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#1 2013-07-30 02:50:34

cfr
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From: Cymru
Registered: 2011-11-27
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What do people use file managers for?

What do people use file managers for? I used to use one but I can't remember the last time I did so deliberately. (I sometimes open Dolphin by accident and get irritated that I have to close it again.)

In OS X, I used Finder but hated it. I did use it, though. On Debian, I kind of liked rox but haven't really found anything I like even as much as Finder and since I really couldn't stand Finder, that obviously isn't a good start. Dolphin did away with the one feature - column view basically - of Finder I liked. (I didn't realise it was a feature until I switched to Linux - I thought any sane file manager would do the same.) Since this was one of my 2 reasons for picking KDE, it was obviously frustrating to have it disappear.

At first, I thought the lack of a file manager would be a problem. Now I cannot honestly think what I ever used one for. I'm therefore curious as to what people use them for. Maybe I just fail to manage my files...?!

In OS X, there are some things it is easier to do in Finder than in Terminal because the underlying file system sees hierarchies of folders where Finder sees applications etc. and it is a pain to deal with resource forks. But in Linux, none of that is an issue and if I need to deal with stuff from OS X, the command line is the only way, however awkward.


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#2 2013-07-30 02:56:27

HalosGhost
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From: Twin Cities, MN
Registered: 2012-06-22
Posts: 1,485
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Re: What do people use file managers for?

cfr wrote:

What do people use file managers for?

Actually, there was one feature in GNOME's Nautilus that I enjoyed when I was back on GNOME (that seems like so long ago despite only being about a year ago). It auto-plays media files as a preview with a mouse-hover. That was a very handy way to know which music video or song was which if you weren't quite sure. Some of them (like Nautilus), also offer automounting in a very nice fashion.

Having said that, I've long since switched to coreutils, and I'm as happy as a clam; like you, I can barely remember why I liked file managers. However, I've moved far more to the minimalist edge (if the pkgstats page is to be believed, I have ~360 fewer packages installed than the average Arch user).

All the best,

-HG

Last edited by HalosGhost (2013-07-30 02:57:12)


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#3 2013-07-30 03:00:02

jasonwryan
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Re: What do people use file managers for?

I'll split out this discussion as this thread is really meant to be a poll.


I use a graphical file manager for one task, and one task alone: opening up directories full of photos and scanning the thumbnails quickly in a hopeless attempt to find that one great shot that you know is in there somewhere...


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#4 2013-07-30 03:08:05

HalosGhost
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From: Twin Cities, MN
Registered: 2012-06-22
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Re: What do people use file managers for?

jasonwryan wrote:

I'll split out this discussion as this thread is really meant to be a poll.

You really are on the ball tonight. Cheers!

I use a graphical file manager for one task, and one task alone: opening up directories full of photos and scanning the thumbnails quickly in a hopeless attempt to find that one great shot that you know is in there somewhere...

Similar concept as I mentioned. I only recently started collecting wallpapers, so I never quite had this use-case, but I imagine it would be nice now tongue

All the best,

-HG


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#5 2013-07-30 03:13:01

cfr
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From: Cymru
Registered: 2011-11-27
Posts: 5,661

Re: What do people use file managers for?

Hmm... I'm very non-minimalist, though. I have ~250 more packages than average installed and that does not include the contents of /usr/local which isn't managed by pacman. (TeX Live and Firefox, mainly.)

I use gwenview to search through images as it opens quicker than dolphin.

Apologies for messing up the poll - thanks for moving it.

Last edited by cfr (2013-07-30 03:13:40)


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#6 2013-07-30 03:15:59

HalosGhost
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From: Twin Cities, MN
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Posts: 1,485
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Re: What do people use file managers for?

cfr wrote:

I use gwenview to search through images as it opens quicker than dolphin.

At the moment, because I have very few use-cases for a whole file manager, and because I already have it installed to manage my wallpaper, I use `feh` to search through images.

All the best,

-HG


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#7 2013-07-30 03:28:57

ewaller
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Re: What do people use file managers for?

Sometimes they are really convenient in how they abstract non-filesystem storage things as though they were filesystems.  Dolphin, for example, and its kioslaves.  sftp://  fish://  smb:// tar://   cd://


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#8 2013-07-30 03:52:54

Allan
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From: Brisbane, AU
Registered: 2007-06-09
Posts: 10,327
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Re: What do people use file managers for?

I use file managers for managing files.

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#9 2013-07-30 03:54:44

HalosGhost
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From: Twin Cities, MN
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Posts: 1,485
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Re: What do people use file managers for?

