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mc(1)									 mc(1)

       mc - Visual shell for Unix-like systems.

       mc [-bcCdfhPstuUVx?] [dir1 [dir2]] [-v file]

       The  Midnight  Commander	 is a directory browser/file manager for Unix-
       like operating systems.

       -b     Forces black and white display.

       -c     Force color mode, please	check  the  section  Colors  for  more

       -C arg Use  to  specify a different color set in the command line.  The
	      format of arg is documented in the Colors section.

       -d     Disables mouse support.

       -f     Displays the compiled-in search  paths  for  Midnight  Commander

       -l file
	      Save the ftpfs dialog with the server on file.

       -P     At program end, the Midnight Commander will print the last work‐
	      ing directory; this, along with the shell function  below,  will
	      allow  you  to browse through your directories and automatically
	      move to the last directory you were in (thanks to Torben	Fjerd‐
	      ingstad  and  Sergey for contributing this function and the code
	      which implements this option).

	      bash and zsh users:

	      mc ()
		      /usr/local/bin/mc -P "$@" > "$MC"
		      cd `cat "$MC"`
		      rm "$MC"
		      unset MC;

	      tcsh users:
	      alias mc 'setenv MC `/usr/local/bin/mc -P *`; cd $MC; unsetenv MC'

       I know the bash function could be shorter for zsh and bash but the
	      backquotes on bash won't accept that  you	 suspend  the  program
	      with C-z.

       -s     Turns  on	 the slow terminal mode, in this mode the program will
	      not draw expensive line drawing characters and will toggle  ver‐
	      bose mode off.

       -t     Used  only  if the code was compiled with Slang and terminfo: it
	      makes the Midnight Commander use the value of the TERMCAP	 vari‐
	      able  for the terminal information instead of the information on
	      the system wide terminal database

       -u     Disables the use of a concurrent shell (only makes sense if  the
	      Midnight	Commander  has	been  built with concurrent shell sup‐

       -U     Enables the use of the  concurrent  shell	 support  (only	 makes
	      sense if the Midnight Commander was built with the subshell sup‐
	      port set as an optional feature).

       -v file
	      Enters the internal viewer to view the file specified.

       -V     Displays the version of the program.

       -x     Forces xterm mode.  Used when running on xterm-capable terminals
	      (two screen modes, and able to send mouse escape sequences).

       If  specified,  the  first  path	 name  is the directory to show in the
       selected panel; the second path name is the directory to	 be  shown  in
       the other panel.

       The screen of the Midnight Commander is divided into four parts. Almost
       all of the screen space is  taken  up  by  two  directory  panels.   By
       default,	 the second bottommost line of the screen is the shell command
       line, and the bottom line shows the function key	 labels.  The  topmost
       line  is	 the menu bar line.  The menu bar line may not be visible, but
       appears if you click the topmost line with the mouse or	press  the  F9

       The  Midnight  Commander provides a view of two directories at the same
       time. One of the panels is the current panel (a selection bar is in the
       current	panel). Almost all operations take place on the current panel.
       Some file operations like Rename and Copy by default use the  directory
       of  the unselected panel as a destination (don't worry, they always ask
       you for confirmation first). For more information, see the sections  on
       the Directory Panels, the Left and Right Menus and the File Menu.

       You  can	 execute system commands from the Midnight Commander by simply
       typing them. Everything you type will appear on the shell command line,
       and  when  you press Enter the Midnight Commander will execute the com‐
       mand line you typed; read the Shell Command Line and  Input  Line  Keys
       sections to learn more about the command line.

Mouse Support
       The Midnight Commander comes with mouse support.	 It is activated when‐
       ever you are running on an xterm(1) terminal (it even works if you take
       a  telnet or rlogin connection to another machine from the xterm) or if
       you are running on a Linux console and have the gpm mouse  server  run‐

       When  you  left	click  on a file in the directory panels, that file is
       selected; if you click with the right button, the file  is  marked  (or
       unmarked, depending on the previous state).

       Double-clicking	on  a file will try to execute the command if it is an
       executable program; and if the extension file has a  program  specified
       for the file's extension, the specified program is executed.

       Also,  it  is possible to execute the commands assigned to the function
       key labels by clicking on them.

       If a mouse button is clicked on the top frame  line  of	the  directory
       panel, it is scrolled one pageful backward. Correspondingly, a click on
       the bottom frame line will cause a scroll of one pageful forward.  This
       frame line method works also in the Help Viewer and the Directory Tree.

       The default auto repeat rate for the mouse buttons is 400 milliseconds.
       This may be changed to other values by editing  the  .mc.ini  file  and
       changing the mouse_repeat_rate parameter.

       If you are running the Commander with the mouse support, you can bypass
       the Commander and get the default mouse behaviour (cutting and  pasting
       text) by holding down the Shift key.

       Some  commands in the Midnight Commander involve the use of the Control
       (sometimes labeled CTRL or CTL) and the Meta (sometimes labeled ALT  or
       even  Compose) keys. In this manual we will use the following abbrevia‐

       C-<chr> means hold the Control key while typing	the  character	<chr>.
       Thus C-f would be: hold the Control key and type f.

       M-<chr>	means  hold  the  Meta	or Alt key down while typing <chr>. If
       there is no Meta or Alt key, type ESC, release it, then type the	 char‐
       acter <chr>.

       All  input  lines in the Midnight Commander use an approximation to the
       GNU Emacs editor's key bindings.

       There are many sections which tell about the keys.  The	following  are
       the most important.

       The File Menu section documents the keyboard shortcuts for the commands
       appearing in the File menu. This section includes  the  function	 keys.
       Most  of	 these	commands  perform some action, usually on the selected
       file or the tagged files.

       The Directory Panels section documents the keys which select a file  or
       tag  files  as  a  target for a later action (the action is usually one
       from the file menu).

       The Shell Command Line section list the keys which are used for	enter‐
       ing  and	 editing command lines. Most of these copy file names and such
       from the directory panels to the command line (to avoid excessive  typ‐
       ing) or access the command line history.

       Input  Line  Keys are used for editing input lines. This means both the
       command line and the input lines in the query dialogs.

  Miscellaneous Keys
       Here are some keys which don't fall into any of the other categories:

       Enter.  If there is some text in the command line (the one at the  bot‐
       tom  of the panels), then that command is executed. If there is no text
       in the command line then if the selection bar is over a	directory  the
       Midnight	 Commander  does  a  chdir(2)  to  the	selected directory and
       reloads the information on the panel; if the selection is an executable
       file  then  it  is  executed. Finally, if the extension of the selected
       file name matches one of the extensions in the extensions file then the
       corresponding command is executed.

       C-l.  Repaint all the information in the Midnight Commander.

       C-x c.  Run the Chmod command on a file or on the tagged files.

       C-x  o.	 Run  the  Chown  command on the current file or on the tagged

       C-x l.  Run the link command.

       C-x s.  Run the symbolic link command.

       C-x i.  Set the other panel display mode to information.

       C-x q.  Set the other panel display mode to quick view.

       C-x !.  Execute the External panelize command.

       C-x h Run the add directory to hotlist command.

       M-!, Executes the Filtered view command, described in the view command.

       M-?, Executes the Find file command.

       M-c, Pops up the quick cd dialog.

       C-o, When the program is being run in the Linux	console	 or  under  an
       xterm,  it  will show you the output of the previous command.  When ran
       on the Linux console, the Midnight Commander uses an  external  program
       (cons.saver)  to	 handle	 saving	 and  restoring	 of information on the

       When the subshell support is compiled in, you can type C-o at any  time
       and  you	 will  be taken back to the Midnight Commander main screen, to
       return to your application just type C-o.  If you have  an  application
       suspended  by using this trick, you won't be able to execute other pro‐
       grams from the Midnight Commander  until	 you  terminate	 the  supended

  Directory Panels
       This  section  lists the keys which operate on the directory panels. If
       you want to know how to change the appearance of the panels take a look
       at the section on Left and Right Menus.

       Tab,  C-i.   Change  the current panel. The old other panel becomes the
       new current panel and the old  current  panel  becomes  the  new	 other
       panel.  The  selection  bar moves from the old current panel to the new
       current panel.

       Insert, C-t.  To tag files you may use the Insert key (the  kich1  ter‐
       minfo  sequence)	 or the C-t (Control-t) sequence. To untag files, just
       retag a tagged file.

       M-g, M-h (or M-r), M-j.	Used to select the top file in	a  panel,  the
       middle file and the bottom one, respectively.

       C-s,  M-s.   Start a filename search in the directory listing. When the
       search is active the keypresses will be	added  to  the	search	string
       instead	of the command line. If the Show mini-status option is enabled
       the search string is shown on the mini-status line.  When  typing,  the
       selection  bar  will move to the next file starting with the typed let‐
       ters. The backspace or DEL keys can be used to correct typing mistakes.
       If C-s is pressed again, the next match is searched for.

       C-\  (control-backslash).  Show the directory hotlist and change to the
       selected directory.

       +  (plus).  This is used to select (tag) a group of files. The Midnight
       Commander  will	prompt	for a regular expression describing the group.
       When Shell Patterns are enabled, the regular expression	is  much  like
       the regular expressions in the shell (* standing for zero or more char‐
       acters and ?  standing for one character). If Shell  Patterns  is  off,
       then  the tagging of files is done with normal regular expressions (see
       ed (1)).

