Free Software for DOS
File Managers – 2

21 Aug 2006

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FILE MANAGERS:  Long File Name support




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File Wizard — Feature-packed file manager with WIN9x/2000 support.

* * * * *

[added 1998-05-17, updated 2005-12-09]

A polished, dual pane, text mode file manager with pulldown menus and mouse support. Quick, efficient navigation reminiscent of NC. Without doubt, a top pick if you have a 386+ PC and enjoy customizing your file manager to suit your specific tastes. After using this program for some time, I'd have to conclude that File Wizard has entered the same league as the best shareware competition.

Some features which distinguish File Wizard: Notes:

Author: Antal Dénes Gulyás, Hungary (2002). Suggested by Lars-Erik Sandberg.

2002-06-03: v1.35.

Download (284K).

UFO (Universal File Operator) — Norton Commander style file manager; Win9x support.


[added 1998-10-25, updated 2005-07-17]

A traditional Norton Commander clone á la DC with some twists. This is a 16-bit program that runs on a 286 with DOS 3.3+ and EGA, but handles more hardware and OS power if you have it. Looks impressive. Development has ended: No longer available from, or supported by original publisher.

Two-digit Y2K+ year displayed correctly; performs sort by date correctly (w/ Y2K compliant hardware / DR DOS 7.02). Supports features of Win3.x, Win9x, 4DOS, NDOS, OS/2: Under Win9x, supports Long File Names and shows Start menu.

Publisher: Deus Ex Machina Communications, Germany (1998).

1998-08-13: v96.4. Formerly shareware, now freeware.

Auf Deutsch
In English

NDN (Necromancer's DOS Navigator) — DOS Navigator derivative with LFN support, other enhancements.


[added 2000-01-20, updated 2006-08-21]

DOS Navigator is nudged into the Windows-centric world with NDN. Based on the RIT source code for DN, this 32-bit offshoot runs under DOS, OS/2 and Win98. See the "whatsnew" file for other interesting enhancements (code pages support in editor, encryption, ftp panels under Win9x, etc.). Requires DOS 4.0+, 80386+. DPMI services (by DOS/32) are built into the EXE, no external driver needed under plain DOS.

A sampling of features, adapted from the docs:

Notes: Works under WinNT/2K/XP, but without some features (mouse, clipboard, maybe more). NDN in English remains in development. Source available. Donationware.

Authors: Originally by Denis Smirnoff (aka Necromancer), Peter S. Voronov & NDN Team, Russia. Development now coordinated by Stefan Weber / Muxe Inc., Germany (2006).

2.15.8835 beta

v2.15.8835 beta

Go to NDN's Home page for more info, updates, support files, versions for WinNT/2K/XP and for Linux (but without some features), and links to other support sites.

DN OSP — DOS Navigator derivative with 16- and 32-bit versions, Win9x/NT+ LFN support, other enhancements.


[added 2000-01-20, updated 2006-08-21]

This successor to the original 16-bit DOS Navigator has a number of added features, in both the real mode and the protected mode versions (the protected mode version is the one with LFN support). Also see the full 32-bit DN/2 (next item) for OS/2 and WinNT/2K/XP. Source code available.

Authors: Max Vasilyev, Evgeny Zvyagintzev et al. / DOS Navigator Open Source Project, Russia (2006).

2006-09-01: v6.4.0. Program and User Add-on packages, listed below, contains English- & Russian-language versions, including docs. Hungarian- & Polish-language add-on packages are also available.

For 16-bit CPUs
For 80386+, DOS/DPMI (server included) or Win9x
User Add-On Pack: Docs, palettes, xlat tables, icons, configuration files, screensavers
Extra Add-On Pack: More screensavers, palettes, icons

Get lots of info, utilities, language packs, and other files from the DOS Navigator Open Source Project's pages, in Russian, or in English. For a quick look, go to the "lite version" of the site (in English only).

DN/2 — 32-bit DOS Navigator derivative.


[added 2004-10-29, updated 2006-08-21]

DN/2 is an extension of DN OSP, with full 32-bit operation for OS/2 and for WinNT/2K/XP.

