When comparing Krusader vs Ranger, the Slant community recommends Krusader for most people. In the question“What are the best Linux file managers?” Krusader is ranked 4th while Ranger is ranked 8th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Great two-pane interface
Pro Folder synchronization
Pro Handles most archives. There is little difference in behaviour between an archive file and a regular folder.
Pro Virtual file systems
Search results as example saved into virtual folder and can be accessed later. All file operations may be performed on items in search results as if they were files in single folder.
Pro Many operations like copying and moving files can be queued
Long running operations can be queued.
There is no point in doing them in a parallel way, as speed decreases dramatically.
Pro All common operations can be done with keyboard efficiently
In addition, shortcuts can be easily renamed.
Unlike Dolphin and many others.
Pro Can view and edit many files
Even editing a file inside a .zip file.
Has hexadecimal viewer embedded for binary files.
Pro Searching capabilities and copying/deleting/moving in background
Pro Custom commands can be added to the menu easily
And they can use the current folder, the selected files....
Pro Filename association and instant console availability
Pro Multi-rename tool
Pro SFTP support
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.
Con KDE dependencies
If you don't use KDE, you'll be forced to install quite a large amount of KDE libraries.
Con New releases are infrequent
It can be seen in https://quickgit.kde.org/?p=krusader.git that maintenance work is done in a continous fashion, but no new releases are provided.
Even though it is perhaps the more feature-rich file manager.
Con Interface can be overwhelming
Written in a scripted language. Enabling file previews makes it even slower.
Con Depends heavily on third party utilities
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 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.