When comparing cmder vs Directory Opus, the Slant community recommends cmder for most people. In the question“What are the best power user tools for Windows?” cmder is ranked 6th while Directory Opus is ranked 12th. The most important reason people chose cmder is:
Cmder builds on [ConEmu](https://code.google.com/p/conemu-maximus5) console emulator, by adding enhancements from [clink](http://mridgers.github.io/clink/) (such as bash-style completion in cmd.exe and PowerTab in powershell.exe) and optionally extending it with [msysgit](http://msysgit.github.io), that brings Unix tools to Windows.
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Pro Minimal and portable version available
There is a portable version of cmder available which is just 10 MB in size. It can be put on an external device, like a USB stick, and run off it. There's no installation required.
Pro File explorer integration
Cmder can be added to the right-click menu, allowing the user to start a terminal session from the selected directory with a "Cmder Here" command. The functionality can be enabled by opening up a terminal with administrator privileges, navigating to the Cmder folder and executing
.\cmder.exe /REGISTER ALL.
Pro Has built-in Quake style drop-down mode
This is an extremely useful mode whereby the console hides and shows on ctrl+~ similar to a gaming console. This feature is inherited from ConEmu.
Pro Monokai color scheme
Cmder pretties up the default look of ConEmu using Monokai color scheme out of the box and allows flexible color and transparency schemes, including custom out-of-focus opacity.
Pro Works nicely with command line applications
Such applications include CMD, Powershell, and MinTTY.
Pro Integrates with graphical applications
Portable GUI applications can be integrated directly into the interface of the terminal emulator.
For example, it's possible to integrate ST3 with cmder by moving the portable version of ST3 to
/cmder/vendor/ and editing alias file in
/cmder/config/aliases to include
subl="%CMDER_ROOT%\vendor\Sublime Text 3\sublime_text.exe" $1 -new_console:s75V. Now writing
subl in the command line will open ST3. The alias of subl can be changed to whatever's needed and similarly, the
-new_console option's parameters can be changed to alter how the text editor integrates with the terminal emulator. It can be horizontal or vertical splits of varying sizes or tabs, etc.
Pro Works with VS Code, Hyper and IDEs
Cmder can be used with popular editors such as VS Code, which delivers aliases and clink as well as its color scheme to VS Code.
It can also be used without ConEmu and Hyper as an alternative terminal emulator, which makes customizing the UI through NPM plugins much easier.
Pro Highly flexible
Pro Works with ZSH and Oh My ZSH through WSL (using ubuntu 18.04)
Set ZSH as shell using "chsh" command, and launch the console using "ubuntu1804" command.
Pro Works with WSL bash.exe
CMDer works great with the Windows Subsystem for Linux. Just change your startup task to point to the bash.exe file.
Pro Customizable UI
Allows customizing toolbars and keyboard hotkeys. Has a full scripting interface that allows in-depth customization options.
Pro Can be set to replace Windows Explorer
Unique Explorer Replacement mode provides a full replacement for Windows Explorer.
Pro Available for different architectures
Available in both 32 and 64 bit versions.
Pro Supports different archive formats
Supports archive formats like Zip, 7Zip and RAR.
Allows batch renaming, viewing and editing file metadata.
Pro Allows color-coding and assigning star ratings to files and folders
This is done with Directory Opus' inbuilt label and its Status system.
Pro Very powerful and easy to use batch rename dialog/feature
Pro Tools for synchronizing files and finding duplicates
Can easily synchronize files and helps the user in finding and deleting duplicates.
Pro FTP support
Supports SFTP (Secure FTP via SSH, port 22)
Also supports FTP via SSL (port 990) and FTP via with TLS
Pro Integrates seamlessly as a launcher for other programs
You can launch via a toolbar button or user definable custom context menu items.
Pro Extended scripting API
The scripting capabilities of DirectoryOpus extend from version to version. You can do a whole lot of unheard stuff with that.
Custom columns, custom commands, handling events etc. just to name a few things. It even has a GUI editor to allow for custom interfaces for your file management and scripting tasks. Even though mastering it is not easy in the beginning, it's worth it in the long run.
Pro Easy to sort photos
Image marking adds the images you select to a different file, making it easy to sort through a large number of them.
Pro Customizable status bar
Directory Opus allows users to customize the status bar to display helpful information based on several different factors, including file counts, types, disk space, and others. The status bar can also be customized separately for dual displays.
Pro Customizable and downloadable themes
The Directory Opus community has created everything from dark themes to themes emulating other applications.
Pro Standard and customized layouts/styles
Directory Opus includes 8 standard layouts, including Commander, Dual Horizontal, Dual Vertical, Explorer, Filmstrip, Images, Metadata and Single. In addition, users can create and save their own layouts to suit specific needs and file processes.
Pro Customized filters
Directory Opus allows users to create custom filters that can be saved and recalled as needed.
Pro Backup and restore configuration
Directory Opus includes a comprehensive configuration backup and restore feature. Users can backup their customized configuration at any time and restore a previous configuration as needed.
Pro Single or dual independent trees
Directory Opus allows the user to use a single tree or dual independent trees with the dual file display.
Pro Supports high-DPI monitors
Directory Opus supports both 4K and 5K monitors.
Pro Relative size and date graphs
Directory Opus has an option to include relative size and date graphs. These can be displayed independently, in their own columns, or nested behind the size and date columns respectively. They can also be toggled on and off with a simple button as needed.
Pro File Status Symbols
Directory Opus offers an extension of standard color labeling in the form of status graphics that can be shown as an additional column in the file display. Standard graphics include "Checked" and "Flagged." Users can also create and use customized status labels.