Allan wrote:

I use file managers for managing files.

Nice cool

I think the question was really more "For what purpose do people use file managers rather than coreutils?"

All the best,

-HG


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#10 2013-07-30 04:20:38

Trilby
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From: Massachusetts, USA
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Re: What do people use file managers for?

I'm not a fan of middle management.  I'll manage my own files.

But two features I have liked are 1) rox's seemingly limitless scriptability, though this is not very relevant if you can script a tool to do anything, but you don't want it to do anything, and 2) easy bulk moving of files in "orthodox" (two column) file managers.

The later I have incorporated into my bash prompt and a td (target-directory) shell variable with a handy function for mv/cp/ls/... to the target directory.

(edit: typo)

Last edited by Trilby (2013-07-30 04:22:55)


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#11 2013-07-30 04:21:32

Allan
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From: Brisbane, AU
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Re: What do people use file managers for?

OK... Proper answer then.   Sometimes file managers are quicker.  E.g.  I have just downloaded a whole bunch of episode of various TV and anime shows I watch and want to move them to the relevant subdirectories of my "videos" directory while one of my hands is occupied drinking bourbon.  One handed drag and drop using my touchpad is much faster.   Also when browsing for things to watch, I like the graphical overview my file manager provides.

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#12 2013-07-30 04:24:08

Trilby
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Re: What do people use file managers for?

One hand drag and drop: drag the mouse over to the garbage can; drop it in.  wink

And get a long straw.

Allan needs one of these on his wishlist.

Last edited by Trilby (2013-07-30 04:25:39)


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#13 2013-07-30 07:04:35

bohoomil
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Re: What do people use file managers for?

Long story short: a file manager--MC in my case--is simply a collection of shortcuts that help perform typical tasks frequently and quickly. Besides, I find a visual representation of a directory very handy, as long as it allows for a quick navigation, file content lookup, instant editing, copying / moving / symlinking, etc. I could do the same with coreutils exclusively--and I often do for majority of less complex tasks--but once I got used to NC style interface in the DOS era, it has remained my preferred one when needed.


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#14 2013-07-30 10:32:53

lolilolicon
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Posts: 1,676

Re: What do people use file managers for?

I think quicker navigation and visualization (on several levels) are helpful features of file managers. It's like why you would prefer vim over sed, or how unified colorized diff are so much better.
I'm more interested in how the authors of various file managers would answer this question.

Last edited by lolilolicon (2013-07-30 10:37:28)


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#15 2013-07-30 12:52:15

Lone_Wolf
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From: Netherlands, Europe
Registered: 2005-10-04
Posts: 4,032

Re: What do people use file managers for?

I've been using orthodox file managers since msdos 3.x era, and they are NOT just dual panel filemanagers.


read http://www.softpanorama.org/OFM/index.shtml to get an idea why OFM (Midnight Commander, Krusader, Total Commander) can be very powerful tools.

Last edited by Lone_Wolf (2013-07-30 12:53:05)


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#16 2013-07-30 13:19:46

lunamystry
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From: South Africa
Registered: 2011-04-14
Posts: 23

Re: What do people use file managers for?

I use Dolphin

1. for kioslaves: mtp://  smb://
2. for mounting: I am using i3 as my window manager and I am not sure of the best way to get mounts working for me.
3. Probably the biggest reason, Multimedia. Videos and Images.
    - Yesterday I was working playing around with KDElive and I wanted to select some pictures from an outing I had.
       I opened two columns in Dolphins and zoomed in to the pictures and copied the ones I like and renamed.
    - I like the thumbnails by default.

I am excited by things like Xiki (http://xiki.org) and Teminology from Enlightenment (http://www.enlightenment.org/p.php?p=about/terminology)
I stopped using terminology because its 'tyls' was not a dropping replacement for 'ls' and I have not got around to trying
Xiki yet. I am also considering using emacs' dired mode, I am told its pretty useful.

Last edited by lunamystry (2013-07-30 13:30:55)

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#17 2013-07-30 13:27:34

Stebalien
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Registered: 2010-04-27
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Re: What do people use file managers for?

Because I need drag-and-drop to install foreign extensions in chromium and to upload release binaries to github. Although for accessibility reasons alone, no one should provide a drag-and-drop only interface.


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#18 2013-07-30 13:28:43

D4ve
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Registered: 2012-08-02
Posts: 209

Re: What do people use file managers for?

