Have trouble with PCManFM 0.9.x? Read this FAQ!

After the release of the so-called RC1 (actually 0.9.7) of PCManFM, I got some bug reports, which are not bugs.
Please, read this document before you submitting a bug report. At least packagers need to read this before packaging. Otherwise you’ll end up with something that never works. This guide is very complete and it contains information enough for you to build it from source, get it running or packaged, and even to debug it.

Most of the problems are caused by missing or malfunction of gvfs caused by incorrect installation or configuration.

Here is a list the most important FAQs:

  1. Voume mounting or trash is not supported? Make sure you have properly working gvfs. Read the preceding guide to fix it.
  2. Why use gvfs? I think this is well explained in my previous post. I say it again. Gvfs is optional. PCManFM will work well without gvfs. So stop spreading the FUD that pcmanfm becomes gnome-dependent.
  3. Where is tree view? I want to redesign this and get it implemented in a better way. Due to some limitations of UNIX-like systems, file monitoring can be a problem and it’s a limited system resource. So to keep the dir tree up-to-date and sync with the filesystem, it requires very careful design. I need to think it more and get it well done for the rewrite. So in 1.0, tree view is temporarily removed. In 1.x series I’ll add it again when it’s ready.
  4. What? PCManFM2 doesn’t manage desktop? It sucks!  Yes, it does but you forgot RTFM. The command line used to lauch desktop manager is now: pcmanfm –desktop
  5. How to access the configuration dialog of desktop manager? Did the author forget this? It sucks. Well, I thought about this for some time and found it better to leave desktop configuration in a separate dialog specifically designed for desktop management options. Now to access it, right click on pcmanfm managed desktop and choose “Properties”, just like what you do in Windows. Or, you can use this command (can be called from openbox menu, for example): pcmanfm –desktop-pref
  6. If you see no icons, make sure  you have a properly installed freedesktop.org compliant icon theme. If you don’t know which to use, download lxde-icon-theme from http://sf.net/projects/lxde/
  7. If you still see no icons, and you’re using gtk+ ourside any desktop environment, make sure you specified “gtk-icon-theme-name” in ~/.gtkrc or just use tools like lxappearance to set a proper icon theme.

If you find someone in some internet forum who asked questions about PCManFM, please be kind and refer him/her to this guide. If any errors are found in this guide or you think any important topic is not covered, feel free to mail me and I’ll update it.