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.



Development versions of BLFS may not build or run some packages properly if dependencies have been updated since the most recent stable versions of the book.

Package Information

MC Dependencies


GLib-2.74.5 and PCRE-8.45



Doxygen-1.9.6, GPM-1.20.7, libssh2-1.10.0, Ruby-3.2.0, Samba-4.17.5, UnZip-6.0, a graphical environment, and Zip-3.0

User Notes:

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.

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 used internally by mc for saving and restoring the text behind the panels on Linux text console


is a visual shell


is an internal visual diff tool


is an internal file editor


is an internal file viewer