When comparing Ranger vs Total Commander, the Slant community recommends Total Commander for most people. In the question“What are the best file managers for Windows?” Total Commander is ranked 5th while Ranger is ranked 10th. The most important reason people chose Total Commander is:
Supports plugins for compression, file system, and file types.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Minimalist and efficient
There is no need for icons of files if headings are used. Previews of text documents and a simple design creates and efficient workflow.
Pro Can be used in terminal
Which makes for a good choice of file explorer for those that use machines without a GUI.
Pro Extensible, scriptable (with python)
Ranger allows the use of various scripts for calling on individual or multiple files, for file previews, or for other operations.
In commands.py the "my_edit"-function can be extended to do whatever in python can be done. Target files can be the file under the cursor (self.fm.thisfile.path), the files marked/selected in the current tab (self.fm.thistab.get_selection() ) and the files in the copy-buffer (add/remove: ya, yr) (respectively the delete-buffer: add/remove da/dr) (both: self.fm.copy_buffer).
The most appropriate list of files can be found out automatically, like so:
for file in self.fm.copy_buffer:
for file in self.fm.thistab.get_selection():
file = self.fm.thisfile.path
Pro Vim-like bindings
Ranger has Vim-like keybindings which help a lot in increasing efficiency and speed up the workflow.
Pro File preview
Unlike other terminal file managers, Ranger can preview many files, including text files, archives, etc, but also pdf files, pictures and videos.
Pro Image preview support
Ranger can use w3m to preview images in terminal through framebuffer.
Pro Easily used with SSH
Pro PDF preview
This may fall under "File preview", but it is a very powerful feature for PDF files in particular.
Pro Fast and responsive
This software is super fast and responsive in navigation.
Pro Bookmark system
Makes it easy to jump to any specific folder locations you work with.
Pro Treeview and listview (equal viewports) possible
Supports any number of viewports on folders side by side.
Supports plugins for compression, file system, and file types.
Pro Life-time license
Once purchased you can use it as long as you like and never have to pay again.
Pro Can replace a lot of utility tools
There are a lot of built-in utility tools and plug-ins. There's multi-file renamer, verify file checksum to ensure download content integrity, sync directory tool, etc.
Pro Layout increases productivity
The dual-pane layout makes normal file operations (like move & copy) easy.
Pro Useful multiple advanced options
Show hidden files, show differences between directories, FTP connections, coding and decoding (MIME, UUE).
Pro Very customizable
Total Commander is extremely flexible, with plenty of customizable options such as changing the color scheme, customizing menus, and editing shortcuts.
Pro Works even when Windows is very unstable
Even if you have not learned the keys from DOS NortonCommander, learning them now will make you more productive when dealing with files.
Pro Easy for language translation
Pro Batch-rename files and folders
Sometimes you want to rename a bunch of files for some reason.
file1-useless info blah blah.mp8
file2-useless info blah blah.mp8
file3-useless info blah blah.mp8
file4-useless info blah blah.mp8
file5-useless info blah blah.mp8
At once you can remove the "-useless info blah blah" in all file names. Or you could change the "file" to "my_super_file" to all at once.
The possibilities are endless.
Pro Compare files and show differences
Can compare and show text file differences (diff) line-by-line, even character-by-character. Very useful for programmers. Can compare binary files, telling if files have the same content or not.
Pro Powerful file search
The file search has many features, like using regular expressions to find the file names or even inside the content of the files. It can filter by file size, date and others, or even find duplicate files.
Pro Saves time
Pro On copy/move it can both avoid overwrite the destination file AND losing the copied file at the same time
Sometimes you need to copy/move a bunch of files to a folder that already has files. During the copy when Total Commander encounter files in the destination folder that has the same name of the copied files, it allows you to choose auto-rename the copied files or the destination files. It's beautiful.
Pro Cloud plugin
Pro Forget about the mouse
The total commander is convenient to use both with the mouse and exclusively using the keyboard.
But using only the keyboard gives it a big increase in the speed of work because you do not aim at your mouse. You need some time to get used to it, but it's really worth it.
Written in a scripted language. Enabling file previews makes it even slower.
Con Difficult learning curve for people who are not used to Vim
Since it uses many of vim's keybindings, it may be hard for someone who does not use vim or does not know how to use vim to learn how to work with this file manager.
Con Depends heavily on third party utilities
Con Lags everywhere, even the redraws show
A script that gathered too much bloat in the name of features over the years. Thunar seems faster than ranger when it should have been the opposite.
Con No way to calculate folder size
Con No built-in ability to navigate FTP/SSH
Most other GUI-based file managers provide easy bookmarking and browsing of multiple FTP & SSH locations using either keys or keychain stored user credentials. Ranger doesn't have this.
Con Needs heavy configuration to setup
Con A great idea but not GUI friendly
May be difficult to get past the fact that it asked for commands dd and cc and the likes to cut and or paste. Arch-Linux normally prides itself on not over-complicating things. Too bad ... a great idea with the 3 Smart Columns, but why would anyone prefer to need to learn 30 commands in order to cut and paste or copy a file or folder, or to see/change permissions.
Con Not multi-platform
Not available for Linux or MacOS.
Con Cannot display background colors for file names
While it can display different colors (even based on filters) for the text color of those file names, but not for the background color.
Con Classic Interface
Total Commander offers a free 30-day trial, after which the cost of the program is $44.
Con Need to spend a lot of time for custom configuration
Need to spend a lot of time for custom configuration, many features of the steps are very cumbersome to reduce operating speed.