muCommander and other complements to Apple Finder


… non-Finder clients (e.g. the Eclipse file browser) …

After experimenting with Eclipse, a review of ten alternatives to Finder (I prefer to think of them as complementary) led me to some interesting applications.


Amongst its many features:

  • files and directories can be effectively moved from one volume to another (copied, then removed from source)
  • move and copy operations can be paused and resumed
    • very useful, although users should understand the implications of an incomplete file not being marked as busy
  • hidden files are shown by default
    • .DS_Store files are shown by default.

From what I can gather…

If you prefer to obscure both classes of hidden file, and the source file is associated with both a .DS_Store file and a ._ dot underscore file then:

  • a copy will omit the hidden files
  • a move MAY LOSE all data/metadata that was previously comprised within the hidden files
    • such losses are not recommended, but are occasionally preferred by some users.

If the source file is on an HFS+ volume, and has Spotlight comments, then

  • a copy or move will preserve the Spotlight comments only if you explicity include the .DS_Store file.

If the source file is on an HFS+ volume, and has a resource fork, then

  • a copy or move to a volume that lacks native support for forks and the like WILL LOSE forked data even if you opt to display both classes of hidden file.

Loss of data is undesirable but still, this is an application that may appeal to users who prefer losses of this type.

For me, the most appealing feature of muCommander is pause and resume of copy and move operations.


If move capability is appealing — and if you prefer to respect Finder’s maintenance of resource forks, Spotlight comments and other extended attributes — then consider Xfolders.

… Full integration of the Finder, thus support of all file operations from and to the Finder …

— so naturally, no pause and resume.


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