My file manager (Nautilus) is used for drawing the desktop background with the icons and for mounting usb devices and/or harddrives. Besides that, i hardly use a graphical file manager.

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#19 2013-07-30 13:37:53

lunamystry
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From: South Africa
Registered: 2011-04-14
Posts: 23

Re: What do people use file managers for?

I just thought remembered this one:

Dolphin is also a great way to teach people about the linux file structure and basic shell commands.
'F4' get a terminal, type 'mkdir tmp', 'cd tmp', 'touch fileX'... and dolphin will show all these.

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#20 2013-07-30 14:14:43

x33a
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Re: What do people use file managers for?

I use mc (midnight commander) and I love its lynx like motion (descending into directories). The speed is mind boggling. I also use it for faster moving and deleting of files, and tagging select files for particular operations.

That said, I use mc and coreutils almost equally.

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#21 2013-07-30 15:15:48

Cloudef
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Registered: 2010-10-12
Posts: 636

Re: What do people use file managers for?

I use mainly coreutils, and vidir for renaming. Other collections and such (like handling anime) are abstracted by few scripts and dmenu.
Works great, and can't imagine working faster than this.

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#22 2013-07-30 15:29:14

WonderWoofy
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From: Los Gatos, CA
Registered: 2012-05-19
Posts: 8,412

Re: What do people use file managers for?

Cloudef wrote:

I use mainly coreutils, and vidir for renaming.

I discovered all of the neat things offered by the moreutils package just the other day.  Vidir is amazingly convenient.  I always wondered if there was a way to do what vidir does.

I don't use a file manager anymore.  I used to use Thunar when I was a GUI only user.  But I have converted entirely to coreutils.  Though I think that the usages that some people have posted here seem pretty reasonable.  I think in particular, the idea of using a graphical file manager to view thumbnails of movies and pictures seems like very appropriate use for which the CLI and coreutils cannot easily match.

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#23 2013-07-30 16:41:31

firecat53
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From: Sammamish, Wa
Registered: 2007-05-14
Posts: 1,433
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Re: What do people use file managers for?

I always keep a tmux pane open with Ranger. It's a great way to more quickly and easily visualize and sort my files (ranger has very quick shortcuts to filter and sort by size/mtime etc). It's also good for a quick edit to various configuration files. With several 'marks' setup (like 'v goes right to ~/.vim), I can quickly navigate there and edit my .vimrc at least as quickly as typing out 'vim ~/.vim/vimrc'. WIth sxiv setup as the default image viewer, I can also get a quick thumbnail view of all pictures in a directory by hitting 'Enter' while viewing a single picture (sxiv jumps to a thumbnail view of the whole directory).

I don't have any gui filemanagers installed, and I probably use Ranger at least as much if not more than the standard coreutils file management commands.

Scott

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#24 2013-08-08 00:24:57

cfr
Member
From: Cymru
Registered: 2011-11-27
Posts: 5,661

Re: What do people use file managers for?

I want to thank everyone for the very varied and interesting answers and to apologise for forgetting to respond earlier. I read the responses but didn't have time to post so I figured I would reply next time I was on the forums but then entirely failed to do so. And since everybody responded before I first read them, I didn't get any reminder after I read them.

EDIT: I meant that all the people who responded after my last post in the thread posted before I first read those replies so I didn't get any reminder after I first read them.

It is interesting, too, because I never thought of coreutils as "a file manager". Of course, that is how I manage my files but it isn't _a_ programme so it didn't occur to me to count it.

I guess I no longer find GUI file managers quicker now I can't find one with columns. I never really realised how useful that was.

One thing I don't like about the Konsole part in Dolphin (and other KDE apps) is that it doesn't source my usual shell scripts so I keep trying to use aliases and so on which aren't defined. (And I assume I also don't have the protections in place which I use when working in the shell such as noclobber and aliases to prevent mv overwriting without -f.)

I probably could have benefited from Dolphin today when I rm'd something I just downloaded, though. Would have been nice if it was just in the rubbish bin...

Last edited by cfr (2013-08-08 00:26:28)


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#25 2013-08-08 06:03:44

stewie
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Registered: 2009-05-16
Posts: 18

Re: What do people use file managers for?

cfr wrote:

I guess I no longer find GUI file managers quicker now I can't find one with columns. I never really realised how useful that was.

You might want to try ranger. Here is a quote from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller_columns

Finder, the default file browser on Mac OS X, uses Miller columns in its "Columns" view.
ranger, a terminal-based file browser with Vi-like key bindings, uses a multi-column mode similar to Miller columns.


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