My phone is rooted. I am looking for an open source file explorer that can read and write system folders (such as /data). Requirements:

  • Available on F-Droid
  • Can write to system folders
  • Usual file operations (Copy-and-paste files/folders from anywhere to anywhere, Create/delete/rename folders, Delete/rename files)
  • Graphical user interface, as typing is not very convenient on a small device
  • Comfortable to use on a medium-sized phone screen (for instance 5")


  • Cyanogenmod's File Manager: Good but it is not on F-Droid, for some reason
  • File Manager (forked from Cyanogenmod): Says "By default you can't access /data or /system but that can be changed by choosing a different security access mode in the General preferences" but actually that menu is greyed out (installed from F-Froid)
  • File Manager PRO: Can't see anything outside the SD card
  • Open Explorer Beta: "no system write yet"
  • Amaze: Somehow did not allow me to paste files
  • Root Browser: Not open source

Not tried it myself, but you could give Ghost Commander a try:

Ghost Ghost
Ghost Commander (source: Google Play; click images for larger variants)

Ghost Commander seems to match all your requirements:

  • Available on F-Droid: Yes
  • Can write to system folders: Yes. Quoting: root / superuser (su) mode: remount partitions and make changes in system files
  • Usual file operations: I'd be surprised if not :) Even supports ZIP operations and FTP/SMB, file search, has a built-in editor, and more
  • Graphical user interface: Yes (see screenshots).
  • Comfortable to use on a medium-sized phone screen: Define "medium-sized". Nowadays, this could mean 5" to 6" #D Honestly: I've not tried it, but the screenshots suggest as much.

Next to F-Droid, Ghost Commander is also available at Google Play – and there it has a 4.5 star rating (at more than 11k votes), which speaks for itself.


Simple Explorer is open source available on F-Droid and lightweight:

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It comes with root support, and even can deal with archives (TAR/RAR/ZIP). Its feature list a.o. mentions:

  • Root: delete, move, copy, create files and directorys, rename
  • Create file/folder
  • Move, copy, rename, delete, share
  • Bookmarks
  • Appmanager for APP backups

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