Pro Powerful image viewer
Directory Opus includes a powerful independent image viewer with configurable toolbar, menus and hotkeys.
Pro Works with Everything
Directory Opus works with the Everything search program. A custom-built script allows users to conduct searches and view results within the Directory Opus file display.
Pro Double-click on desktop to open a new file browser window
Pro Manual sorting
Directory Opus allows users to sort files as they want in manual sorting mode.
Pro Integrated image conversion
Directory Opus includes integrated image conversion functionality, allowing users to convert images to different formats, rotate and flip images, and resize images. Functionality can be used on a single image or large batch of images.
Pro Vertical folder tabs
Directory Opus users can use vertical tabs instead of horizontal tabs, if desired.
Pro Stable & reliable when dealing with huge (100k+) file sets
This applies to both local and network drives.
Directory Opus has tabs for each view, which are customizable in size, appearance, functionality, etc.
Pro Extensive column availability
Directory Opus includes over 150 standard columns in various groups, ranging from "Name and Path" to "Metadata." In addition, users can create custom columns using a script.
Pro Good customer support
The customer support is very good.
Pro Searchable preferences
Directory Opus offers thousands of user preferences. To help users find the preference they want, Directory Opus offers a search function within the Preferences dialog that identifies and highlights specific preferences associated with the user's search term.
Pro Powerful, expandable viewer
The viewer in Directory Opus supports a huge array of file extensions (more can be added as plugins).
It is even able to show webpages in the viewer, when you select .url or .html files.
Pro Works with Listary
Directory Opus has native support for Listary, allowing users to move even more quickly between directories and perform searches.
Pro Integrated dialog editor
Lets you write scripts that have their own user interface with buttons, lists, checkboxes, text fields, etc.
Pro It prevents you from making gross deletion mistakes
Since it makes your folder structure rather transparent and allows to easy checks through dual tabbed layout, it helps you to not delete files wrongly.
Pro Supports TeraCopy
Directory Opus supports TeraCopy
Pro Flickr support
Directory Opus is able to sync your photos with Flickr.
You can customize which file collections to sync, and the save location for each file collection
Pro WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux Support)
Script functions can be written in WSL Script, DOS Batch Mode, VBScript, JScript or directly calling Opus or External applications.
/mnt/c paths understood by path fields. WSL mode in Find As You Type (FAYT). Copy path names in WSL format or Windows format.
Pro Gets updated often
Directory Opus gets updates all the time -- fixes, significant improvements and often new features are released multiple times a month. Improvement and feature requests by users are taken in consideration and you can often find your bug report resolved or improvement request fulfilled in one of the beta versions that follow soon.
Con Issues with non-unicode characters
'ls' command can have issues with non-unicode characters such as cyrillic. As of 1.1.2, 'dir' can be used as a substitute that will properly display non-unicode characters. Unfortunately, it's an issue with msysgit that isn't being officially addressed (a workaround is available) thus no official ETA on the bugfix is available.
Con Slower than ConEmu
Con Not as portable as advertised
Even though cmder is advertised as a "portable terminal emulator for Windows", it's not adequately minimalistic to be considered truly portable. In fact, one of the dependencies required to use it is the Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015.
Con Issues with escape codes
Sometimes it doesn't interpret terminal escape codes correctly and the output gets mangled using tmux over ssh, for instance.
Con The portable (mini) version does not have UNIX commands
UNIX command support is only available for the full version.
Con Lots of conflicts with OS keybindings
By default, things lke ctrl-w will close your window unexpectedly when using nano or trying to delete a word in bash.
Con Very slow
Scrolling in vim lags the screen and can crash.
Con Portability costs more
On top of an already expensive license, users must purchase a separate Export License to create a portable version.
Compared to the other options, Directory Opus is quite expensive.
Prices are $35 for the Lite version and $64 for Pro (price changes based on the AUD to US exchange rate). Upgrading from light to pro costs about $30.
Con Restrictive license
Product is licensed on a "per-machine basis" requiring purchasing multiple expensive licenses to cover a single user with multiple machines.
However, if you have time and luck, you can write to the DO sales department and they can produce another license for you to use personally on another machine you own.
Con Only available for Windows
Con Large file sizes
The installer weighs in at 50MB and the app directory is over 95MB.
Con Complicated if one pursues mastery on the most advanced features
Takes a long time to become efficient with it. Mastering all the features can be rather exhausting.
Con Limited to only two views
You are only able to have two concurrent views at a time.
It does help, that you are able to have both the metadata-pane and the viewer-pane open whilst using Dopus in dual-view mode.
Con Limited support for Touch / Tablet mode
Your file manager + Start Menu are the main way to launch programs/documents... When using Touch Mode, the Surface running Opus would be far more usable if some attention was paid to this use case.
Con No good support for right-sided tree
The only way to get a right sided tree is to display both panes in horizontal layout and then switch the first (upper) tree off. Which leaves you with 2 horizontal panes and one tree on the right. There is no other way (neither with 2 vertical nor with 1 pane) to have a tree on the right side. And since this layout setting is rather the step-child of the developers, it also is a bit buggy and not of top priority as far as fixing any issues with it.
Con Erroneous Con
Con has been deleted, as it stated untruthful information.
Con No native/good support for restoring multiple search paths for the find files tool
Although all other options of the find files tool are very good, there simply is no easy way of regularly using the same multiple search paths.
For using only one search path, one can simply navigate to that path and activate the automatic path-use-button in the tool or choose one path from the previous paths drop-down, but that only works for one path. It can get cumbersome if one wants to restore multiple search paths at once. One must basically write his own script to do that. This is surprisingly annoying that such a basic and needed functionality is not natively supported (built-in) by such a generally powerful program.