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README for SpaceFM v1.0
Users Manual
Report Issues
SpaceFM is a multi-panel tabbed file and desktop manager for Linux with
built-in VFS, udev- or HAL-based device manager, customisable menu system,
and bash integration. SpaceFM aims to provide a stable, capable file
manager with significant customisation capabilities.
SpaceFM is included in most distro repositories. To find packages, forum
threads, and other info for your distro, see:
For other distros, or to build with custom options, see INSTALLER below.
The easiest way to download and build SpaceFM is to use the net installer,
which automates the instructions in this README. To download the installer:
# OR using curl:
curl -L -o spacefm-installer \
To run the installer (MUST be run in a terminal):
bash spacefm-installer
Most users can press Enter to accept default values at both prompts.
The installer will display dependencies for your chosen build. If
any dependencies are missing, examine the error, install missing packages,
and try again. See DEPENDENCIES below for reference.
If you have already downloaded the source, the installer can be run from
within the source directory to automatically build and install:
When SpaceFM is installed, the installer is also installed to /usr/bin.
For automated options, run: spacefm-installer --help
To reinstall or upgrade, just run the installer again. For example, to
upgrade to the latest rolling release, just run:
spacefm-installer --version=next --prefix=/usr
To uninstall: spacefm-installer --uninstall
Install required build dependencies (below are Debian package names -
packages names on your distro may vary but should be similar):
autotools-dev bash build-essential intltool pkg-config fakeroot
shared-mime-info desktop-file-utils libc6 libcairo2 libglib2.0-0
libglib2.0-dev libpango1.0-0 libx11-6 libx11-dev libudev1
libudev-dev libffmpegthumbnailer-dev
Also, if using GTK2: libgtk2.0-0 (>=2.18) libgtk2.0-dev libgtk2.0-bin
OR, if using GTK3: libgtk-3-0 libgtk-3-dev libgtk-3-bin
Also, if you want to use startup notification: libstartup-notification0-dev
For optional dbus support: dbus libdbus-1-3 libdbus-1-dev
RECOMMENDED: udevil|pmount|udisks gksu|kdesu|ktsuss|lxqt-sudo eject lsof
For additional mounting support: fuseiso curlftpfs jmtpfs gphotofs ifuse
IMPORTANT: SpaceFM is highly integrated with bash and uses features of
bash v4. Attempting to substitute another shell for bash WILL cause
feature breakage, even if not immediately apparent. Install genuine bash.
configure will report anything missing when you run it as shown below.
SpaceFM is distributed via Github:
First, make a temporary directory and enter it:
mkdir /tmp/spacefm-build
cd /tmp/spacefm-build
To download a branch, particular version, or under-development commit, use:
wget -O spacefm.tar.gz
The above example downloads the 'next' branch, which is SpaceFM's rolling
release. You can also substitute 'master' (stable release), a version
number (eg '1.0.4'), or a commit (eg 1709b809) for 'next' in the above URL.
Then, extract the archive, and enter the source directory:
tar xzf spacefm.tar.gz && cd spacefm-*
ALTERNATIVELY, instead of downloading the tarball with wget above, you can
use git to clone the SpaceFM source repo, check signatures, and download
upgrades. See the USING GIT section further below.
Use these commands to build and install:
./configure --prefix=/usr
make -s
sudo make install
sudo update-mime-database /usr/share/mime > /dev/null
sudo update-desktop-database -q
sudo gtk-update-icon-cache -q -t -f /usr/share/icons/hicolor
sudo gtk-update-icon-cache -q -t -f /usr/share/icons/Faenza
# Remove Temporary Files
cd / && rm -rf /tmp/spacefm-build
If configure reports missing dependencies, install them and run configure
again before proceeding to make.
configure options for alternate builds:
By default, configure will use GTK2 if installed. To force use of
GTK3, add --with-gtk3.
BE SURE to use a GTK3 theme which supports your CURRENT version of GTK3
(no theme warnings should appear when spacefm is run in a terminal),
or use Adwaita.
PACKAGERS: Due to other desktop components, some users may require or
prefer GTK2. Please consider providing both spacefm-gtk2 and
spacefm-gtk3 packages for your users.
