I need to manage files via the web browser, "inside" of a bigger web application. Looking for a web based file manager with the next features:

  • simple - it should only manage files and nothing other around. So I don't (!!!) want any user profiles, login panels or any other unrelated stuff. The filemanager should manage files, and do not care about the user-base.
  • full-featured - I want a simple application, but full featured file-management functions, including:
    • view of common file contents (images, text files)
    • upload/download files
    • zip/unzip files and directories
    • allows edit text files (but this isn't necessary)
  • works nicely on mobile devices too (can use different interface)
  • no database needed (of course, should be an file manager)
  • open-source

The nearly perfect solution for me is elFinder. Dead simple, connector based, client-server, feature-packed - great open-source file manager.
Unfortunately, it has issues on the mobile devices.

The server-side part could be in any language (except Java!) - the best would be Perl but PHP, Python, Ruby is OK.

I'm also interested for an filebrowser written with the Cappuccino javascript framework (with additional mobile interface).

  • What kind of mobile issues do you experience? If elFinder does it for you, maybe you could check bridges from/to other software that handles mobile presence (near perfect) responsive. Via their templates. I found a Wordpress plugin (inactive development) and a Drupal plugin (active development). Commented Jan 28, 2015 at 18:38
  • 1
    I'm not sure what you mean by simple and the exclusion of handling users. At some point you'll have to decide what clients can read which files (you're not going to let everyone on the internet edit your text files, are you??), so that being said I find owncloud.org extremely comfortable and easy. You have to "log in" to it in one sense or the other. But you can talk to it via LDAP, so I guess you should be able to tie it to your web app.
    – Turion
    Commented Mar 6, 2015 at 15:52
  • @Turion because the file-manager should manage files and not users. I have done my own user management and access control. Don't like (better said, HATING) applications what does something what they shouldn't to do. The elFinder is simply GERAT e.g. it is only an JSON based interface (client) to some server based file-manager connector (in what is implemented all access-control logic and such). Unfortunately it using jQueryUI in form what doesn't plays nicely on small mobile phones.
    – clt60
    Commented Mar 6, 2015 at 16:08
  • @Turion Just checked the owncloud.org. It needs MySQL/SQLite. IMHO, the file manager shouldn't need any database. :) Also, it has problems with unicode filenames, (can't handle unicode NFC/NFD conversions on OS X). Don't read me wrong, I don't want blame the owncloud.org only for me is better a solution what does only the "file-management" - and does it right. :) Thanx anyway for a comment ;).
    – clt60
    Commented Mar 6, 2015 at 16:21

2 Answers 2


While I'm trying to move away from it because of a certain issue, overall I'd say Responsive FileManager is pretty good:


It is stand-alone, CC-licensed (AFAIK), JavaScript based with a PHP backend.

It's responsive and works on mobile in most normal cases, and seems to support all the functionality you wanted.

  • It needs some polishing (e.g. it isn't responsive for the desktop browsers by default - IMHO it uses the "user-agent string" to determine the interface, but the interface for the mobiles (type=3) is nice and working. Accepting this answer. :) (until someone gives an better alternative) :) Thank you for pointing me to this! +++
    – clt60
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 14:18

MONSTA Box is lightweight and easily customizable. It's an open source web-based PHP file manager. It doesn't need mySQL. You can upload files and folders and zip files and folders for download. You can download it from www.monstahq.com/apps/box/splash/

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