       If the expression starts or ends with a slash (/), then it will	select
       directories instead of files.

       \  (backslash).	 Use the "\" key to unselect a group of files. This is
       the opposite of the Plus key.

       up-key, C-p.  Move the selection bar  to	 the  previous	entry  in  the

       down-key, C-n.  Move the selection bar to the next entry in the panel.

       home, a1, M-<.  Move the selection bar to the first entry in the panel.

       end, c1, M->.  Move the selection bar to the last entry in the panel.

       next-page, C-v.	Move the selection bar one page down.

       prev-page, M-v.	Move the selection bar one page up.

       M-o,  If	 the  other panel is a listing panel and you are standing on a
       directory in the current panel, then the other panel contents  are  set
       to  the contents of the currently selected directory (like Emacs' dired
       C-o key) otherwise the other panel contents are set to the  parent  dir
       of the current dir.

       C-PageUp,  C-PageDown  Only when ran on the Linux console: does a chdir
       to ".." and to the currently selected directory respectively.

  Shell Command Line
       This section lists keys which are useful to avoid excessive typing when
       entering shell commands.

       M-Enter.	 Copy the currently selected file name to the command line.

       C-Enter.	 Same a M-Enter, this one only works on the Linux console.

       M-Tab.	Does  the  filename,  command, variable, username and hostname
       completion for you.

       C-x t, C-x C-t.	Copy the tagged files  (or  if	there  are  no	tagged
       files,  the selected file) of the current panel (C-x t) or of the other
       panel (C-x C-t) to the command line.

       C-x p, C-x C-p.	The first key sequence copies the current path name to
       the command line, and the second one copies the unselected panel's path
       name to the command line.

       C-q.  The quote command can be used to insert characters that are  oth‐
       erwise interpreted by the Midnight Commander (like the '+' symbol)

       M-p,  M-n.   Use	 these keys to browse through the command history. M-p
       takes you to the last entry, M-n takes you to the next one.

  General Movement Keys
       The help viewer, the file viewer and the directory tree use common code
       to  handle moving. Therefore they accept exactly the same keys. Each of
       them also accepts some keys of its own.

       Other parts of the Midnight Commander use some  of  the	same  movement
       keys, so this section may be of use for those parts too.

       Up, C-p.	 Moves one line backward.

       Down, C-n.  Moves one line forward.

       Prev Page, Page Up, M-v.	 Moves one pageful backward.

       Next Page, Page Down, C-v.  Moves one pageful forward.

       Home, A1.  Moves to the beginning.

       End, C1.	 Move to the end.

       The  help viewer and the file viewer accept the following keys in addi‐
       tion the to ones mentioned above:

       b, C-b, C-h, Backspace, Delete.	Moves one pageful backward.

       Space bar.  Moves one pageful forward.

       u, d.  Moves one half of a page backward or forward.

       g, G.  Moves to the beginning or to the end.

  Input Line Keys
       The input lines (they are used for the command line and for  the	 query
       dialogs in the program) accept these keys:

       C-a puts the cursor at the beginning of line.

       C-e puts the cursor at the end of the line.

       C-b, move-left move the cursor one position left.

       C-f, move-right move the cursor one position right.

       M-f moves one word forward.

       M-b moves one word backward.

       C-h, backspace delete the previous character.

       C-d, Delete delete the character in the point (over the cursor).

       C-@ sets the mark for cutting.

       C-w  copies  the	 text between the cursor and the mark to a kill buffer
       and removes the text from the input line.

       M-w copies the text between the cursor and the mark to a kill buffer.

       C-y yanks back the contents of the kill buffer.

       C-k kills the text from the cursor to the end of the line.

       M-p, M-n Use these keys to browse  through  the	command	 history.  M-p
       takes you to the last entry, M-n takes you to the next one.

       M-C-h, M-Backspace delete one word backward.

       M-Tab  does the filename, command, variable, username and hostname com‐
       pletion for you.

Menu Bar
       The menu bar pops up when you press F9 or click the mouse  on  the  top
       row  of	the screen. The menu bar has five menus: "Left", "File", "Com‐
       mand", "Options" and "Right".

       The Left and Right Menus allow you to modify the appearance of the left
       and right directory panels.

       The  File  Menu	lists  the  actions  you  can perform on the currently
       selected file or the tagged files.

       The Command Menu lists the actions which are more general and  bear  no
       relation to the currently selected file or the tagged files.

  Left and Right Menus
       The  outlook  of	 the directory panels can be changed from the Left and
       Right menus.

    Listing Mode...
       The listing mode view is used to display a listing of files, there  are
       four  different	listing	 modes available: Full, Brief, Long, and User.
       The full directory view shows the file name, the size of the  file  and
       the modification time.

       The  brief view shows only the file name and it has two columns (there‐
       fore showing twice as many files as other views). The long view is sim‐
       ilar  to	 the  output  of  ls -l command. The long view takes the whole
       screen width.

       If you choose the "User" display format, then you have to  specify  the
       display format.

       The  user  display format must start with a panel size specifier.  This
       may be "half" or "full", and they specify a half	 screen	 panel	and  a
       full screen panel respectively.

       After  the  panel  size,	 you  may  specify the two columns mode on the
       panel, this is done by adding the number "2" to the user format string.

       After this you add the name of the fields with an optional size	speci‐
       fier.  This are the available fields you may display:

       name, displays the file name.

       size, displays the file size.

       type,  displays a one character field type.  This character is a super‐
       set of what is displayed by ls with the -F flag.	 An asterisk for  exe‐
       cutable	files, a slash for directories, an at-sign for links, an equal
       sign for sockets, a hyphen for character devices, a plus sign for block
       devices,	 a  pipe  for fifos, a tilde for symbolic links to directories
       and an exlamation mark for stalled symlinks (links that point nowhere).

       mtime, file's last modification time.

       atime, file's last access time.

       ctime, file's creation time.

       perm, a string representing the current permission bits of the file.

       mode, an octal value with the current permission bits of the file.

       nlink, the number of links to the file.	ngid, the GID (numeric).

       nuid, the UID (numeric).

       owner, the owner of the file.

       group, the group of the file.

       inode, the inode of the file.

       Also you may use these field names for arranging the display:

       space, a space in the display format.

       mark, An asterisk if the file is tagged, a space if it's not.

       |, This character is used to add a vertical line to the display format.

       To force one field to a fixed size (a size specifier), you just	add  a
       ':'  and	 then  the number of characters you want the field to have, if
       the number is followed by the symbol '+', then the size	specifies  the
       minimum	field  size, if the program finds out that there is more space
       on the screen, it will then expand this field.

       For example, the Full display corresponds to this format:

       half type,name,|,size,|,mtime

       And the Long display corresponds to this format:

       full	    perm,space,nlink,space,owner,space,group,space,size,space,

       This is a nice user display format:

       half name,|,size:7,|,type,mode:3

       Panels may also be set to the following modes:

       Info   The  info	 view  display	information  related  to the currently
	      selected file and if possible information about the current file

       Tree   The  tree	 view  is quite similar to the directory tree feature.
	      See the section about it for more information.

       Quick View
	      In this mode, the panel will switch to  a	 reduced  viewer  that
	      displays	the  contents  of  the currently selected file, if you
	      select the panel (with the tab key or the mouse), you will  have
	      access to the usual viewer commands.

    Sort Order...
       The  eight sort orders are by name, by extension, by modification time,
       by access time, and by inode information modification time, by size, by
       inode  and  unsorted.   In the Sort order dialog box you can choose the
       sort order and you may also specify if you  want	 to  sort  in  reverse
       order by checking the reverse box.

       By  default directories are sorted before files but this can be changed
       from the Options menu (option Mix all files ).

       The filter command allows you to specify a shell pattern	 (for  example
       *.tar.gz	 )  which  the files must match to be shown. Regardless of the
       filter pattern, the directories and the links to directories are always
       shown in the directory panel.

       The  reread  command  reload  the list of files in the directory. It is
       useful if other processes have created or removed files.	 If  you  have
       panelized file names in a panel this will reload the directory contents
       and remove the panelized information (See the section External panelize
       for more information).

  File Menu
       The Midnight Commander uses the F1 - F10 keys as keyboard shortcuts for
       commands appearing in the file menu. The escape sequences for the Fkeys
       are  terminfo capabilities kf1 trough kf10.  On terminals without func‐
       tion key support, you can achieve the same  functionality  by  pressing
       the  ESC	 key  and then a number in the range 1 through 9 and 0 (corre‐
       sponding to F1 to F9 and F10 respectively).

       The File menu has the following commands (keyboard shortcuts in	paren‐

       Help (F1)

       Invokes the built-in hypertext help viewer. Inside the help viewer, you
       can use the Tab key to select the next link and the Enter key to follow
       that  link.  The	 keys Space and Backspace are used to move forward and
       backward in a help page. Press  F1  again  to  get  the	full  list  of
       accepted keys.

       Menu (F2)

       Invoke  the  user  menu.	 The user menu provides an easy way to provide
       users with a menu and add extra features to the Midnight Commander.

       View (F3, Shift-F3)

       View the currently selected file. By default this invokes the  Internal
       File Viewer but if the option "Use internal view" is off, it invokes an
       external file viewer specified by the PAGER  environment	 variable.  If
       PAGER is undefined, the "view" command is invoked.  If you use Shift-F3
       instead, the viewer will be invoked without doing any formatting or pre
       processing to the file.

