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the file manager at the core of the ROX desktop
Current stable version: 
Current testing version: 
Primary author(s): 
Thomas Leonard

Last version supporting GTK 2.0: 2.1.3
Last version supporting GTK 2.2: 2.2.0

ROX-Filer is a fast and powerful graphical file manager for the X Window System. You can use it as a small and fast filer within your current desktop...

...or get it to manage your pinboard, panels and applications (see below for more screenshots).

Downloading and installing the filer

There are many ways to get the filer:

On most systems, you can use the web installer. ROX-Filer is also available as part of the ROX-All package.

$ 0alias rox

If you don't want to use Zero Install, read the instructions on the Help Installing pages, or install from source.


Please read the FAQ before reporting problems on the Mailing Lists. Thanks.


ROX-Filer's manual is available on-line.


  • Fast scanning of directories (in the background),
  • Uncluttered display (popup menus are used throughout),
  • Background file operations (copy, move, link, delete, permissions, find),
  • Powerful expression-based find feature with on-line quick reference (eg 'mtime after 2 days ago and size > 10Mb' finds files based on their modification time and size)
  • Mounts and unmounts filesystems (floppies, CDs, etc),
  • Supports the XDND protocol, which provides for drag-and-drop file loading, and the XDS extension which allows drag-and-drop saving,
  • Fully configurable from the Options dialog box,
  • User-defined key bindings for all menu entries,
  • A pop-up minibuffer allows navigating the filesystem using shell-style tab completion,
  • The minibuffer can also be used for quickly entering shell commands,
  • Full manual provided (HTML format).
  • Support for running '.desktop' files.


See the Screenshots page for some more pictures, or ROX-Filer screenshots on

Support for running '.desktop' files.

the "Support for running '.desktop' files.", is think that is really partial, and should be perfected.

I see that rox can run this files as if they where binaries, but when copying this files to the Panel or pinboard, rox doesn't assign the specified icon that the .desktop file is determining, instead it shows the MIME-type icon assigned for a .desktop, which normaly is none.

i really like rox iniciative to support all standars, it make very easy interoperativility, and mixing of desktop features.

.desktop files on the panel

Dragging .desktop files to panels or the pinboard works fine here (2.6). What version are you using?

Adjusting the background

Would it be possible to allow the background of filer windows to be customised? At the moment we have a servicable grey, would it be possible to set a background tile to fit in with the current theme?

This would also be a nice addition for the panel.

Adjusting the background

Using ROX-Filer without the ROX desktop


I am currently thinking of installing Ubuntu 7.04 on my computer. Currently, I use the ROX desktop, but looking at the new features available in Ubuntu I'm thinking of switching to GNOME - but I want to be able to use ROX-Filer, as it is so much better than Nautilus IMO. Is there any way to get ROX-Filer to integrate into GNOME, so that it replaces Nautilus for all tasks, including when clicking desktop icons?


Re: Using ROX-Filer without the ROX desktop

Never mind, I found a tutorial on the Ubuntu Forums.

It's here in case anyone else is interested:


Integrating with GNOME

Drag n Drop

I'm not a coder, so here is a question for those who are. Would it be possible to create a patch or extension for key popular applications (OpenOffice/Firefox) to add ROX drag and drop saving?

ROX-Filer 2.6.1 and GLIBC 2.4

The 2.6.1 binary requires GLIBC 2.4, and therefore fails on Fedora Core 3 and other older systems. Users on these systems should stick with 2.6 until the problem is fixed.

Update: This should be fixed in the 2.6.1-1 binary release. Please test!

Running ROX Filer as Root

Is it possible to run the 0install version of RF as root? I've tried to open it via a terminal with sudo, but I keep being told there's no such file or directory. What do I need to do to rectify this?

I realise I could just install the version in synaptic. But what's the point of the 0install version if I did that?

0launch as root

Check that the 'rox' script is in root's $PATH ("which rox").

You might need to move it to /usr/local/bin.

Also, make sure sharing between users is enabled, or you'll have to download a second copy of it.

Re: 0Launch As Root

Other users aren't a problem.

Where is this rox script and can I just make a sym link in usr/local/bin?

e.g. $ which


$ which rox

The "rox" command is just a short-cut. You can link, move or copy it.

