Midnight Commander on Synology DSM How to Install and use in Shell Console

How to Install Midnight Commander on Synology NAS


Install Midnight Commander in Synology DSM Terminal Shell

This post shows how to deploy Midnight Commander on a Synology NAS, the file manager for the file system in the Synology Shell via SSH. Midnight Commander, short mc is one of the most well-known console programs on Linux. Fortunately, you can easily add additional software repositories to the Synology NAS to install additional tools.

The Midnight Commander is not provided or managed by Synology itself, but can be retrieved from the SynoCommunity repository. The SynoCommunity offers free packages for Synology NAS devices.

How to add the SynoCommunity repository

Synology DSM Main Menu

From DSM you open the main menu with the icon at the top left, there you will find the Package Center.

By clicking on the icon Package Center to open this, then click the Settings button.

Synology Icon Package Center
Synology Package Center

In the now opened General window under Trust Level, enable the Synology Inc. and trusted publishers option.

Synology Trust Level

Then go to the Package Sources section.

Synology Package Sources

Click the Add button and insert the package source, enter SynoCommunity as the name, and insert the URL https://packages.synocommunity.com/ at location and click OK.

Synology Add Package Source

Packages can now be installed. The SynoCli File Tools package provides the following command-line utilities: less, tree, ncdu, jdupes, rhash, mc (midnight-commander), nano, file, detox, rmlint, rnm, pcre2, zstd. Nano used to be a separate package, but is now only available through the SynoCli File Tools package.

SynoCli File Tools

Now you can connect with a terminal like PuTTY to diskstation and run mc in the shell.

NAS7:/$ sudo mc

We trust you have received the usual lecture from the local System
Administrator. It usually boils down to these three things:

    #1) Respect the privacy of others.
    #2) Think before you type.
    #3) With great power comes great responsibility.


Midnight Commander

Use sudo to run mc, after the admin password is entering the Midnight Commander is opened.

Midnight Commander on the Synology Shell

In the menu bar below, the functions of mc can be used via the F-keys or also with the mouse, such as Edit or Copy, with the cursor keys or the mouse you navigate in the window, press tab to switch to the other window, press F10 to leave Midnight Commander.

  Remember, changes to system files require knowledge of the function and its effects.

Enable Synology DSM SSH service

In order for the terminal to be accessible via SSH, the SSH service must be activated in the DSM Control Panel, under Terminal & SNMP, in order to make the Icon Terminal & SNMP visible, Advanced Mode is selected at the top right.

Synology Control Panel

In the Terminal window, enable the SSH service option.

Synology Enable SSH service

Next post on the same topic might be helpful, see in How to Install Nano on Synology NAS

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10 thoughts on “How to Install Midnight Commander on Synology NAS”

  1. The interface uses ascii characters with which frames and lines are drawn. In my case, the wrong characters are used to draw lines with. This looks messy. How can I change this?

      1. that’s right, further the character set settings can be queried with hit local in the shell, the remote character translation using PuTTY should by UTF-8, many older systems commonly using the ISO-8859-1:1998 (Latin-1, West Europe). Note. for windows users today, windows terminal (wt.exe) is a good choice instead of PuTTY.

  2. Thanks, this worked great. Always amazes me that there isn’t a GUI version of mc built onto the Synology dashboard. Having two file explorer windows open and trying to move files between the two, is an absolute pain.

  3. There must be more to it than this, as I followed these instructions and mc is not found. Maybe it is installed somewhere weird and the PATH needs to be set?

    1. Oh, duh, never mind; as is obvious from the last post I installed the disk package, not the file package.

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