       Filtered View (M-!)

       this  command  prompts  for  a command and it's arguments (the argument
       defaults to the currently selected file name),  the  output  from  such
       command is shown in the internal file viewer.

       Edit (F4)

       Currently  it  invokes  the  "vi" editor or the editor specified in the
       EDITOR environment variable.

       Copy (F5)

       Pop up an input dialog with destination that defaults to the  directory
       in  the	non-selected  panel and copies the currently selected file (or
       the tagged files, if there is at least one file tagged) to  the	direc‐
       tory  specified	by  the user in the input dialog. During this process,
       you can press C-c or ESC to abort  the  operation.  For	details	 about
       source  mask  (which  will be usually either * or ^\(.*\)$ depending on
       setting of Use shell patterns) and possible wildcards in	 the  destina‐
       tion see Mask copy/rename.

       Link (C-x l)

       Create a hard link to the current file.

       SymLink (C-x s)

       Create  a  symbolic link to the current file. To those of you who don't
       know what links are: creating a link to a file is a  bit	 like  copying
       the  file,  but	both  the source filename and the destination filename
       represent the same file image. For example, if you edit	one  of	 these
       files, all changes you make will appear in both files. Some people call
       links aliases or shortcuts.

       A hard link appears as a real file. After making it, there is no way of
       telling	which one is the original and which is the link. If you delete
       either one of them the other one is still intact. It is very  difficult
       to  notice that the files represent the same image. Use hard links when
       you don't even want to know.

       A symbolic link is a reference to the name of the original file. If the
       original file is deleted the symbolic link is useless. It is quite easy
       to notice that the files represent the same image. The Midnight Comman‐
       der  shows  an  "@"-sign	 in front of the file name if it is a symbolic
       link to somewhere (except to directory, where it shows  a  tilde	 (~)).
       The original file which the link points to is shown on mini-status line
       if the Show mini-status option is enabled. Use symbolic links when  you
       want to avoid the confusion that can be caused by hard links.

       Rename/Move (F6)

       Pop  up	an  input  dialog  that	 defaults to the directory in the non-
       selected panel and moves the currently selected	file  (or  the	tagged
       files  if there is at least one tagged file) to the directory specified
       by the user in the input dialog. During the process, you can press  C-c
       or  ESC to abort the operation. For more details look at Copy operation
       above, most of the things are quite similar.

       Mkdir (F7)

       Pop up an input dialog and creates the directory specified.

       Delete (F8)

       Delete the currently selected file or the tagged files in the currently
       selected	 panel.	 During the process, you can press C-c or ESC to abort
       the operation.

       Quick cd (M-c) Use the quick cd command if you have full	 command  line
       and want to cd somewhere.

       Select group (+)

       This  is	 used to select (tag) a group of files. The Midnight Commander
       will prompt for a regular expression describing the group.  When	 Shell
       Patterns	 are enabled, the regular expression is much like the filename
       globbing in the shell (* standing for zero or  more  characters	and  ?
       standing for one character). If Shell Patterns is off, then the tagging
       of files is done with normal regular expressions (see ed (1)).

       To mark directories instead of files, the expression must start or  end
       with a '/'.

       Unselect group (\)

       Used  for  unselecting  a  group	 of files. This is the opposite of the
       Select group command.

       Quit (F10, Shift-F10)

       Terminate the Midnight Commander.  Shift-F10 is used when you  want  to
       quit  and you are using the shell wrapper.  Shift-F10 will not take you
       to the last directory you visited with the Midnight Commander,  instead
       it will stay at the directory where you started the Midnight Commander.

    Quick cd
       This  command  is useful if you have a full command line and want to cd
       somewhere without having to yank and paste the command line. This  com‐
       mand pops up a small dialog, where you enter everything you would enter
       after cd on the command line and then you press	enter.	This  features
       all the things that are already in the internal cd command.

  Command Menu
       The Directory tree command shows a tree figure of the directories.

       The  Find  file	command	 allows you to search for a specific file. The
       "Swap panels" command swaps the contents of the two directory panels.

       The "Panels on/off" command shows the output of the last shell command.
       This works only on xterm and on Linux console.

       The  Compare  directories (C-x d) command compares the directory panels
       with each other. You can then use the Copy (F5)	command	 to  make  the
       panels  identical. There are two compare methods. The quick method com‐
       pares only file size and file date. The thorough method	makes  a  full
       byte-by-byte  compare.  The  thorough  method  is  not available if the
       machine does not support the mmap(2) system call.

       The Command history  command  shows  a  list  of	 typed	commands.  The
       selected command is copied to the command line. The command history can
       also be accessed by typing M-p or M-n.

       The Directory hotlist (C-\)  command  makes  changing  of  the  current
       directory to often used directories faster.

       The  External  panelize	allows you to execute an external program, and
       make the output of that program the contents of the current panel.

       Extension file edit command allows you to specify programs to  executed
       when  you  try  to execute, view, edit and do a bunch of other thing on
       files with certain extensions (filename endings). The  Menu  file  edit
       command	may be used for editing the user menu (which appears by press‐
       ing F2).

    Directory Tree
       The Directory Tree command shows a tree figure of the directories.  You
       can  select a directory from the figure and the Midnight Commander will
       change to that directory.

       There are two ways to invoke the tree. The real directory tree  command
       is  available  from Commands menu. The other way is to select tree view
       from the Left or Right menu.

       To get rid of long delays the Midnight Commander creates the tree  fig‐
       ure  by	scanning  only	a  small subset of all the directories. If the
       directory which you want to see is missing, move to its	parent	direc‐
       tory and press C-r (or F2).

       You can use the following keys:

       General movement keys are accepted.

       Enter.	In the directory tree, exits the directory tree and changes to
       this directory in the current panel. In the tree view, changes to  this
       directory in the other panel and stays in tree view mode in the current

       C-r, F2 (Rescan).  Rescan this directory. Use this when the tree figure
       is  out of date: it is missing subdirectories or shows some subdirecto‐
       ries which don't exist any more.

       F3 (Forget).  Delete this directory from the tree figure. Use  this  to
       remove  clutter	from the figure. If you want the directory back to the
       tree figure press F2 in its parent directory.

       F4  (Static/Dynamic).   Toggle  between	the  dynamic  navigation  mode
       (default) and the static navigation mode.

       In  the	static	navigation  mode  you  can use the Up and Down keys to
       select a directory. All known directories are shown.

       In the dynamic navigation mode you can use the  Up  and	Down  keys  to
       select  a  sibling directory, the Left key to move to the parent direc‐
       tory, and the Right key to move to a child directory. Only the  parent,
       sibling	and  children  directories are shown, others are left out. The
       tree figure changes dynamically as you traverse.

       F5 (Copy).  Copy the directory.

       F6 (RenMov).  Move the directory.

       F7 (Mkdir).  Make a new directory below this directory.

       F8 (Delete).  Delete this directory from the file system.

       C-s, M-s.  Search the next directory matching  the  search  string.  If
       there is no such directory these keys will move one line down.

       C-h, Backspace.	Delete the last character of the search string.

       Any  other  character.  Add the character to the search string and move
       to the next directory which starts with these characters. In  the  tree
       view  you  must	first  activate	 the  search mode by pressing C-s. The
       search string is shown in the mini status line.

       The following actions are available only in the	directory  tree.  They
       aren't supported in the tree view.

       F1 (Help).  Invoke the help viewer and show this section.

       Esc, F10.  Exit the directory tree. Do not change the directory.

       The mouse is supported. A double-click behaves like Enter. See also the
       section on mouse support.

    Find File
       The Find File feature first asks for the start directory for the search
       and  the	 filename  to be searched for. By pressing the Tree button you
       can select the start directory from the directory tree figure. You  can
       start the search by pressing the Ok button.

       During  the  search you can stop from the Stop button and continue from
       the Start button.

       You can browse the filelist with the up and down arrow keys. The	 Chdir
       button will change to the directory of the currently selected file. The
       Again button will ask for the parameters for a  new  search.  The  Quit
       button  quits  the search operation. The Panelize button will place the
       found files to the current directory panel so that  you	can  do	 addi‐
       tional  operations  on them (view, copy, move, delete and so on). After
       panelizing you can press C-r to return to the normal file listing.

       It is possible to have a list of directories that the Find File command
       should  skip  during  the  search  (for	example, you may want to avoid
       searches on a CDROM or on a NFS directory that is mounted across a slow

       Directories   to	  be   skipped	 should	  be   set   on	 the  variable
       find_ignore_dirs in the Misc section of your .mc.ini file.

       Directory components should be separated with a colon, here is an exam‐


       You  may	 consider  using the External panelize command for some opera‐
       tions. Find file command is for simple queries only, while using Exter‐
       nal panelize you can do as mysterious searches as you would like.

    External panelize
       The  External  panelize	allows you to execute an external program, and
       make the output of that program the contents of the current panel.

       For example, if you want to manipulate in one of	 the  panels  all  the
       symbolic links in the current directory, you can use external paneliza‐
       tion to run the following command:

       find . -type l -print
       Upon command completion, the directory contents of the  panel  will  no
       longer  be  the directory listing of the current directory, but all the
       files that are symbolic links.

