Community: Krusader: File Manager for Almost-Geeks
Dec 01, 2004, 01:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Matej Urbančič)
Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame
[ Thanks to Matej
Urbancic for this article. ]
Most graphical operating systems use single-window file
management as their default. The reason might lie in the idea that
most of their users prefer using a mouse over a keyboard.
On the other hand, real geeks use the command line, since that
way they won't have to bury themselves in thousands of opened
windows. Programmers found out ages ago that there can be a middle
path for the file management. Thus, the two-panel paradigm was born
and it has its own philosophy: orthodox file
management or OFM.
While Norton Commander ruled the past and Total Commander may rule the Windows
world, there is still no real winner on Mac and *nix systems. I
will not go into the Mac since I'm not an OS X user, but for *nix
users, there might be a good explanation for this lack of OFM
Not long ago, all *nix users were all geeks--only in recent days
have ordinary users started looking at open alternatives. Among
these ordinary users there are a lot of so-called power-users that
can do sharp things, but still need a GUI to feel comfortable.
Windows already had this special group of users, while Linux is
still battling for them.
The open source community serves a lot of commander-type
applications, but none of them yet prevailed. The reason might be
because of dispersed programming where, everyone rather starts his
own project in his spare time, then joins a software group with a
decently evolved program.
One such group that was established for such a purpose and which
will probably prevail on KDE, is the Krusader Krew. Their manager
project, called Krusader, is an advanced
two-panel commander-style file manager for KDE with two panels,
command line, predefined function buttons and extensive keyboard
shortcuts, terminal emulator, and robust icons on the toolbar.
Krusader has the standard look and feel of all OFMs on every OS.
What makes it special in the Linux world is not these standard
features, but many extras. Krusader supported tabbed panels even
before its Windows rival did, as well as extensive archive
handling, user mounting, SMB and FTP protocols, advanced search,
directory synchronization, file content comparisons, powerful batch
renaming, and on-key root mode. It is (almost) completely
customizable, fast and looks great on your desktop, as the authors
Krusader is getting complete, but its authors have even more
tricks up their sleeves.
In mid July, Krusader 1.40 introduced file splitter, directory
synchronization, quick search, folder history, and color support
for different file types. Three months later in 1.50, which is
still hot, preview popup panel for quick view of media files and
documents came to life and customizable panel looks were added.
User actions gave users the power to personalize and automate work
and sync-browsing and panel profiles made a work and customization
An in-depth look at Krusader shows some interesting solution
possibilities. The GUI is quite colorful and most of the icons
combine mouse or keyboard features. Krusader has right-clickable
context menus that allow you to do fast operations with the mouse,
too. The most important context features can be used to discover
the available commands. The most useful ones compare directories
and file contents. In combination with synchronization, this makes
Krusader a powerful tool.
The developers have also made it easy to send a file as an
attachment through email.
Krusader has an implementation of internal viewer called
KrViewer, which can handle different file formats and actually uses
Konqueror code. This means that it can view every file type
viewable by Konqueror. When the file type cannot be determined or
when a file is not associated to any action, it disables the
'generic viewer' and the file is treated as a text file. Viewing
dovetails well with editing. Krusader's internal editor has almost
everything what you can expect of an editor.
Krusader is deeply integrated with KDE. This might be the only real
drawback for users that use GNOME, XFce, or other desktop
environments, but in the apt-get world even that is not a problem,
since all dependencies get resolved instantly.
This short review cannot completely show the whole usefulness of
this application. If you want more information, you can join the
forum or browse their extensive documentation