Bantam file manager, version 0.4 :: June 28, 2005

Bantam is a new lightweight file manager for X11. It is designed to
maximize productivity for people who know their way around the system
and are comfortable with keyboard commands. If you like to edit text
with GVim, you will probably like to manage files with Bantam.

New in this version:

 * Bantam now uses RASCL ( for its
   configuration files; the old file format will no longer work.
   If you have an older version of Bantam installed, the installation
   script will back up your existing config files and install new
   ones in their place. You will need to edit the new files to
   reflect any changes you made to the old ones.

 * There are two new commands, 'new_file' and 'new_directory'. 

 * The 'goto_dir' ('g' key by default) command behavior has
   changed. Previously, if the selected file was a directory,
   'goto_dir' would change to that directory. Now the user is
   prompted to enter a file name regardless of what is selected.
   In order to change to the selected directory, you must press

Why Bantam?

Mainly because I needed a better file manager. I have tried just about
every file manager available for Linux systems. While some of them are
pretty good, I have not found one with just the right combination of

Bantam owes its design in part to the following programs:

 * Midnight Commander (mc): MC is the classic 2-panel console-based file
   manager. Its combination of power and simplicity are unparallelled in
   the Linux world, and in a console environment I've never wanted
   anything else. But if you have a GUI environment, why not take
   advantage of it? In particular, why have a *2*-panel file manager?
   Why have a fixed number of panels at all? Sometimes you only need
   one, sometimes three or four.

 * SFM (Simple File Manager): This is a GTK-based program that was
   around a few years ago, but seems to have vanished. SFM was small,
   fast, and easy to use--but it had what I consider a serious design
   flaw: it used a separate toplevel window for each directory view,
   requiring the user to switch back and forth between keyboard and
   mouse. With multiple panels in a single toplevel window, you can
   do it all with the keyboard.

 * Vim: Single-key commands are the way to go!

So, the fundamental principles of Bantam are:

 * Low resource usage, fast startup, fast everything.

 * An arbitrary number of directory views.

 * Multiple panels in a single top-level window.

 * The keyboard is king.

Bantam is very much a work in progress. Development will likely proceed
quickly, since I intended to use it as my main file manager. However,
there are currently several known bugs, undoubtedly some unknown ones,
and many implemented features.

Suggestions for improvement are welcome. Please contact me at

Further documentation may be found in the doc/ subdirectory.

Matt Gushee