       If you want to panelize all of the files that have been downloaded from
       your  ftp server, you can use this awk command to extract the file name
       from the transfer log files:

       awk '$9 ~! /incoming/ { print $9 }' < /usr/adm/xferlog

       You may want to save often used panelize commands under	a  descriptive
       name,  so  that	you can recall them quickly. You do this by typing the
       command on the input line and pressing Add new button. Then you enter a
       name  under which you want the command to be saved. Next time, you just
       choose that command from the list and do not have to type it again.

       The Directory hotlist command shows the labels of  the  directories  in
       the directory hotlist. The Midnight Commander will change to the direc‐
       tory corresponding to the selected label. From the hotlist dialog,  you
       can  remove  already created label/directory pairs and add new one. For
       adding you may want to use a standalone Add to hotlist command (C-x h),
       which  adds  the current directory into the directory hotlist, as well.
       The user is prompted for a label for the directory.

       This makes cd to often used directories faster. You may consider	 using
       the CDPATH variable as described in internal cd command description.

    Extension File Edit
       This  will invoke your editor on the file ~/.mc.ext. The format of this
       file is as follows (the format has changed with version 3.0):

       All lines starting with # or empty lines are thrown away.

       Lines starting in the first column should have following format:

       keyword/descNL, i.e. everything after keyword/ until new line is desc

       keyword can be:


	      (desc is then any extension (no wildcars), i.e. matches all  the
	      files *desc . Example: .tar matches *.tar)


	      (desc is a regular expression)


	      (file  matches this if `file %f` matches regular expression desc
	      (the filename: part from `file %f` is removed))


	      (matches any file no matter what desc is)

       Other lines should start with a space or tab and should be of the  for‐

       keyword=commandNL (with no spaces around =), where keyword should be:

       Open  (if  the  user presses Enter or doubleclicks it), View (F3), Edit
       (F4), Drop (user drops some files on it) or any other user defined name
       (those  will  be	 listed in the extension dependent pop-up menu).  Icon
       name is reserved for future use by mc.

       command is any one-line shell command, with the simple macro  substitu‐

       Target  are evaluated from top to bottom (order is thus important).  If
       some actions are missing, search continues as  if  this	target	didn't
       match  (i.e.  if	 a  file  matches  the first and second entry and View
       action is missing in the first one, then on pressing F3 the View action
       from  the  second  entry	 will  be  used.  default should catch all the

    Menu File Edit
       The user menu is a menu of useful actions that can be customized by the
       user.  When you access the user menu, the file ~/ is used if it
       exists,	and  otherwise	mc   uses   the	  default   system-wide	  menu

       The  format of the menu file is very simple. Lines that start with any‐
       thing but space or tab are considered entries for the menu (in order to
       be  able to use it like a hot key, the first character should be a let‐
       ter). All the lines that start with a space or a tab are	 the  commands
       that will be executed when the entry is selected.

       When  an	 option	 is  selected  all the command lines of the option are
       copied  to  a  temporary	 file  in  the	temporary  directory  (usually
       /usr/tmp)  and  then that file is executed. This allows the user to put
       normal shell constructs in the menus. Also  simple  macro  substitution
       takes  place  before executing the menu code. For more information, see
       macro substitution.

       Here is a sample file:

       A    Dump the currently selected file
	    od -c %f

       B    Edit a bug report and send it to root
	    vi /tmp/mail.$$
	    mail -s "Midnight Commander bug" root < /tmp/mail.$$

       M    Read mail
	    emacs -f rmail

       N    Read Usenet news
	    emacs -f gnus

       H    Call the info hypertext browser

       J    Copy current directory to other panel recursively
	    tar cf - . | (cd %D && tar xvpf -)

       K    Make a release of the current subdirectory
	    echo -n "Name of distribution file: "
	    read tar
	    ln -s %d `dirname %d`/$tar
	    cd ..
	    tar cvhf ${tar}.tar $tar

       = f *.tar.gz | f *.tgz & t n
       X       Extract the contents of a compressed tar file
	    tar xzvf %f

       Default Conditions

       Each menu entry may be preceded by  a  condition.  The  condition  must
       start  from  the first column with a '=' character. If the condition is
       true, the menu entry will be the default entry.

       Condition syntax:   = <sub-cond>
	 or:		   = <sub-cond> | <sub-cond> ...
	 or:		   = <sub-cond> & <sub-cond> ...

       Sub-condition is one of following:

	 f <pattern>	   current file matching pattern?
	 F <pattern>	   other file matching pattern?
	 d <pattern>	   current directory matching pattern?
	 D <pattern>	   other directory matching pattern?
	 t <type>	   current file of type?
	 T <type>	   other file of type?
	 ! <sub-cond>	   negate the result of sub-condition

       Pattern is a normal shell pattern or a regular expression, according to
       the  shell  patterns  option.  You can override the global value of the
       shell patterns option by writing "shell_patterns=x" on the  first  line
       of the menu file (where "x" is either 0 or 1).

       Type is one or more of the following characters:

	 n  not directory
	 r  regular file
	 d  directory
	 l  link
	 c  char special
	 b  block special
	 f  fifo
	 s  socket
	 x  executable
	 t  tagged

       For example 'rlf' means either regular file, link or fifo. The 't' type
       is a little special because it acts on the panel instead of  the	 file.
       The  condition  '=t t' is true if there are tagged files in the current
       panel and false if not.

       If the condition starts with '=?' instead of '=' a debug trace will  be
       shown whenever the value of the condition is calculated.

       The conditions are calculated from left to right. This means
	    = f *.tar.gz | f *.tgz & t n
       is calculated as
	    ( (f *.tar.gz) | (f *.tgz) ) & (t n)

       Here is a sample of the use of conditions:

       = f *.tar.gz | f *.tgz & t n
       L    List the contents of a compressed tar-archive
	    gzip -cd %f | tar xvf -

       Addition Conditions

       If  the condition begins with '+' (or '+?') instead of '=' (or '=?') it
       is an addition condition. If the condition is true the menu entry  will
       be  included in the menu. If the condition is false the menu entry will
       not be included in the menu.

       You can combine default and addition conditions by  starting  condition
       with  '+='  or '=+' (or '+=?' or '=+?' if you want debug trace). If you
       want to use two different conditions, one for adding  and  another  for
       defaulting,  you can precede a menu entry with two condition lines, one
       starting with '+' and another starting with '='.

       Comments are started with '#'. The additional comment lines must	 start
       with '#', space or tab.

  Options Menu
       The  Configuration  command  pops up a dialog from which you can change
       most of settings of the Midnight Commander.

       The Display bits command pops up a dialog from  which  you  may	select
       which characters is your terminal able to display.

       The  Confirmation command pops up a dialog from which you specify which
       actions you want to confirm.

       The Learn keys command pops up a dialog from which you test  some  keys
       which are not working on some terminals and you may fix them.

       The Virtual FS command pops up a dialog from which you specify some VFS
       related options.

       The Layout command pops up a dialog from which you specify a  bunch  of
       options how mc looks like on the screen.

       The  Save  setup	 command saves the current settings of the Left, Right
       and Options menus. A small number of other settings is saved, too.

       The program has some options that may be toggled on and	off  from  the
       Configuration  dialog.  Options are enabled if they have an asterisk or
       "x" in front of them. These options  are	 divided  into	three  groups:
       Screen Colors, Panel Options and Other Options.

       Screen Colors

       You  can	 select	 whether  your display supports color or not. Normally
       this information is in the terminfo database. If you want to  know  how
       to change individual colors see the section on Colors.

       Panel Options

       Show  Backup  Files.   By  default  the Midnight Commander doesn't show
       files ending in '~' (like GNU's ls option -B).

       Show Hidden Files.  By default the Midnight  Commander  will  show  all
       files that start with a dot (like ls -a).

       Mark  moves  down.  By default when you mark a file (with either C-t or
       the Insert key) the selection bar will move down.

       Show Mini-Status.  If enabled, show one line of status  information  at
       the bottom of the panels about the currently selected item.

       Mix  all files.	When this option is enabled, all files and directories
       are shown mixed together. If the option is off, directories (and	 links
       to  directories)	 are  shown at the beginning of the listing, and other
       files afterwards.

       Fast directory reload.  This option is off by default. If you  activate
       the  fast  reload, the Midnight Commander will use a trick to determine
       if the directory contents have changed. The  trick  is  to  reload  the
       directory  only	if the i-node of the directory has changed; this means
       that reloads only happen when files are created	or  deleted.  If  what
       changes	is  the i-node for a file in the directory (file size changes,
       mode or owner changes, etc) the display is not updated. In these cases,
       if  you	have  the option on, you have to rescan the directory manually
       (with C-r).

       Other Options

       Verbose operation.  This toggles whether	 the  file  Copy,  Rename  and
       Delete  operations  are	verbose	 (i.e.,	 display a dialog box for each
       operation). If you have a slow terminal, you may wish  to  disable  the
       verbose	operation. It is automatically turned off if the speed of your
       terminal is less than 9600 bps.

       Pause after run.	 After executing your commands, the Midnight Commander
       can  pause,  so	that you can examine the output of the command.	 There
       are three possible settings for this variable:

	      Never Means that you do not want to see the output of your  com‐
	      mand.   If you are using the Linux console or an xterm, you will
	      be able to see the output of the command by typing C-o.