You could also run it without using the shortcut, like this:

sudo 0launch


Would you mind linking me to the page on the website that shows you how to make a shortcut for that?

I've seen it, but I've forgotten where it is.

Found 0alias

But I can't figure out how to do it

When I tried to I got this

No writable non-cache directory in $PATH, which currently contains:


To create a directory for your scripts, use these commands:
$ mkdir ~/bin
$ export PATH=$HOME/bin:$PATH
or specify a writable path with --path


I don't quite understand the issue. You've found the rox script. Now you need to copy it. e.g.

$ sudo cp `which rox` /usr/local/bin

I wonder if it would be useful to have a version of sudo that runs the user's short-cut as root? e.g. save this as /usr/local/bin/0sudo:

URI=`0alias -r "$1"`
if [ -z "$URI" ]; then
  exit 1
exec 0launch --wrapper=sudo "$URI" "$@"

Then you could do:

$ 0sudo rox

This will also use the user's installed version, even if system-wide sharing isn't enabled.

It Worked


I can never remember the copy command.

I knew it was cp. But then I envisaged a whole load of stuff involving $s and what have you.

Breadcrumb navigation

I tried RF and found it good, fast and well-customizable.
Much more better than nautilus. But there's one thing I miss(or maybe couldnt find) - breadcrumbs navigation. Is there any way to enable it? If no, you may consider this as feature request ))
Thanks in advance.



I like ROX-Filer a lot since I've always liked IRIX. :)

I'd like to be able to deselect files when using the selection box and holding down CTRL. Now it just works when clicking on single files. That would be great!

Best regards,

Lasso unselect

Try dragging with the middle button...

Thank you!

Sorry, I'll read the manual next time!

Still it's great! :)

Feature Request: Copy Queue

Rox-Filer is a fine piece of software, but i miss a copy queue feature.

i think many other users would appreciate it.

The reasons why Rox filer "cant" replace Nautilus for me

In general I really like Rox filer. But there are however a few small issues that are annoying/limiting enough to still not allow me to fully drop Nautilus. I hope mentioning them might cause these things to show up in a future version.

1) Thumbnail Icons are too small.
On my 1680x1050 LCD, even the biggest icon size is way to small, making the thumbnailing almost useless. Given that px counts will likely just continue to increase in the future, it would be a good idea to make a user setting of the size of the thumbnail images (at least for the large and medium image sizes).

2) The back and forward history buttons are sorely missed.

3) Either a alt+l (make the title row a selectable text) function (or alternatively a tool button for "terminal here") would be highly useful. At least I very often find myself using that in Nautilus.

4) Something similar to Nautilus computer:/// would be nice (constantly navigating manually from /home/user to /media/x is a PIA)

Additionally: Why do the thumbnails need to be generated from scratch each time Rox-filer is started up? Cant it save the thumbnails between sessions in the disk cache?

Regards / Stefan Huszics

Most of it is there

1) Im running at 1600x1200 and I have not trouble seeing the thumbnail size of either the icons or images.
If you icon theme only have small icons they wont grow bigger when you adjust the size.

2) I wouldnt mind seeing a back and forward history here, but its not such a big issue for me. The recently visited drop down is quite slow to use (maybe I should just learn some better precision with my mouse)

3) If you use '`' (backtick) you will spawn a terminal in the current location of the filer window. You can even use '!' to just execute a shell command on currently selected file.

4) You can bookmark specil folders on the computer you like with either the 'add new bookmark' button or using ctrl-[1-9] to save a location and press [1-9] to go that location. I have all my useful location stored on 1-5, so I can easily access my ~/, /tmp/ etc.

/ Kim


Indeed, a nice piece of work. Rox is easy, fast and you can configure many things.
However, I miss some basic features:
- Is it not possible to use smaller or bigger icons on the pinboard? Icons on the panels can be changed by reducing the panel width. But icons on the desktop? Can I really only change the font size?
- it doesn't seem to be possible to copy (or link, or move, etc. ) several files at once with the keyboard. Most other file managers allow you to mark several files, copy them to the clipboard (ctrl+c), switch to another directory/window and paste them there (ctrl+v). I know, it's easy with the mouse. But I sometimes prefer the keyboard.

I double the request for

I double the request for keyboard way of copying/linking a bunch of files at once.
Besides I'm missing directory history.
If not for these, ROX-Filer would be the best fm in the world.

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