Community: Krusader on the Move
Jun 09, 2005, 04:00 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Matej Urbančič)
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Yes, the stable Krusader 1.60.0 is out! In mid-December 2004,
the Krusader Krew surprised everyone with the release of Krusader 1.51 and then four
months later, the next major iteration of the innovative file
manager was also released.
An easy calculation shows that the "Krusader Krew" can produce
up to four major upgrades a year, which puts the Krusader package
among the most updated open source projects available today.
If Total Commander (TC) is the standard for Windows "orthodox
file managers" (OFM's), then Krusader has definitely become the
standard on the Linux OS with new features and functionality being
added and improvements made to existing features each and every
week! The effect of rapid development shows also on kde-apps web page where users rated
krusader as second best.
The most prominent thing about the new Krusader release is the
way the "Krew" have been connecting Krusader with the Windows
world. A lot of enhancements inspired by TC functionality have been
added to the new Krusader for easier migration to the Linux
environment for former Windows users.
Krusader can now import and export color schemes and comes with
several already pre-configured, among which you can find the TC
color scheme to provide a familiar "look and feel"; the better to
make Linux even easier to get used to than it already is now.
Besides the new color schemes, there are additional custom
keyboard and mouse selection modes introduced in Version 1.60.0. At
present, there are four different selection modes. The default mode
is the standard used by most file managers, allowing the use of the
Shift or Ctrl key to select multiple files as a group or
Another file selection method, previously used on the NeXT and
Macintosh platforms, uses holding the right mouse button pressed
while dragging the pointer over the files, thus selecting files the
mouse passes over or unmarking files already selected. All these
modes can be easily set in Konfigurator. This ability to have a
personalized system makes the transition from Windows to Linux even
easier and also enables near total customization of all aspects of
the User Interface. This is a great convenience for "regular"
users, and a real benefit for users with special needs, and users
in industrial and "non-desktop" environments.
With this release of Krusader, the need for a Linux TC port has
become obsolete! The Krusader Krew showed once more that they can
satisfy user requests, feedback, and "fine tuning"; and make
significant product innovations simultaneously!
Perhaps the most major enhancement of the Krusader is the "User
Actions" system, which was incrementally introduced in the past few
releases. User Actions are user specified scripts for common tasks
or file operations. These scripts are already readily available via
the Right-Click Menu, but with new version can also now be added to
the Special Actions Toolbar that resides below the Menu, or even as
common User Menu entries.
The Special Actions Toolbar can also utilize Bookmarks! This
combination of functionality, easily at hand, makes Krusader 1.6
the most User Friendly file manager available for Linux! The
biggest advantage of the User Action scripts is that they can be
easily added or modified, and you do not have to be a programmer to
work with them! But if you happen to be a programmer, the "User
Actions" dialog allows for quick and easy import, export, or
advanced editing of scripts and batch files. In depth information
about using and writing your own User Actions can be found in
The main idea behind the "User Actions" system is to streamline
recurring tasks that can be very complex, and needing to be
executed in several steps. Yet these tasks are, by definition,
unique to each user and each environment. How does a programming
team address such a need usefully? The innovative User Actions
scripting system allows users to execute any task, regardless how
complex, in a single click or keystroke (using the Keyboard
Shortcut functionality, built into Krusader)!
The next major enhancement is the enhanced and updated
functionality of The "Synchronizer", "Popular URLs", "Searcher",
and The Bookmark System. These four riders take a similar approach
in usage and are functionally connected.
"Popular URLs" is functionally similar to "Bookmarks", but
contains a weighting system to rank the URLs actually visited,
whether you have assigned the URL a Bookmark or not! In "Popular
URLs", the URLs are not stored in a "bookmark view" but have ranked
entries based on visitation frequency drawn from the History file.
The "Popular URLs" feature is particularly helpful for online
research, programming projects, and for those who use the Internet
in their daily work. You can "pick up where you left off" without
having to bookmark dozens of pages that you may not visit regularly
after the current project is completed. The "Popular URLs" list is,
by design, dynamic, and self-updating! This type of listing has
many advantages over "regular" bookmarks for speed and reviewing,
and enables the overall Bookmark System to manage local and remote,
and temporary and permanent, web destinations in a more organized,
granular, efficient manner.
This "Popular URLs" submenu holds only the most popular local or
remote links. It displays the ranked URLs, placing the most
frequently used web locations at the top of the list. This is very
useful when you need to visit URLs, but don't want to necessarily
create lasting bookmarks for every visited page. Links are
refreshed automatically, in the background, for remote or local
URLs, objects, and archives.