	      On dumb terminals You will get the pause	message	 on  terminals
	      that  are	 not capable of showing the output of the last command
	      executed (any terminal that is not an xterm or  the  Linux  con‐

	      Always  The  program will pause after executing all of your com‐

       Shell Patterns.	By default the Select, Unselect	 and  Filter  commands
       will  use shell-like regular expressions. The following conversions are
       performed to achieve this: the '*' is replaced by '.*'  (zero  or  more
       characters);  the  '?'	is replaced by '.' (exactly one character) and
       '.' by the literal dot. If the option is	 disabled,  then  the  regular
       expressions are the ones described in ed(1).

       Auto Save Setup.	 If this option is enabled, when you exit the Midnight
       Commander the configurable options of the Midnight Commander are	 saved
       in the $HOME/.mc.ini file.

       Auto  menus.   If this option is enabled, the user menu will be invoked
       at startup.  Useful for building menus for non-unixers.

       Use internal viewer.  If this option  is	 enabled,  the	built-in  file
       viewer  is  used	 to  view  files. If the option is disabled, the pager
       specified in the PAGER environment variable is used.  If	 no  pager  is
       specified,  the	view command is used.  See the section on the internal
       file viewer.

       Confirm Delete.	This option is toggled on by default, and  will	 cause
       the  Midnight  Commander to ask for confirmation when deleting a single

       Cd follows links.  This option, if set, causes the  Midnight  Commander
       to follow the logical chain of directories when changing current direc‐
       tory either in the panels, or using the cd command. This is the default
       behaviour  of bash. When unset, the Midnight Commander follows the real
       directory structure, so cd .. if you've entered that directory  through
       a  link will move you to the current directory's real parent and not to
       the directory where the link was present.

       8-bit clean.  This option allows use of 8-bit characters.  It  requires
       that  curses/ncurses  be	 8-bit	clean.	If it isn't, things might look

    Display bits
       This is used to configure  the  range  of  visible  characters  on  the
       screen.	 This  setting	may be 7-bits if your terminal/curses supports
       only seven output bits, ISO-8859-1 displays all the characters  in  the
       ISO-8859-1  map and full 8 bits is for those terminals that can display
       full 8 bit characters.

       In this menu you configure the confirmation options for file  deletion,
       overwriting and quitting the program.

    Learn keys
       This  dialog  lets  you	test if your keys F1-F20, Home, End, etc. work
       properly on your terminal. They often don't, since many terminal	 data‐
       bases are broken.

       You  can	 move  around  with  the Tab key, with the vi moving keys ('h'
       left, 'j' down, 'k' up and 'l' right) and after you press any arrow key
       once (this will mark it OK), then you can use that key as well.

       You test them just by pressing each of them. As soon as you press a key
       and the key works properly, OK should appear next to the name  of  that
       key.  Once a key is marked OK it starts to work as usually, e.g. F1 for
       the first time will just check that F1 works OK, but from that time  on
       it  will show help.  The same applies to the arrow keys. Tab key should
       be working always.

       If some keys do not work properly, then you won't see OK after the  key
       name  after you have pressed that key. You may then want to fix it. You
       do it by pressing the button of that key (either by mouse or using  Tab
       and  Enter).   Then  a red message will appear and you will be asked to
       type that key.  If you want to abort this,  press  just	Esc  and  wait
       until  the  message  disappears. Otherwise type the key you're asked to
       type and also wait until the dialog disappears.

       When you finish with all the keys, you may want either to Save your key
       fixes  into  your  .mc.ini file into the [terminal:TERM] section (where
       TERM is the name of your current terminal) or to discard them.  If  all
       your  keys  were	 working properly and you had not to fix any key, then
       (of course) no saving will occur.

    Virtual FS
       This option gives you control over the settings	of  the	 Virtual  File
       System information cache.

       The  Midnight Commander keeps in memory the information related to some
       of the virtual file systems to speed up the access to the files in  the
       file system.  Since the information that must be kept may be large (for
       example, compressed tar files may be kept in RAM	 for  faster  access),
       you  may	 want  to  tune	 the  parameters  of the cached information to
       decrease your memory usage or to maximize the speed of access  to  fre‐
       quently used file systems.

       The  Tar file system is quite clever about how it handles tar files: it
       just loads the directory entries and when it needs to use the  informa‐
       tion contained in the tar file, it goes and grab it.

       In the wild, tar files are usually kept compressed (plain tar files are
       species in extinction), and because of the nature of those  files  (the
       directory  entries  for the tar files is not there waiting for us to be
       loaded), the tar file system has two choices: load the complete, uncom‐
       pressed	tar  file  into memory or uncompress the file in the disk in a
       temporary location and then access the uncompressed file as  a  regular
       tar file.

       In this dialog box you tell the Midnight Commander which sizes for com‐
       pressed tar files you will tolerate to load into your precious  memory.
       The  default setting is set to one megabyte, this means that compressed
       tar files whose size is at most one megabyte will be loaded into	 core,
       otherwise  a  temporary uncompressed tar file will be created to access
       the contents (all of this is transparent to the user).

       The program will let you add a suffix to specify the units of the  num‐
       ber  you typed in, use 'k' for kilobyte and 'm' for megabyte.  Our rou‐
       tine does not accept floating point numbers, so you can't use ".5 m" to
       specify 512 kilobytes, you will have to use "512 k" instead.

       Now, since we all love to browse files and tar files all over the disk,
       it's common that you will leave a tar file and the re-enter  it	later.
       Since  uncompression  is	 slow,	the  Midnight Commander will cache the
       information in memory for a limited amount of time, after you  hit  the
       timeout,	 all  of  the memory resources associated with the file system
       will be freed.  The default timeout is set to one minute.

       The layout dialog gives you a possibility to change the general	layout
       of screen. You can specify whether the menubar, the command prompt, the
       hintbar and the function keybar are visible. On the Linux  console  you
       can specify how many lines are shown in the output window.

       The  rest  of the screen area is used for the two directory panels. You
       can specify whether the area is split to the panels in vertical or hor‐
       izontal direction. The split can be equal or you can specify an unequal

    Save Setup
       At startup the Midnight	Commander  will	 try  to  load	initialization
       information from the $HOME/.mc.ini file. If this file doesn't exist, it
       will load the information  from	the  system-wide  configuration	 file,
       located	in  /usr/local/lib/mc/mc.ini. If the system-wide configuration
       file doesn't exist, MC uses the default settings.

       The Save Setup command creates the $HOME/.mc.ini	 file  by  saving  the
       current settings of the Left, Right and Options menus.

       If  you	activate  the  auto save setup option, MC will always save the
       current settings when exiting.

       There also exist settings which can't be changed	 from  the  menus.  To
       change  these  settings	you  have  to  edit  the  setup file with your
       favorite editor. See the section on Special Settings for more  informa‐

Executing operating system commands
       You  may	 execute commands by typing them directly in the Midnight Com‐
       mander's input line, or by selecting the program you  want  to  execute
       with the selection bar in one of the panels and hitting Enter.

       If  you	press  Enter  over a file that is not executable, the Midnight
       Commander checks the extension of the selected file against the	exten‐
       sions  in the Extensions File.  If a match is found then the code asso‐
       ciated with that extension is executed. A very simple  macro  expansion
       takes place before executing the command.

  The cd internal command
       The  cd	command	 is  interpreted  by the Midnight Commander, it is not
       passed to the command shell for execution.  Thus it may not handle  all
       of  the	nice  macro  expansion	and  substition	 that your shell does,
       although it does some of them:

       Tilde substitution The (~) will be substituted with  your  home	direc‐
       tory, if you append a username after the tilde, then it will be substi‐
       tuted with the login directory of the the specified user.

       For example, ~guest is the home directory for  the  user	 guest,	 while
       ~/guest is the directory guest in your home directory.

       Previous directory You can jump to the directory you were previously by
       using the special directory name '-' like this: cd -

       CDPATH directories If the directory specified to the cd command is  not
       in the current directory, then The Midnight Commander uses the value in
       the environment variable CDPATH to search for the directory in  any  of
       the named directories.

       For  example  you  could	 set  your  CDPATH variable to ~/src:/usr/src,
       allowing you to change your directory to any of the directories	inside
       the  ~/src  and /usr/src directories, from any place in the file system
       by using it's relative name (for example cd linux  could	 take  you  to

  Macro Substitution
       When  accessing	a  user menu, or executing an extension dependent com‐
       mand, or running a command from the command line input, a simple	 macro
       substitution takes place.

       The macros are:


	      The current file name.


	      The current directory name.


	      The current file in the unselected panel.


	      The directory name of the unselected panel.


	      The currently tagged files.


	      The tagged files in the unselected panel.

       %u and %U

	      Similar  to  the %t and %T macros, but in addition the files are
	      untagged. You can use this macro only once per menu  file	 entry
	      or  extension  file  entry,  because  next time there will be no
	      tagged files.

       %s and %S

	      The selected files: The tagged files if there are any. Otherwise
	      the current file.


	      Dropped  files.  In  all places except in the Drop action of the
	      mc.ext file, this will become a null string, in the Drop	action
	      it  will	be  replaced with a space separated list of files that
	      were dropped on the file.


	      This is a special macro that  is	used  to  change  the  current
	      directory	 to  the  directory specified in front of it.  This is
	      used primarily as an interface to the Virtual File System.


