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GNOME Commander

A powerful file manager for the GNOME desktop environment

Dev Development

GCMD hacking

This page contains information about hacking and contributing to the GNOME Commander project. We encourage anyone to contribute with code, translations, bugreporting, new useful ideas, or just give some quality feedback that also is quite important.

If you would like to get involved and don't know where to start, have a look especially into the TODO file. This file gives a hint on what we are working on, or like to work on, and maybe appreciate some community efforts on. You are also welcome to sign up on our mailing lists and take part in discussions and development. If you are keen on fixing open bugs, have a look at our gitlab project page.

Current plans

The team behind GCMD is currently working on switching from obsolete libraries, e.g. from gnome-vfs to gvfs/GIO. This is a major task and, thus, will take some time.

Future plans

In the future, the team behind GCMD are will further enhance python plugin support. Plugins should be dropped in the ~/.gnome-commander/plugins directory. The work on supporting meta-data also continues. The plan is to add this functionality to the searchtool, custom columns and the internal viewer.

Git Git Repository

The official Git repository of GNOME Commander is registered on

Branches and Versions

GNOME Commander is being developed in several branches:

The version numbers (major, minor and micro) follow the standard of odd and even versioning. Even numbers are stable versions, that are intended for all-day use. Odd versions are development versions. The version number is stored as git-tags in the git repository. To see all of them, just type git tag. The current one is also stored in the first line of

To check out the GCMD repository to your local hard disc, enter the following commands:

The master branch for development (might be instable):
git clone

The current stable branch:
git clone -b gcmd-1-16

If you already cloned the repository, run git pull inside the gnome-commander directory to get the latest code revision. To switch between the branches, run git checkout $BRANCH.

Tips for working with Git

Source code Building from source

First, check out the source code as described in the previous section. The next step is meson setup builddir && meson compile -C builddir && meson install -C builddir, which should work like a charm.

When you compile Gnome Commander the first time and you discover some dependency errors, install those dependency libraries through your Linux distribution.

Contributing Contributing by Developing

If you want to contribute, send in patches, having some useful idea or just some feedback then you are welcome to contact us or you can make a pull request on GitLab against the GCMD repository.

Here is a quick guide how to do contribute via GitLab after creating an account there and creating a fork of the origin repository in GitLab:

  1. git clone$USER/gnome-commander && cd gnome-commander
  2. Next, add the original repo to your repo as a reference: git remote add upstream
  3. Create a branch where you track your work: git checkout -b $BRANCH_NAME
  4. Now create one or more commits that contain your work via git commit -m "$DESCRIPTION"
  5. If your work is for an already openend issue, say #26, on GitLab, the last commit should contain something like: git commit -m "...; Closes: #26".
  6. To be on the safe side, do an update with the original repo, just to make sure that no conflicts have been created in the meantime:git fetch upstream master && git rebase upstream/master
  7. Push your changes to your fork on GitLab: git push origin HEAD
  8. You can create a merge request: Either by using the link that is shown to you on the terminal after the last command, or by clicking on the "Create merge request" button in the GitLab web interface in your repository from the branch you created above.
  9. The maintainer of the original repository will then be notified by GitLab via email and can review, comment, and review, ask for changes and finally accept the merge request. Then your change will be copied to the original repository.

If you want to submit a patch via email:

Contributing by TranslatingContributing by Translating

The current status of all project translations can be found at GNOME's Damned Lies. For adding a new translation simply download the initial potfile of the master branch and start translating by renaming the file to LL.po (replace "LL" with your language code, see the complete list of language codes). Or take an already existing po file from the list on the page given above.

Here you will find the recipe on how to contribute with your new or updated translation:

  1. Get a fresh copy of the program source (either from Git or snapshot)
  2. Unpack it and run meson setup builddir for some basic checks.
  3. Update proper LL.po file: go into the po directory and run intltool-update LL.

You may find translation compedia to be quite handy as a reference. You can download some po files from other projects and create such a compedium by: msgcat -o compendium-LL.po *.po.

There are several translation tools available. Some of them are: Poedit and Gtranslator.

Have a look at if you want to start translating for more projects than just GCMD.

From time to time check strings marked for translation. Therefore, create updated po/gnome-commander.pot with make check. Then search for incorrect translations:
podebug --format='[i18n]' --input po/de.po > output.po.
Now in the output file all found strings for translation are marked with a [i18n] tag. Then you have to start GCMD with this created po-file.

Making a releaseMaking a release

Testing/Creating a Gentoo ebuild

Hacking Hacking documents

Updating the Homepage Updating the Homepage

If you want to contribute to the Gnome Commander homepage you can simply fork its source code repository and create a pull request with your updates.

The page itself consists of simple html pages like the index.html or doc.html. But you will also notice that the blog posts which are shown on the index.html file are actually markdown posts in the "_posts" subdirectory. When pushing new blog posts in that folder, they are automatically processed by the Jekyll tool on GitHub. No manuall work has to be done in that case. Just create a new markdown file, create a merge request, and when it is accepted, the new post will show up quickly on the Gnome Commander homepage.

Before opening a pull request you may test the look of a new blog post by installing Jekyll locally on your machine and running "jekyll serve" in the main folder of the homepage repository. That will start a local webserver and you can visit the homepage in your browser on page http://localhost:4000.

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