How to Install Midnight Commander on Linux Ubuntu and Make the Most of its Features

In the realm of Linux Ubuntu, Midnight Commander (MC) stands out as a powerful file manager that can significantly enhance your workflow. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the seamless installation process of Midnight Commander on your Linux Ubuntu system, ensuring you make the most of its advanced features.


Before delving into the installation, make sure your system meets the following prerequisites:

  • Ubuntu Version: Confirm that you are using a compatible version of Ubuntu. MC is generally compatible with a wide range of Ubuntu releases.

  • Terminal Access: Ensure that you have access to the terminal, as the installation process is command-line based.

Installation Steps

Step 1: Open Terminal

To initiate the installation process, open the terminal on your Ubuntu system. You can do this by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or by searching for “Terminal” in your system’s application menu.

Step 2: Update Package Lists

Before installing Midnight Commander, it’s good practice to update your package lists to ensure you are getting the latest version. Execute the following command:

sudo apt update

How to Install Midnight Commander on Linux Ubuntu and Make the Most of its Features

Step 3: Install Midnight Commander

Now, let’s install Midnight Commander using the apt package manager. Enter the following command in the terminal:

sudo apt install mc

This will prompt you to confirm the installation. Press ‘Y’ and then ‘Enter’ to proceed.

Step 4: Launch Midnight Commander

Once the installation is complete, you can launch Midnight Commander by typing:


This will open the Midnight Commander interface in the terminal.

Midnight Commander provides a dual-panel interface, making it easy to navigate and manage files efficiently.

Basic Navigation

  • Arrow Keys: Use the arrow keys to navigate through files and directories in both panels.
  • Tab Key: Switch between the left and right panels.
  • Enter Key: Enter a directory or open a file.

Advanced Features

1. File Operations

Midnight Commander allows for a variety of file operations:

  • Copy Files: Use the F5 key to copy selected files.
  • Move/Rename Files: Press F6 to move or rename files.
  • Delete Files: The F8 key lets you delete files securely.

2. Archive Handling

MC supports various archive formats. To extract or create archives:

  • Extract Files: Use the F2 key to extract files from an archive.
  • Create Archive: Press F5 and choose “tar.gz” or other formats to create an archive.

3. Command Line

The subshell feature in Midnight Commander allows you to execute shell commands without leaving the interface. Press Ctrl + O to access the command line at the bottom of the screen.

Making the Most of Midnight Commander

Customization Options

Midnight Commander is highly customizable to suit your preferences. Explore the following customization options:

  • Configuration Menu: Press F9 to access the configuration menu.
  • Panel Layout: Adjust the panel layout using Alt + Shift + T for horizontal or Alt + T for vertical.

Enhancing Productivity

Take advantage of these features to boost your productivity:

  • Bookmark Directories: Press Ctrl + \ to bookmark frequently used directories.
  • Quick View: Use the F3 key to quickly view the contents of a file without opening it.


In conclusion, the installation of Midnight Commander on Linux Ubuntu opens up a world of possibilities for efficient file management. By following this guide, you’ve not only successfully installed MC but also gained insights into its advanced features, elevating your Linux experience.

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.