	      This macro is used to invoke the internal	 viewer.   This	 macro
	      can be used alone, or with arguments.  If you pass any arguments
	      to this macro, they should be enclosed in brackets.

	      The arguments are: ascii to force the viewer  into  ascii	 mode;
	      hex  to force the viewer into hex mode; nroff to tell the viewer
	      that it should interpret the bold	 and  underline	 sequences  of
	      nroff; unformated to tell the viewer to not interpret nroff com‐
	      mands for making the text bold or underlined.


	      The % character

       %{some text}

	      Prompt for the substitution. An input box is shown and the  text
	      inside  the braces is used as a prompt. The macro is substituted
	      by the text typed by the user. The user can press ESC or F10  to
	      cancel. This macro doesn't work on the command line yet.

  The subshell support
       The  subshell  support  is  a  compile time option, that works with the
       shells: bash, tcsh and zsh.

       When the subshell code is activated the Midnight Commander will spawn a
       concurrent  copy	 of  your shell (the one defined in the SHELL variable
       and if it is not defined, then the one in the /etc/passwd file) and run
       it  in a pseudo terminal, instead of invoking a new shell each time you
       execute a command, the command will be passed to the subshell as if you
       had  typed  it.	 This  also allows you to change the environment vari‐
       ables, use shell functions and define aliases that are valid until  you
       quit the Midnight Commander.

       If you are using bash you can specify startup commands for the subshell
       in your ~/.mc.bashrc file and special keyboard maps in the  ~/.mc.inpu‐
       trc  file.  tcsh users may specify startup commands in the ~/.mc.tcshrc

       When the subshell code is used, you can	suspend	 applications  at  any
       time  with the sequence C-o and jump back to the Midnight Commander, if
       you interrupt an application, you will not be able to run other	exter‐
       nal commands until you quit the application you interrupted.

       An  extra  added	 feature of using the subshell is that the prompt dis‐
       played by the Midnight Commander is the same prompt that you  are  cur‐
       rently using in your shell.

       The  OPTIONS  section  has  more information on how you can control the
       subshell code.

  Controlling Midnight Commander
       The Midnight Commander defines an environment variable MC_CONTROL_FILE.
       The  commands  executed by MC may give instructions to MC by writing to
       the file specified by this variable.  This is  only  available  if  you
       compiled	 your  copy  of	 the  Midnight	Commander  with the WANT_PARSE

       The following instructions are supported.

       clear_tags	   Clear all tags.
       tag <filename>	   Tag specified file.
       untag <filename>	   Untag specified file.
       select <filename>   Move pointer to file.
       change_panel	   Switch between panels.
       cd <path>      Change directory.

       If the first letter of the instruction is in lower case it operates  on
       the current panel. If the letter is in upper case the instruction oper‐
       ates on the other panel. The additional letters must be in lower	 case.
       Instructions  must  be  separated by exactly one space, tab or newline.
       The instructions don't work in the Info,	 Tree  and  Quick  views.  The
       first error causes the rest to be ignored.

       The  Chmod  window  is  used to change the attribute bits in a group of
       files and directories.  It can be invoked with the C-x c	 key  combina‐

       The Chmod window has two parts - Permissions and File

       In the File section are displayed the name of the file or directory and
       its permissions in octal form, as well as its owner and group.

       In the Permissions section there is a set of check buttons which corre‐
       spond  to  the  file attribute bits.  As you change the attribute bits,
       you can see the octal value change in the File section.

       To move between the widgets (buttons and check buttons) use  the	 arrow
       keys  or	 the  Tab key.	To change the state of the check buttons or to
       select a button use Space.  You can also use the hotkeys on the buttons
       to quickly activate that selection (they are the highlit letters on the

       To set the attribute bits, use the Enter key.

       When working with a group of files or directories, you  just  click  on
       the bits you want to set or clear.  Once you have selected the bits you
       want to change, you select one of the action  buttons  (Set  marked  or
       Clear marked).

       Finally,	 to set the attributes exactly to those specified, you can use
       the [Set all] button, which will act on all the tagged files.

       [Marked all] set only marked attributes to all selected files

       [Set marked] set marked bits in attributes of all selected files

       [Clean marked] clear marked bits in attributes of all selected files

       [Set] set the attributes of one file

       [Cancel] cancel the Chmod command

       The Chown command is used to change the owner/group of a file. The  hot
       key for this command is C-x o.

File Operations
       When  you  copy,	 move or delete files the Midnight Commander shows the
       file operations dialog. It shows the files currently being operated  on
       and  there  are at most three progress bars. The file bar tells how big
       part of the current file has been copied so far. The  count  bar	 tells
       how  many of tagged files have been handled so far. The bytes bar tells
       how big part of total size of the tagged files has been handled so far.
       If the verbose option is off the file and bytes bars are not shown.

       There  are  two	buttons at the bottom of the dialog. Pressing the Skip
       button will skip the rest of the current file. Pressing the Abort  but‐
       ton will abort the whole operation, the rest of the files are skipped.

       There  are  three  other dialogs which you can run into during the file

       The error dialog informs about error conditions and has three  choices.
       Normally	 you  select  either  the  Skip button to skip the file or the
       Abort button to abort the operation altogether. You can also select the
       Retry button if you fixed the problem from another terminal.

       The  replace dialog is shown when you attempt to copy or move a file on
       the top of an existing file. The dialog shows the dates	and  sizes  of
       the both files. Press the Yes button to overwrite the file, the No but‐
       ton to skip the file, the alL button to overwrite all  the  files,  the
       nonE  button  to	 never overwrite and the Update button to overwrite if
       the source file is newer than the target file. You can abort the	 whole
       operation by pressing the Abort button.

       The recursive delete dialog is shown when you try to delete a directory
       which is not empty. Press the Yes button to delete the directory recur‐
       sively,	the  No button to skip the directory, the alL button to delete
       all the directories and the nonE	 button	 to  skip  all	the  non-empty
       directories.  You  can  abort the whole operation by pressing the Abort
       button. If you selected the Yes or alL button you will be asked	for  a
       confirmation. Type "yes" only if you are really sure you want to do the
       recursive delete.

       If you have tagged files and perform an	operation  on  them  only  the
       files on which the operation succeeded are untagged. Failed and skipped
       files are left tagged.

Mask Copy/Rename
       The copy/move operations lets you translate the names of	 files	in  an
       easy  way.  To  do  it, you have to specify the correct source mask and
       usually in the trailing part of the destination specify some wildcards.
       All  the files matching the source mask are copied/renamed according to
       the target mask. If there are  tagged  files,  only  the	 tagged	 files
       matching the source mask are renamed.

       There are other option which you can set:

       Follow symlinks tells whether make the symlinks in the source directory
       (not recursively in subdirectories) new symlinks in the	target	direc‐
       tory or whether would you like to copy their content.

       Dive  into subdirs tells what to do if in the target directory exists a
       directory with the same name as the file/directory  being  copied.  The
       default action is to copy it into that directory, by disabling this you
       can copy a directory's content into that directory. Perhaps an  example
       will help:

       You  want  to  copy content of a directory foo to /bla/foo, which is an
       already existing directory. Normally (when Dive is set), mc would  copy
       the  content into /bla/foo/foo, 'cause the directory already exists. By
       disabling this option you will copy it exactly into /bla/foo.

       If you are root, you can set Preserve UIDs/GIDs, if you want to get the
       same owner and group of new files as the ones of the source files.

       Use shell patterns on

       When the shell patterns option is on you can use the '*' and '?'	 wild‐
       cards in the source mask. They work like they do in the shell.  In  the
       target mask only the '*' and '\<digit>' wildcards is allowed. The first
       '*' wildcard in the target mask corresponds to the first wildcard group
       in  the source mask, the second '*' corresponds to the second group and
       so on. The '\1' wildcard corresponds to the first wildcard group in the
       source  mask,  the '\2' wildcard corresponds to the second group and so
       on all the way up to '\9'. The '\0' wildcard is the whole  filename  of
       the source file.

       Two examples:

       If  the	source mask is "*.tar.gz", the destination is "/bla/*.tgz" and
       the file to be copied is "foo.tar.gz", the copy will  be	 "foo.tgz"  in

       Let's  suppose you want to swap basename and extension so that "file.c"
       will become "c.file" and so on. The source mask for this is  "*.*"  and
       the destination is "\2.\1".

       Use shell patterns off

       When  the  shell	 patterns  option  is  off the MC doesn't do automatic
       grouping anymore. You must use '\(...\)' expressions in the source mask
       to  specify  meaning for the wildcards in the target mask. This is more
       flexible but also requires more typing. Otherwise target masks are sim‐
       ilar to the situation when the shell patterns option is on.

       Two examples:

       If   the	  source  mask	is  "^\(.*\)\.tar\.gz$",  the  destination  is
       "/bla/*.tgz" and the file to be copied is "foo.tar.gz", the  copy  will
       be "/bla/foo.tgz".

       Let's  suppose you want to swap basename and extension so that "file.c"
       will  become  "c.file"  and  so	on.  The  source  mask	for  this   is
       "^\(.*\)\.\(.*\)$" and the destination is "\2.\1".

       Case Conversions

       You  can	 also  change  the  case  of the filenames. If you use '\u' or
       uppercase or lowercase correspondingly.

       If you use '\U' or '\L' in the target mask the next characters will  be
       converted to uppercase or lowercase correspondingly up to the next

       The '\u' and '\l' are stronger than '\U' and '\L'.