One of the innovative new benefits of the new Bookmark and
Popular URLs managers is using KDE's built-in services to store
passwords. The BookmarkSystem uses the well known, and very stable,
KeditBookmarks to handle and manage your connections. The Bookmark
System also supports two panel locations for "by-hand"
synchronization while the synchronizer tries to automatically
resolve the differences for the user by giving him a series of
suggested options for updating.
The new Synchronizer can now exclude directories from comparison
and can also pause and resume synchronization with kget.
Synchronization also works with the User Actions system, giving
additional power to that already advanced functionality. It is
possible to include more files in the file filter by simply
separating them with a space, and to exclude files by separating
them with a pipe character '|' in the file filter. This feature is
combined with Searcher functionality that can now also take files
to the listbox with virtual folders. In addition, you can assign a
collection-name to any group of files for later recall and
Virtual Filesystems are basically a container for URL's from
different file systems used in the "feed to listbox" feature of the
search module. Actions that are performed on the "Virtual
Filesystem" files are performed on the real files, wherever they
reside. This means that deleting files from the "Virtual FS" also
deletes them from your hard drive, NFS drive, etc.! The "Virtual
Filesystem" is only virtual in that it makes files from different
locations and media appear to be in one "virtual" location, with
Krusader mediating the details of how to "get to" each specific
file to carry out the desired file operations ordered by the
On the other hand, Virtual Folders *do not* work with the actual
files, but rather with virtual files and only the last action
manipulates the files. Check the Krusader Handbook for more details
on the distinctions between these two "virtual" file management
The most fascinating implementation, in terms of usage, that
comes with the new release is "Disk Usage", based on the Filelight. The Disk
Usage feature shows you how your disk space is being used, using a
graphical representation of your file system. There are several
viewing options: The "Overview" is possible in simple line view
where occupied space is color-coded and ranked, the "Detailed View"
contains additional information about files and folders, and
finally "Filelight View", which shows a set of concentric
segmented-rings representing your entire filesystem.
The biggest advantage of "Disk Usage" is the ability to set the
starting point of the display tree. Any user on the system can
easily check how much space his files occupy while Administrators
(root) can easily check how much space individual users are using
on the system. The "Ringed View" is also useful for a quick
overview of the server directory structure. Disk Usage can be
executed as a stand-alone function, or from inside the 3rd panel of
Other minor updates were primarily focused on flexibility and
customization of Krusader in response to user and Krew feedback and
observations, such as, the ability to change the columns by simply
right clicking on the panel's header. This was a long-awaited
feature in twin panel file managers; and came to life in parallel
with Krusader's Windows rival, Total Commander! Another long
awaited feature is a new red desktop icon that starts Krusader as
root. The "Third Hand" panel, which takes multimedia, disk usage
and info, now includes a full viewer! The File deleting
functionality is more refined, with advanced Shift-Del that
permanently deletes files without sending them into the trash can.
Splitter now has predefined 650MB and 700MB CD-R sizes for faster
dividing, and packing. Archive Unpacking is now possible to and
from remote URLs.
Additional minor, but significant, new features include the
"Konfigurator Tool Tips" that assist beginners and provide easier
navigation. The Tool Tips are now translated into 21 languages!
A reliable, easy to use, "two-panel file manager" is probably
the most important part of any operating system for non-experts and
experts alike. It's so important that all newer distros include at
least one of them as an option. Market leaders like RedHat, SUSE,
Mandrake, and Debian include up to four twin-panel file managers in
With the introduction of Krusader 1.5, and now the even more
powerful Krusader 1.60.0, the "twin-panel file manager" is becoming
so powerful that one could make a rational decision to switch
windowing environments just to obtain the functionality of
Krusader! I have read some forum wars on how the environment itself
is the key for such a successful work. I need to remind those
battling, that teamwork is the key to Krusader, and not just the
operating system or the window manager that the app is running
The Krusader team is second to none in terms of innovation,
testing, responsiveness to our users, tight and logical integration
of features, and overall product quality. Give Krusader 1.60.0 a
try and you will see why I believe that Krusader is the very best
twin-panel file manager available for any Operating System and for
every computer user's needs. You can grab the tarballs, rpms and
debs on Krusader's download page.
The krew is still looking for a MAC OS X port maintainer and
anyone is welcome to join and take the job. There is still room for
new developers, fresh ideas, solutions, and maintainers, if you
want to join. Please visit the Krusader's help
section page or Krusader's
handbook for more information.