Remove support for video thumbnails. Omit libffmpegthumbnailer.
Use HAL instead of udev. Device manager functions are extremely
limited. Use of this build is only recommended if udev or eudev is not
available. SpaceFM HAL support is no longer actively developed, yet
please report any build problems.
Instead of libudev1 and libudev-dev, install:
hal libhal-dev libhal-storage-dev libhal-storage1 libhal1
libdbus-glib-1-2 libdbus-glib-1-dev dbus libdbus-1-3 libdbus-1-dev
Set the correct location of /etc on your system for installing
For additional configure options, see: ./configure --help
To run root commands, SpaceFM supports gksu, gksudo, gnomesu, kdesu,
kdesudo, ktsuss, lxqt-sudo, xdg-su, su-to-root, su, and sudo. To configure
an additional terminal or graphical su program see
/etc/spacefm/spacefm.conf. Or, to build with an additional graphical su
program ('/usr/bin/mysu' in this example), add:
Note: When using older distros, enabling kernel polling may be required. If
you insert a CD and SpaceFM still says 'no media', please see the ENABLE
KERNEL POLLING section further below.
If SpaceFM crashes or hangs on your system, you can help to correct this
problem by reporting it, including a full backtrace.
The easiest way to install a debug-compatible version of SpaceFM is using
the installer. See INSTALLER section above. At the install options
prompt, enter 1 for Debug. Or run: spacefm-installer --version=next 1
OR, to manually build for debugging:
1) Install build dependencies for your build (see DEPENDENCIES above).
2) Install the 'gdb' GNU Debugger, and debugging library symbols. For
example on Debian (packages on other distros should have similar names):
libc6-dbg libglib2.0-0-dbg libgtk2.0-0-dbg|libgtk-3-0-dbg librsvg2-dbg gdb
3) Follow the DOWNLOAD and INSTALL instructions above, substituting this
configure command (add any other desired configure options):
CFLAGS='-ggdb3' STRIP='!strip' ./configure --prefix=/usr
4) After completing the install, run spacefm with the debugger:
gdb spacefm
In gdb, enter 'run' at the prompt. Or, to make gdb halt on any
warnings, use 'run --g-fatal-warnings'.
SpaceFM will start. When the crash occurs, gdb will freeze SpaceFM.
Or if SpaceFM hangs, press Ctrl-C in gdb to interrupt it, or in another
terminal run: killall -s KILL spacefm
5) In gdb enter: thread apply all bt full
Provide the output with your detailed bug report at
NOTE: When SpaceFM is built this way, it may run more slowly and use more
memory. Once you are done debugging, be sure to install a normal
(optimized) build.
It's easy to create a binary deb package of SpaceFM on your Debian-based
distro. Please see the file distros/debian/README-DEBIAN. Also note that
there are SpaceFM packages in the official Debian repos and elsewhere:
If you installed from a package, use your package manager to remove
SpaceFM. Or, use the installer to uninstall:
spacefm-installer --uninstall
Otherwise, run these commands AS ROOT:
rm /usr/bin/spacefm /usr/bin/spacefm-auth /usr/bin/spacefm-installer
rm -r /usr/share/spacefm # this may remove SpaceFM plugins
rm /usr/share/pixmaps/spacefm.png
rm /usr/share/pixmaps/spacefm-*.png
rm /usr/share/icons/hicolor/*/apps/spacefm.png
rm /usr/share/icons/hicolor/*/apps/spacefm-*.png
rm /usr/share/icons/Faenza/apps/48/spacefm.png
rm /usr/share/icons/Faenza/apps/48/spacefm-*.png
rm /usr/share/*/LC_MESSAGES/
rm /usr/share/applications/spacefm*.desktop
rm /usr/share/mime/packages/spacefm-mime.xml
update-mime-database /usr/share/mime > /dev/null
update-desktop-database -q
gtk-update-icon-cache -q -t -f /usr/share/icons/hicolor
Instead of downloading a tarball to install SpaceFM, you can download some
or all of the source repo using git. See a tutorial for complete git
instructions, but a few examples are provided below.