       For  example,  if  the  source  mask  is	 '*'  (shell  patterns	on) or
       '^\(.*\)$' (shell patterns off) and the target mask is '\L\u*' the file
       names  will be converted to have initial upper case and otherwise lower

       You can also use '\' as a quote character. For example, '\\' is a back‐
       slash and '\*' is an asterisk.

Internal File Viewer
       The internal file viewer provides two display modes: ASCII and hex.  To
       toggle between modes, use the F4 key.  If you have the GNU gzip program
       installed,  it  will  be	 used to automatically decompress the files on

       The viewer will try to use the best method provided by your  system  or
       the  file  type	to  display the information.  The internal file viewer
       will interpret some string sequences to	set  the  bold	and  underline
       attributes, thus making a pretty display of your files.

       When in hex mode, the search function accepts text in quotes as well as
       hexadecimal constants.

       You can mix quoted text with constants like this:  "String"  0xFE  0xBB
       "more text".  Text between constants and quoted text is just ignored.

       Some  internal  details	about  the viewer: On systems that provide the
       mmap(2) system call, the program maps the file instead of  loading  it;
       if  the	system	does  not  provide the mmap(2) system call or the file
       matches an action that requires a filter, then the viewer will use it's
       growing	buffers,  thus	loading	 only those parts of the file that you
       actually access (this includes compressed files).

       Here is a listing of the actions associated with each key that the Mid‐
       night Commander handles in the internal file viewer.

       F1 Invoke the builtin hypertext help viewer.

       F2 Toggle the wrap mode.

       F4 Toggle the hex mode.

       F5  Goto line.  This will prompt you for a line number and will display
       that line.

       F6, /.  Regular expression search.

       ?, Reverse regular expression search.

       F7 Normal search / hex mode search.

       C-s.  Start normal search if there was no  previous  search  expression
       else find next match.

       C-r.   Start  reverse search if there was no previous search expression
       else find next match.

       n.  Find next match.

       F8 Toggle Raw/Parsed mode: This will show the file as found on disk  or
       if  a processing filter has been specified in the mc.ext file, then the
       output from the filter. Current mode is always the other	 than  written
       on the button label, since on the button is the mode which you enter by
       that key.

       F9 Toggle the format/unformat mode: when format mode is on  the	viewer
       will  interpret	some  string sequences to show bold and underline with
       different colors. Also, on button label is the other mode than current.

       F10, Esc.  Exit the internal file viewer.

       next-page, space, C-v.  Scroll one page forward.

       prev-page, M-v, C-b, backspace.	Scroll one page backward.

       down-key Scroll one line forward.

       up-key Scroll one line backward.

       C-l Refresh the screen.

       !  Spawn a shell in the currently working directory.

       [n] m Set the mark n.

       [n] r Jump to the mark n.

       C-f Jump to the next file.

       C-b Jump to the previous file.

       It's possible to instruct the file viewer how to display a  file,  look
       at the Extension File Edit section

       Let the Midnight Commander type for you.

       Attempt	to  perform completion on the text before current position. MC
       attempts completion treating the text as variable (if the  text	begins
       with  $ ), username (if the text begins with ~ ), hostname (if the text
       begins with @ ) or command (if you are on the command line in the posi‐
       tion  where you might type a command, possible completions then include
       shell reserved words and shell builtin commands as well)	 in  turn.  If
       none of these produces a match, filename completion is attempted.

       Filename, username, variable and hostname completion works on all input
       lines, command completion is command line specific.  If the  completion
       is ambiguous (there are more different possibilities), MC beeps and the
       following action depends on the setting	of  the	 show_all_if_ambiguous
       variable	 in  the  Initialization file. If it is nonzero, a list of all
       possibilities pops up next to the current position and you  can	select
       with  the arrow keys and Enter the correct entry. You can also type the
       first letters in which the possibilities differ to move to a subset  of
       all  possibilities and complete as much as possible. If you press M-Tab
       again, only the subset will be shown  in	 the  listbox,	otherwise  the
       first  item  which  matches  all	 the previous characters will be high‐
       lighted. As soon as there is no ambiguity, dialog disappears,  but  you
       can  hide  it by canceling keys Esc, F10 and left and right arrow keys.
       If show_all_if_ambiguous is set to zero, the dialog pops up only if you
       press M-Tab for the second time, for the first time MC just beeps.

Virtual File System
       The Midnight Commander is provided with a code layer to access the file
       system; this code layer is known as the	virtual	 file  system  switch.
       The virtual file system switch allows the Midnight Commander to manipu‐
       late files not located on the Unix file system.

       Currently the Midnight Commander is packaged  with  five	 Virtual  File
       Systems	(VFS):	the  local file system, used for accessing the regular
       Unix file system; the ftpfs, used to manipulate files on remote systems
       with the FTP protocol; the tarfs, used to manipulate tar and compressed
       tar files; the undelfs, used to recover deleted files on ext2 file sys‐
       tems  (the  default file system for Linux systems) and finally the mcfs
       (Midnight Commander file system), a network based file system.

       The VFS switch code will interpret all of the path names used and  will
       forward	them to the correct file system, the formats used for each one
       of the file systems is described later in their own section.

  FTP File System
       The ftpfs allows you to manipulate files on remote machines,  to	 actu‐
       ally  use  it, you may try to use the panel command FTP link (accesible
       from the menubar) or you may directly change your current directory  to
       it using the cd command to a path name that looks like this:


       The,  user,  port and remote-dir elements are optional.	If you specify
       the user element, then the Midnight Commander will try to logon on  the
       mremote machine as that user, otherwise it will use your login name.


       The  Midnight  Commander	 keeps	the directory listing in a cache.  The
       cache expire time is configurable in the	 Virtual  File	System	dialog
       box.   This  has	 the funny behavior that even if you make changes to a
       directory, they will not be reflected in the  directory	listing	 until
       you force a cache reload with the C-r key.  This is a feature (when you
       think it's a bug, think about manipulating files on the other  side  of
       the Atlantic with ftpfs).

  Tar File System
       The  tar	 file  system  provides	 you with read-only access to your tar
       files and compressed tar files by using the chdir command.   To	change
       your  directory to a tar file, you change your current directory to the
       tar file by using the following syntax:


       The mc.ext file already provides a shortcut for tar files,  this	 means
       that  usually  you  just	 point to a tar file and press return to enter
       into the tar file, see the Extension File Edit section for  details  on
       how this is done.



       The latter specifies the full path of the tar archive.

  Network File System
       The  Midnight  Commander file system is a network base file system that
       allows you to manipulate the files in a remote machine as if they  were
       local.	To  use this, the remote machine must be running the mcserv(8)
       server program.

       To connect to a remote machine, you just need to chdir into  a  special
       directory which name is in the following format:


       The,  user,  port and remote-dir elements are optional.	If you specify
       the user element then the Midnight Commander will try to logon  on  the
       remote machine as that user, otherwise it will use your login name.

       The  port  element is used when the remote machine running on a special
       port (see the mcserv(8) manual page for more information about  ports);
       finally,	 if  the remote-dir element is present, your current directory
       on the remote machine will be set to this one.


  Undelete File System
       On Linux systems, if you asked configure to  use	 the  ext2fs  undelete
       facilities, you will have the undelete file system available.  Recovery
       of deleted files is only available on ext2 file systems.	 The  undelete
       file system is just an interface to the ext2fs library to: retrieve all
       of the deleted files names on an ext2fs and provides and to extract the
       selected files into a regular partition.

       To  use	this file system, you have to chdir into the special file name
       formed by the "undel:" prefix and the file name where the  actual  file
       system resides.

       For  example,  to  recover deleted files on the second partition of the
       first scsi disk on Linux, you would use the following path name:


       It may take a while for the undelfs to load  the	 required  information
       before you start browsing files there.

       The  Midnight  Commander	 will  try to detect if your terminal supports
       color using the terminal database and your terminal name.  Sometimes it
       gets  confused, so you may force color mode or disable color mode using
       the -c and -b flag respectively.

       If the program is compiled with the Slang  screen  manager  instead  of
       ncurses,	 it  will  also check the variable COLORTERM, if it is set, it
       has the same effect as the -c flag.

       The program can be compiled with both ncurses and slang,	 ncurses  does
       not  provide  a way to force color mode: ncurses uses just the informa‐
       tion in the terminal database.

       The Midnight Commander provides a way to	 change	 the  default  colors.
       Currently  the  colors  are  configured	using the environment variable
       MC_COLOR_TABLE or the Colors section in the initialization file.

       In the Colors section,  the  default  color  map	 is  loaded  from  the
       base_color variable.  You can specify an alternate color map for a ter‐
       minal by using the terminal name as the key in this section.  Example:


       The format for the color definition is:

	 <keyword>=<foregroundcolor>,<backgroundcolor>:<keyword>= ...

       The colors are  optional,  and  the  keywords  are:  normal,  selected,
       marked, markselect, errors, reverse menu, menusel, menuhot, menuhotsel,
       gauge;  the dialog colors are: dnormal, dfocus, dhotnormal,  dhotfocus;
       Help colors are: helpnormal, helpitalic, helpbold, helplink, helpslink;
       Viewer color is: viewunderline.

