefix to
           be matched against the filename. They are denoted by a trailing
           asterisk, as in ``README*.''

           Magic headers are specified by a symbolic name given in the
           FilesMagic file, enclosed in angle brackets. Entries referring to a
           magic header cause the contents of the file to be checked against
           the magic numbers in the FilesMagic file. The format of these
           entries is described in Section MAGIC HEADERS below.

           The name of the bitmap or pixmap file containing the icon to be
           displayed for this file type.

           The command to be executed when the user double-clicks on a file of
           this type. This command is passed to the shell (via -c), together
           with the name of the selected file. The command is executed in the
           directory where the selected file is located. The filename is
           available in the command as the positional parameter number one,
           such that an action of the form xyz $1 invokes the command xyz on
           the selected file.  There are also two special kinds of push
           actions built into files, EDIT and VIEW which invoke the default
           editor and default viewer on the selected file, respectively.

           Similar to the push action, this field denotes a command to be
           executed when a collection of selected files is dropped onto the
           file. The absolute target filename itself is available as
           positional parameter $1, the remaining arguments denote the names
           of the files dropped onto the target file. The command is executed
           in the directory which contains the selected files. No special
           built-in commands are available for this type of action.

       If an action field is empty, the corresponding action defaults to ``do
       nothing.'' For instance, the following entry defines an icon and an
       EDIT push action for .c files:


       As another example, here is an entry for compressed (i.e. gzipped) tar
       files. The push action causes the archive to be extracted, while the
       drop action replaces the contents of the archive with the files which
       have been dragged onto the archive:

               *.tar.gz:files_taz.xpm:exec tar xfvz $1:exec tar cfvz $*

       (Note the use of the shell's exec command. Since actions are invoked
       through the shell, it is often useful to replace the shell with the
       actual command which is to be executed, in order to conserve memory
       space on small systems.)

       It is possible that different patterns given in the filesrc file
       overlap.  In this case files uses the first pattern which matches.
       Therefore you should always list the more specific patterns first. For
       instance, the following two entries specify what to do with compressed
       tar files (specific case) and other .gz files (default case):

               *.tar.gz:files_taz.xpm:exec tar xfvz $1:exec tar cfvz $*
               *.gz:files_z.xpm:exec gunzip $1:

       files also enables you to prompt for additional parameters before an
       action is executed. This is generally more useful with application
       entries than with file actions, and will therefore be described in the
       context of application configuration, see PARAMETER DIALOGS below.

       When compiled with the MAGIC_HEADERS option, files can determine file
       types using the magic numbers contained in the files.

       The magic numbers are described in a configuration file whose path is
       obtained from the magicFile resource. The format of the file is the
       same as that of the magic(5) file, with some extensions like regular
       expression matching. (See xfmtype(1).)

       There are five built-in types which are used if all the patterns in the
       magic file fail:

           Read failed.

           File size is zero.

           Not a regular file.

           Could be read and looks like ASCII.

           Could be read but all tests failed and doesn't look like ASCII.

       To specify a magic file type you include it between angle brackets at
       the beginning of the pattern field:

               <GIF>:files_gif.xpm:exec xpaint $1:

       or combined with a filename pattern:


       In the latter case, the file must meet both conditions, i.e. be an
       ASCII file and have a .cc suffix.

       To include angle brackets in the type or the pattern you must escape
       them using backslashes.

       If files is compiled with the MAGIC_HEADERS option, it is also possible
       to specify custom icons for directories and executables. For this
       purpose, the magic file distributed with files provides magic file
       types named <DIR>, <EXEC>, etc. For instance, here is an entry which
       specifies a special icon for hidden directories:


       In the same way you can also override the built-in icons for displaying
       arbitrary directories and executables:

               <DIR LNK>:link_dir.xpm::

       The device configuration section of filesrc, lets you specify which
       mount points files should keep track of, and which actions to perform
       in order to mount and unmount the corresponding file systems. This
       allows you to access file systems on special devices such as floppies,
       CD-Roms, etc. in a transparent way. All you have to do is to enter a
       directory named in filesrc (e.g. by opening a file window on it), and
       files will automatically perform the corresponding mount action for
       you. Likewise, if you leave such a directory, files invokes the
       corresponding unmount action. (CAUTION: You still have to take care
       that you unmount a file system, e.g. by closing every file window which
       has been opened on it, before you physically remove the corresponding
       medium.) Alternatively, it is recommended that you use external
       utilities like supermount to perform such operations without any risk
       of data loss.

       An entry of the devide section has the following format:


       The directory field denotes the mount point of the file system, mount-
       action the command to be executed in order to mount the file system,
       and umount-action the command for unmounting the file system.  Here is
       a ``typical'' entry from a filesrc file:

               /disk/a:mount -t msdos -o user /dev/fd0 /disk/a:umount /disk/a

       Of course, the details of how to mount a floppy file system may vary
       from system to system, and you might have to take special actions if
       you want to use mount as an ordinary user. See mount(8) for details.

       files lets you prompt the user for additional parameters when a push or
       drop action is invoked. In such a case, a dialog form appears, with one
       field for each parameter, into which the user can enter the required
       arguments. Currently, no checking is done on the supplied parameters;
       in fact, the user can simply leave all fields empty. Parameters are
       specified in an action using the form


       where parameter-name is an arbitrary string not containing the %
       character, which will be displayed in the dialog form. (As usual, a
       literal % character can be escaped with the backslash.) files replaces
       each such %...% construct with the corresponding value entered by the

       Programs started by files inherit their standard output and error
       streams from files. Therefore, if you start files from your session or
       window manager instead of an xterm, you should redirect files's
       standard output and error to something which you can read while files
       is running, if the window manager does not already do that for you.
       Usually, you will reassign both stdout and stderr to /dev/console,
       using the command:

               files >/dev/console 2>&1

       Then you can read error messages and other output produced by launched
       applications in the console window on your desktop (such as xconsole,
       or xterm -C).

       files supports icons in both the X bitmap and Arnaud Le Hors' XPM
       format.  A collection of useful icons is included in the distribution.

           Standard location for files configuration file.

       X(1), xconsole(1), xterm(1), mount(8), Arnaud Le Hors: XPM Manual. The
       X PixMap Format, Groupe Bull, 1993. The Drag and Drop HOWTO by Cesar

       files catches the TERM signal to gracefully terminate the program,
       unmounting all open file systems which have been mounted by files.
       However, some window and session managers may not send TERM signals to
       their client applications when terminating an X session. Therefore it
       might be necessary to explicitly quit files or manually close file
       windows before exiting X.

       files depends on your shell - see resource BourneShells.

       Copyright (c) 1990-1993 by Simon Marlow
       Copyright (c) 1994, 1995 by Albert Graef
       Copyright (c) 1996 by Andre Hentz

       The original version of this program (called xfm) was written by Simon
       Marlow ( at the University of Glasgow. Albert
       Graef ( at the University of Mainz
       did many bug fixes and enhancements.

       The original version of this program (called xfm) was written by Simon
       Marlow ( at the University of Glasgow. Albert
       Graef ( at the University of Mainz
       is the author of the lastest xfm version (1.3.2) which contains many
       bug fixes and enhancements. Other people have contributed additional
       features: Dave Safford (; automatic folder
       updates); Robert Vogelgesang (; shell detection
       code); Juan D. Martin (; magic headers); Kevin Rodgers
       (; Filter option); Scott Heavner
       (; View option); Brian King (ender@ee.WPI.EDU;
       default values in parameter dialogs).

       In 1996, this program underwent a complete reformulation in order to be
       able to work together with DnD (the Drag and Drop protocol by Cesar
       Crusius). Many features of earlier versions were removed due to the new
       role played by files in the context of OffiX. OffiX is an expandable
       environment built around DnD and aimed to give novice and expert users
       a comfortable and common desktop.

X Version 11                   16 February 1996                       FILES(1)