In the file manager PCManFM version 0.9.10 (in the Debian Wheezy repositories) thumbnails are generated for images but not for other file types such as PDFs and videos. Does this version of PCManFM have support for other thumbnails and if so, how do I enable it?

I have the PDF reader Evince installed and there is a PDF thumbnailer file in /usr/share/thumbnailers:

$ cat /usr/share/thumbnailers/evince.thumbnailer 
[Thumbnailer Entry]
Exec=evince-thumbnailer -s %s %u %o

Still, there are no thumbnails for PDFs in PCManFM.

1 Answer 1


UPDATE for PCManFM v. 0.9.10

External thumbnailer support was introduced in PCManFM only from 1.0 version (link), so in order to use packages below you need newer version. Versions <1.0 have only basic thumbnail support for image files.

For version >=1.0:

As Arch wiki describes:

PCManFM supports image thumbnails out of the box. However, in order to view thumbnails of other file types, PCManFM uses the information provided in the files located at /usr/share/thumbnailers. The packages which provide a thumbnailer usually add the corresponding .thumbnail file at /usr/share/thumbnailers. For example, in order to get thumbnails for OpenDocument files, you may install libgsf from the official repositories. For video files' thumbnails, the package ffmpegthumbnailer is required. For PDF files, you may install evince from the official repositories, which provides evince-thumbnailer and the corresponding file at /usr/share/thumbnailers.

List of packages for thumbnail previews:

tumbler: Image files. This must also be installed to expand thumbnailing capabilities to other file types
poppler-glib or evince: Adobe .pdf files
ffmpegthumbnailer: Video files
freetype2: Font files
libgsf: .odf files
raw-thumbnailer: .raw files
  • Thanks for the reply. Evince is installed (see updated question) but still there are no PDF thumbnails in PCManFM. Any clues? Jan 8, 2015 at 13:52
  • There's also filesize limit for thumbnails, you can disable it by going in the menu Edit > Preferences > Display. At the bottom, change the value of "Do not generate thumbnails for file exceeding this size" from 2000 KB to a larger size.
    – kirill-a
    Jan 8, 2015 at 14:13
  • And for .pdf you can also try to install poppler instead of evince.
    – kirill-a
    Jan 8, 2015 at 14:56
  • 1
    @AugustKarlstrom You probably wouldn't succeed with .deb too because of unmet dependencies. I tried to install old version from debian repo, but I got errors in dependencies. Then I installed Debian on vm and can confirm that pdf thumbnails don't work indeed there.
    – kirill-a
    Jan 12, 2015 at 9:05
  • 1
    @AugustKarlstrom I found that external thumbnailer support was introduced in PCManFM only from 1.0 version. link So it can't be helped with 0.9.10. I hope this answers your question.
    – kirill-a
    Jan 16, 2015 at 7:41

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