       The dialog boxes use the following colors: dnormal is used for the nor‐
       mal  text,  dfocus  is the color used for the currently selected compo‐
       nent, dhotnormal is the color used to differentiate the hotkey color in
       normal  components,  whereas  the dhotfocus color is used for the high‐
       lighted color in the currently selected component.

       Menus use the same scheme but  uses  the	 menu,	menusel,  menuhot  and
       menuhotsel tags instead.

       Help  uses  the	following  colors: helpnormal is used for normal text,
       helpitalic is used for text which is emphasized in italic in the manual
       page, helpbold is used for text which is emphasized in bold in the man‐
       ual page, helplink is used for not selected hyperlinks and helpslink is
       used for selected hyperlink.

       gauge  determines  color	 of  filled  part of the progress bar (gauge),
       which shows how many percent of files were copied etc. in  a  graphical

       The possible colors are: black, red, green, brightgreen, brown, yellow,
       blue, brightblue, magenta, brightmagenta, cyan,	brightcyan,  lightgray
       and white.

       If  you	are  setting the colors from your private setup, you could use
       this format:


Special Settings
       Most of the settings of the Midnight Commander can be changed from  the
       menus.  However, there are a small number of settings which can only be
       changed by editing the setup file.

       These variables may be set in your $HOME/.mc.ini file:


	      By default the Midnight Commander clears the screen before  exe‐
	      cuting  a	 command. If you would prefer to see the output of the
	      command at the bottom of the screen, edit your ~/mc.ini file and
	      change the value of the field clear_before_exec to 0.


	      If  you  press F3 on a directory, normally MC enters that direc‐
	      tory. If this flag is set to 1, then MC will ask	for  confirma‐
	      tion before changing the directory if you have files tagged.


	      If  this	variable  is  set, when you press the F9 key, the pull
	      down menus will be activated, else, you will only	 be  presented
	      with  the menu title, and you will have to select the entry with
	      the arrow keys or the first letter and from  there  select  your
	      option in the menu.


	      This  value is the number of seconds the Midnight Commander will
	      wait before attempting a reconnection to an ftp server that  has
	      denied  the  login.   If the value is zero, the the program will
	      not retry the login.


	      Specifies how many screen updates can be skipped at most in  the
	      internal	file  viewer.  Normally this value is not significant,
	      because the code automatically adjusts the number of updates  to
	      skip  according  to the rate of incoming keypresses. However, on
	      very slow machines  or  terminals	 with  a  fast	keyboard  auto
	      repeat, a big value can make screen updates too jumpy.

	      It  seems	 that  setting	max_dirt_limit	to  10 causes the best
	      behavior, and that is the default value.


	      Controls whenever scrolling with the mouse is done by  pages  or
	      line by line on the panels.


	      Controls if scrolling with the mouse is done by pages or line by
	      line on the internal file viewer.


	      If this setting is turned on, then you may use the  arrows  keys
	      to  automatically	 chdir if the current selection is a subdirec‐
	      tory and the shell command line is empty.	 By default, this set‐
	      ting is off.


	      When  on, this flag causes the commander to show a rotating dash
	      as a work in progress indicator.


	      By default the Midnight Commander treats the ESC key  as	a  key
	      prefix	(old_esc_mode=0),    if	   you	  set	 this	option
	      (old_esc_mode=1), then the ESC key will act as a prefix key  for
	      one  second, and if no extra keys have arrived, then the ESC key
	      is interpreted as a cancel key (ESC ESC).


	      set special treatment for '+', '-', '*' in command line (select,
	      unselect,	 reverse  selection) only if command line is empty. No
	      need to qoute this characters in the middle of the command line.
	      But  we can not change selection when command line is not empty.

	      If set (the default), panel will scroll by half the display when
	      the cursor reaches the end or the beginning of the panel, other‐
	      wise it will just scroll a file at a time.


	      If this option is set (the default), when logged in as root  the
	      default  will be to preserve the UID and the GID of files.  Some
	      users prefer to disable this option, so that's why it's  config‐


	      This  variable only works if you are not using the subshell sup‐
	      port.  When you use the C-o keystroke to go  back	 to  the  user
	      screen,  if this one is set, you will get a fresh shell.	Other‐
	      wise, pressing any key will bring you back to the Midnight  Com‐


	      By  default  the Midnight Commander pops up all possible comple‐
	      tions if the completion is ambiguous if you press M-Tab for  the
	      second  time,  for  the  first time it just completes as much as
	      possible and in the case of ambiguity beeps. If you want to  see
	      all  the	possible  completions  already	after  the first M-Tab
	      pressing, set this option to 1.


	      If this flag is set, then	 the  home  and	 end  keys  will  work
	      slightly	different  on the panels, instead of moving the selec‐
	      tion to the first and last files in the panels, they will act as

	      The  home	 key will: Go up to the middle line, if below it; else
	      go to the top line unless it is already on the top line, in this
	      case it will go to the first file in the panel.

	      The  end key has a similar behavior: Go down to the middle line,
	      if over it; else go to the bottom line unless you already are at
	      the  bottom line, in such case it will move the selection to the
	      last file name in the panel.


	      If this variable is on (the default) it will spawn the file com‐
	      mand to match the file types listed on the mc.ext file.


	      If this variable is on (default is off) when you browse the file
	      system on a Tree panel, it will automatically reload  the	 other
	      panel with the contents of the selected directory.

Terminal databases
       The Midnight Commander provides a way to fix your system terminal data‐
       base  without  requiring	 root  privileges.   The  Midnight   Commander
       searches	 in the system initialization file (the mc.lib file located in
       the Midnight Commander library directory) or in the $HOME/.mc.ini  file
       for  the section "terminal:your-terminal-name" and then for the section
       "terminal:general", each line of the section contains a key symbol that
       you  want  to  define, followed by an equal sign and the definition for
       the key.	 You can use the special \E form to represent the escape char‐
       acter and the ^x to represent the control-x character.

       The possible key symbols are:

       f0 to f20     Function keys f0-f20
       bs	  backspace
       home	     home key
       end	     end key
       up	     up arrow key
       down	     down arrow key
       left	     left arrow key
       right	     right arrow key
       pgdn	     page down key
       pgup	     page up key
       insert	     the insert character
       delete	     the delete character
       complete	     to do completion

       For example, to define the key insert to be the Escape + [ + O + p, you
       set this in the ini file:


       The complete key symbol represents the escape sequences used to	invoke
       the  completion process, this is invoked with M-tab, but you can define
       other keys to do the same work (on those keyboard with tons of nice and
       unused keys everywhere).


	      The help file for the program.


	      The default system-wide extensions file.


	      User's  own extension, view configuration and edit configuration
	      file.  They override the contents of the system  wide  files  if


	      The  default  system-wide setup for the Midnight Commander, used
	      only if the user lacks his own ~/.mc.ini file.


	      Global settings for the Midnight Commander.   Settings  in  this
	      file  are	 global	 to  any  Midnight  Commander, it is useful to
	      define site-global terminal settings.


	      User's own setup. If this file is	 present  then	the  setup  is
	      loaded from here instead of the system-wide startup file.


	      This file contains the hints (cookies) displayed by the program.


	      This file contains the default system-wide applications menu.


	      User's  own application menu. If this file is present it is used
	      instead of the system-wide applications menu.


	      The directory list for the directory tree	 and  tree  view  fea‐
	      tures.   Each line is one entry. The lines starting with a slash
	      are full directory names. The lines starting with a number  have
	      that  many  characters  equal  to the previous directory. If you
	      want you may create this file by	giving	the  command  "find  /
	      -type  d -print | sort > ~/.mc.tree". Normally there is no sense
	      in doing it because the Midnight Commander automatically updates
	      this file for you.

       This  program  is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public
       License as published by the Free Software Foundation. See the  built-in
       help for details on the License and the lack of warranty.

       The  latest version of this program can be found at
       in the directory /linux/local and from Europe  at  in  the
       directory /pub/mc.

       ed(1),	gpm(1),	  mcserv(8),  terminfo(1),  view(1),  sh(1),  bash(1),
       tcsh(1), zsh(1).

       The Midnight Commander page on the World Wide Web:

       Miguel  de  Icaza  (,  Janne  Kukonlehto
       (,	  Radek	  Doulik   (,	  Fred
       Leeflang	 (,	 Dugan	Porter	(,
       Jakub Jelinek (, Ching Hui (,
       and Mauricio Plaza ( are the developers  of
       this package; Alessandro Rubini ( has been espe‐
       cially helpful debugging and enhancing  the  program's  mouse  support,
       John Davis ( also made his S-Lang library available
       to us under the GPL and answered my questions about it, and the follow‐
       ing  people  have  contributed code and many bug fixes (in alphabetical

       Adam  Tla/lka  (,  Antonio  Palama,  DOS	  port
       (, Erwin van Eijk (, Gerd
       Knorr	    (,	     Jean-Daniel	Luiset
       (,  Jon Stevens (, Juan Jose
       Ciarlante	(,	    Ilya	Rybkin
       (,	  Marcelo      Roccasalva      (mfroc‐, Massimo  Fontanelli  (,	Sergey
       Ya. Korshunoff (, Thomas Pundt (pundtt@math.uni-muen‐, Torben	 Fjerdingstad  (,  Vadim  Sinolitis
       ( and Wim Osterholt (

       See  the	 file TODO in the distribution for information on what remains
       to be done.

				26 August 1995				 mc(1)
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