Introduction to MC

MC (Midnight Commander) is a text-mode full-screen file manager and visual shell. It provides a clear, user-friendly, and somewhat protected interface to a Unix system while making many frequent file operations more efficient and preserving the full power of the command prompt.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS 12.1 platform.

Package Information

  • Download (HTTP):

  • Download MD5 sum: 2c3dd9af66e4cfef5a7a460df1cdf868

  • Download size: 2.3 MB

  • Estimated disk space required: 71 MB (add 96 MB for tests)

  • Estimated build time: 0.3 SBU (using parallelism=4; add 0.2 SBU for tests)

MC Dependencies





Doxygen-1.10.0, GPM-1.20.7, Graphviz-10.0.1, libssh2-1.11.0, PCRE-8.45, pcre2-10.42, Ruby-3.3.0, UnZip-6.0, a graphical environment, and Zip-3.0

Installation of MC

Install MC by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr \
            --sysconfdir=/etc \
            --enable-charset &&

To test the results, issue: make check.

Now, as the root user:

make install

Command Explanations

--sysconfdir=/etc: This switch places the global configuration directory in /etc.

--enable-charset: This switch adds support to mcedit for editing files in encodings different from the one implied by the current locale.

--with-search-engine=pcre2: Use this switch if you would prefer to use pcre2-10.42 instead of GLib for the built-in search engine. Alternatively, you can pass 'pcre' instead of 'pcre2' if you prefer to use PCRE-8.45.

Configuring MC

Config Files


Configuration Information

The ~/.config/mc directory and its contents are created when you start mc for the first time. Then you can edit the main ~/.config/mc/ini configuration file manually or through the MC shell. Consult the mc(1) man page for details.


Installed Programs: mc and the symlinks mcdiff, mcedit and mcview
Installed Libraries: None
Installed Directories: /etc/mc and /usr/{libexec,share}/mc

Short Descriptions


is a visual shell


is an internal visual diff tool


is an internal file editor


is an internal file viewer