Authors: Jaroslaw Osadtchiy, Alexey Korop, Aleksej Kozlov et al. / DN/2 Project, Russia / Ukraine / Belarus (2004).

2004-04-26: v1.51.10 beta 16. Each download package, listed below, contains English- & Russian-language versions, including docs. Ukrainian resource package also available.


Get lots of info and other files from the DOS Navigator Open Source Project's site, in Russian, or in English. For a quick look, go to the "lite version" (in English only).

Archive Lister — Multi-panel (incl. ftp panels) file manager; Win9x compatible.


[added 2000-06-14, updated 2005-07-17]

Archive Lister is an up-to-date and impressive Russian file manager which has been under development since 1994 and now appears to be free. Difficult to classify this file manager – almost a hybrid of Norton Commander and DOS Navigator. The interface language can be switched between Russian and English, but help docs are in Russian only, so English users may require some time to discover its many features (Hint: See the hot key list [Ctrl-F1]).

1) Unzip the download file into its own directory — allow subdirectory creation.
2) Run ALL.EXE — writes batch and configuration files with dir paths, then closes.
3) Run program from AL.BAT.

Authors: Alexey Antonyuk, Dmitry Istomin, Daniel Ivanov / SotSoft, Russia (2005).

2005-05-01: v2.75.

Download (680K).

Path Miser Shell (PMS) — Small program launcher / file manager with built-in editor.

* * * *

[added 1997, updated 2000-11-12]

The Path Miser Shell is a mouse-compatible, text mode, launcher / file manager that can display Win9x long file names (but see Limitations, below). Displays a single left panel directory/file list. Under Win9x, only the current (highlighted) file is displayed as an LFN. A right panel displays system information including memory usage under Windows. While there are some interesting features unique to PMS, it also lacks important features present in most of the dedicated file managers listed here (e.g., extension associations). Requires 80386+. Includes the complete ASM source file. PMS is "begware".

Features: Limitations:

Authors: Jerry Rebold and Howard Flank (2000).

2000-08-25: v2.08.

Download (137K).

GVFM (Graphic Vision File Manager) — Polished VGA mode, multi-window file manager, Win9x LFN support.

* * * *

[added 2000-05-16, updated 2005-07-17]

Although intended as a demo application of the author's commercial Graphic Vision application framework utility suite, GVFM is a very good, and free, fully functional file manager still (2004) undergoing development. The author of GVFM wisely didn't attempt yet another SVGA Norton Commander clone (many superb, quick, and memory efficient text-mode varieties already exist); instead, the polished GFVM interface resembles the familiar Windows 3.1 file manager. For instance, GVFM can display multiple dir tree / file list windows. In addition, the directory tree implements folder icons which can be clicked to expand or collapse directory branches. Drag and drop copy / move (and permanent drag delete to trashcan) are also implemented. Several graphic video modes are available (16-256 color).

Memory usage is adjustable. Includes text and bitmap (bmp, jpg) file viewing functions, text editor, calendar, calculator, color palettes for Win3.x and OS/2. Supports LFNs when run in a Win9x DOS box, or under DOS with an LFN driver.

Requires DOS 3.3+, VGA (Better: VESA SVGA), 80386 (Better: 80486), 2MB RAM, about 1MB disk space, mouse, MS mouse driver 7.05+ (Better: The free CuteMouse [CTMOUSE] with wheel support under plain DOS).

Limitations: No online help. Some 32-bit programs that use the DOS4/GW extender will not launch from GVFM under plain DOS, because of conflicts with GVFM's DPMI server (RTM.EXE) — but those programs should work under the Windows 3.1x/9x DPMI.

Author: Jason Burgon / Graphic Vision (2004).

2004-11-21: v1.64.

Download (459K).

Get more info & other software (including the free GV Text Editor, E.EXE) at Graphic Vision Downloads.

Adrenal Manager — Mouse-driven, two-panel, graphical file manager.

* * *

[added 2005-02-04]

Adrenal Manager has a distinctive interface. The panels are separated by a vertical bar that has clickable buttons for swapping directories, cloning from one panel to the other, selecting / unselecting files in the active panel, and drive change. Each panel has its own mouse-controlled, vertical slider bar. The bottom of the screen is divided into rectangular buttons that select file, directory and configuration operations. The program is mainly mouse-driven, with just a few F-key commands.

A sampling of the functions & commands:

Requires 80386+, 2.5MB RAM, VESA VGA graphics, mouse. Runs under 16-bit DOS (with included DOS/4GW extender) or under Win9x. Supports LFNs under Win9x (but not under plain MS-DOS 7). Documentation in English and Finnish. Freeware.

Author: Jani Vuorinen, Finland (1997).

1997-10-28: v1.32.

Download (360K).

Tutordo — Good file manager / shell with mouse support.

* * 1/2

Tutordo has joined the ranks of the other comprehensive file managers listed here. It underwent steady development and improvement through 1997. Italian- and English-language versions are available.

Tutordo displays a single directory pane and a status pane. It is well-suited to mouse users – of unique note are the copy, move, and archive decompress routines which use directory browsing dialogs for file destinations. Copy and move dialogs also permit application of date and time filters. Custom archive compression and decompression options are available from within the packing/unpacking dialogs. Unlike some of the FMs listed here, Tutordo is capable of copying directories. In general, navigation is quick and painless. This version should not be considered a finished product. EXE size: 140K.

Other nice features: Limitations:

Author: Marcello Vinci, Italy (1997).

1997-12-10: v2.3.

In Italiano
In English



Meyer File/Directory Utilities (MFD) — Small programs manage files or directories.

* * * * *

[added 2004-11-09, , updated 2006-08-21]

The six command-line programs in this set have options and features not found in the standard DOS commands. While any of them may be used separately from the others, they have similar interfaces and there is a single utility in the package that can set user defaults for all of them. Require DOS 3.3+ or any Windows. All of the utils preserve Win32 Long File Names, including directory names.


...a convenient alternative to the DIR, TREE, and ATTRIB commands of DOS that can also help find and identify files...display a directory tree; search through all directories for files; view initial text to identify files; select items by attributes, time/date, or size; change attributes or time/date; or display several groups of files, or all except certain files.
Directory Compare

...reconcile two disks or directories with similar contents...detect differing versions of files...see which files are in one directory but not the other.
Copy/Move Files

...copy different groups of files at once, or all except certain files; back up files using either time/date or archive flag; copy only files not yet in the destination directory; prompt to confirm each file individually or all together; move files from one directory to another; or copy or rename a group of files without unintended conflicts.
Delete Files

...delete multiple files or groups of files with a single command...display the number deleted...options allow: filename display and user confirmation before deletion; deleting all except specified files; selecting files by time/date; including hidden or system files; and deleting read-only files.
GoTo/Make Directory

...create and/or move to a new directory, even on a different drive, in a single step.
Instead of:
    C:\WORK> md d:\new
    C:\WORK> d:
    D:\> cd \new
    C:\WORK> go d:\new

...create multiple subdirectory levels at once, instead of one directory at a time from the top down.
Instead of:
    C:\WORK> md \pers
    C:\WORK> md \pers\corr
    C:\WORK> cd \pers\corr
    C:\WORK> go \pers\corr
(It can also just make sure that a directory exists, without going there.)

...find an existing subdirectory name anywhere on a drive, even allowing abbreviations.
Instead of:
    C:\WORK> cd \wp\bus\acct99\billing
    C:\WORK> go bill

...establish an alias that will take you straight to a particular drive and directory... display the entire tree, with a cursor that you can move around to select the directory you want to go to (point and shoot).
Rename/Move Directory

..rename a DOS directory...move it (and all its subdirectories) to an entirely different position in the directory tree...without any actual copying of files at all.
Customize the appearance and options of CPY, DCMP, DLT, DTA, and GO.

For complete info, read the documentation online (in HTML) from US or UK or Australia. Note: Original doc in program package is in plain text.

Author: Eric Meyer (2002, 2006).

2006-03-09: v1.21.

Download (50K) from US or UK or India or Australia. Also available in the /utiltext directory at Slovak Antivirus Center sites in Slovakia, Poland and Taiwan.

More in these pages from Eric Meyer.

DU (Disk Utility) — Comprehensive, multi-purpose c-line file management util.


[updated 2006-03-14]

DU (not to be confused with the UNIX tool of the same name) is a general purpose file utility which performs an extremely broad range of functions. The length of the option list may overwhelm the novice user, but it is impressive. If you're looking for a "do-all" c-line file management program, DU may fulfill your needs. DU defies a short description and I have yet to try most of its features. One of the hidden strengths of this program is its support of enhanced wildcards (with limitations).

Principal operations supported: Notes:

Author: Dirk Hartkopf, Germany (1997).

1997-11-19: v6.9.

Download du_inst.exe (100K), ARJ SFX.

Dokumentation auf Deutsch (HTML).

DO — Small "all-in-one" batch utility for file management.

* * *

The design of DO is unique – not quite a command-line utility but not a dedicated file manager. DO is best described as an interactive multi-purpose batch utility. DO's interface is essentially a command line with a help screen. The user must still type in commands, but the syntax and options are visible at all times. The functions include: find text, file & directory size, attrib, time, copy, move, rename, delete, xcopy, prune, and wipe. Some of these functions are already built into DOS, but DO presents the user with additional options and the syntax is simplified for batch jobs.

Some options are unique to DO (e..g., recursive file operations, change the time and date stamp of one or more files). The output of DO is formatted nicely and can be saved to a file.

Limitation: Has the Borland Pascal 7 CRT bug – see fixes.

Author: Bremer Corporation (1994).

1994-07-27: v2.1.

Download (41K).


Delta — Powerful visual file and directory comparer / synchronizer.


[added 2001-11-16, updated 2005-12-09]

Delta, a flexible comparer of two files or two directories, opens to a dual panel browser screen, with a menu bar at the top, and command entry and status bars at the bottom. All functions are accessible using keyboard or mouse. Delta can be started in several ways:

delta filename1 filename2
delta dir1 dir2
Or, enter only
and then type filenames or directory names in the command bar, or use the two browser panels to find files / directories.

When two files are shown, differences are highlighted. When two directories are shown, identical files, newer files and older files are marked. Files can be sorted by name, extension, date/time or size, and in ascending or descending order. Secondary sorting is possible, e.g., files with same extension in date order.

Editing (text or binary) can be called up for one file or for the two that are being compared. Files can be copied or deleted and directories can be synchronized. Windows LFNs are preserved. It prints, too. Also see the related Mi-Shell (MSH), which looks for Delta.

Delta has many user options: File editor selection, video parameters, colors, comparison parameters (ignore case y/n, ignore whitespace y/n....) and more. Settings can be saved to *.cfg files, any one of which can be used to start the program by entering, e.g.,

delta -C user1.cfg
at the command line or from a batch file.

32-bit DJGPP build, requires 80386+, DOS Protected Mode Interface (CWSDPMI or other), EGA or better video, <640K memory. Hard disk optional – Delta can operate from, or on, any disk.

Authors: John Lowenthal, US & Jean Michel, France (1994-2001). Distributed by OPENetwork.

2001-09-05: v2.5beta. Formerly paid commercial software, now in the public domain and completely free.

Downloads, etc.
Program (not archived)
Manual, pdf
Manual, HTML

Go to the Delta page, at OPENetwork, for more info, screenshots, and a Linux version.

DirMatch — Compare directories, with file actions.

* * * *

[updated 2004-05-15]

DirMatch is a dual pane directory comparer that lists the contents of two directories side by side. Keyboard operation only.

Syntax: DIRMATCH source target [/D][/A]
/D = Different files
/A = Alike files

Function keys in directory display
All Different / Alike (Toggle)
Mark all
Clear marks
Copy & Delete
Swap (Move focus to other pane)
Disk free

Many file managers also offer basic directory comparing functions – see UFO, File Wizard, Connect, HFM, DC, and TC.

Author: Michael J. Mefford for PC Mag (1992). Suggested by many.

1992-09-24: v3.1 + patch.

Download (18K).

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