To download just the source dir of a given branch, version, or commit, run:
git clone --depth 1 -b next git:// spacefm
cd spacefm
You can substitute any branch or version (eg 1.0.4) for 'next' in the above
command. To build and install, see INSTALL above, or run:
To pull in the latest changes to the next branch, run:
git pull origin next
Then you can proceed to INSTALL instructions to install the upgrade, or
run: ./spacefm-installer
Although git already includes strong integrity protection, SpaceFM release
tags are also signed with IgnorantGuru's GPG key 0x01937621 (Key
fingerprint = 7977 070A 723C 6CCB 696C 0B02 27A5 AC5A 0193 7621).
To verify the GPG signature on a release (1.0.4 in this example), run:
git tag -v 1.0.4
To download the full SpaceFM source repo, with all branches and history:
git clone git:// spacefm
cd spacefm
To find the sources for a particular branch (eg next or master), version,
or commit (in this example, version 1.0.4), run:
git checkout 1.0.4
Then you can proceed to INSTALL instructions or run spacefm-installer.
To create a tar.xz archive of the sources for version 1.0.4:
git archive 1.0.4 --prefix=spacefm-1.0.4/ | xz > spacefm-1.0.4.tar.xz
Kernel polling, which allows for device and media change detection, is a
newer feature of the Linux kernel and udev, so some distros don't yet have
it enabled by default, but most already do. If you insert a CD and SpaceFM
still says 'no media', this is a symptom that kernel polling is not
To use kernel polling, your Linux kernel may need to be 2.6.38 or newer,
and udev may need to be version 173 or newer.
cat /sys/module/block/parameters/events_dfl_poll_msecs
cat /sys/block/sr0/events_poll_msecs
If you get 0 or -1 from both of those commands, kernel polling may be
TO ENABLE KERNEL POLLING PERMANENTLY (survives a reboot), add the
following command to your /etc/rc.local file (anywhere before the
'exit' line in that file):
echo 2000 > /sys/module/block/parameters/events_dfl_poll_msecs
Any number between 2000 and 5000 (milliseconds) should be reasonable -
the higher 5000 means poll every 5 seconds, which is less overhead but
a little slower.
OR pass this option to the kernel boot command line in grub:
OR add a udev rule to enable kernel polling on removable devices:
echo 'ACTION=="add", ATTR{removable}=="1", \
ATTR{events_poll_msecs}=="-1", ATTR{events_poll_msecs}="2000"' \
> /etc/udev/rules.d/61-removable-storage-polling.rules
A reboot will be required for the above changes to take effect, or...
polling for the block module:
sudo bash -c 'echo 2000 > /sys/module/block/parameters/events_dfl_poll_msecs'
OR you can enable polling just for a single device like this (/dev/sr0
in this example):
sudo bash -c 'echo 2000 > /sys/block/sr0/events_poll_msecs'
This change should be immediate - media will be detected. However, the
above change will be lost when you reboot.
To help translate SpaceFM please visit:
At Transifex:
Just sign up for a free Transifex account. For instructions visit:
For developers: The 'release' script in the SpaceFM source dir is used by
SpaceFM developers (or forks) to perform a release.
To use this script, complete changes to the next branch (they don't have to
be commited), then run: ./release
Note the manual workflow items listed by the script before proceeding.
The script will interactively perform a release of SpaceFM by increasing
the version number, preparing the source dir for distribution, commiting
the next branch, merging to master, signing the release tag, pushing
master, starting the next version, and pushing next. You must have
permission to push to git's origin. It also optionally pulls the wiki, and
pushes gh-pages, if present.
When the script is finished, master branch will contain the new release,
next branch will be prepared for the next version, and Github will show the
release tag in Releases.
SpaceFM - Copyright (C) 2018 IgnorantGuru GPL3+
This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the
Free Software Foundation; either version 3 of the License, or (at your
option) any later version.
USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. This program is distributed in the hope that it
will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied
the GNU General Public License for more details.
The 'exo' libraries and source code used by this software are licensed
under the GNU General Public License and the GNU Lesser General Public
License version 3 (LGPL3).
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License and
the GNU Lesser General Public License along with this program; if not,
write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth
Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301, USA.
If you plan to publish a significant amount of or the full source to
SpaceFM with your modifications, please see the following wiki article: