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#1 2013-12-16 04:38:53

lykwydchykyn
Member
Registered: 2013-07-11
Posts: 87

Keyboard-centric (but not CLI) file manager advice

I dislike using a mouse, but I absolutely hate using the touchpad on my laptop. 

My desktop environment is awesomeWM, my browser is conkeror, my almost-everything-else is Emacs.

What I'm lacking is a file manager that fits my workflow.

Obviously, Emacs has dired, and there's the shell.  Then there are things like mc or ranger.  All these are fine for basic file management, but I miss some things that are pretty standard in GUI file managers:

- VFS support (e.g. smb:// ssh:// etc)
- easy visualization and mounting/ejecting of removable media
- shortcuts to common places
- Thumbnails/previews
- etc.

So, does anyone have suggestions for a keyboard-friendly (esp. for fingers warped by years of Emacs use) file manager with these features?

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#2 2013-12-16 05:01:03

alezost
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Registered: 2013-10-17
Posts: 61

Re: Keyboard-centric (but not CLI) file manager advice

You may try Surnise Commander

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#3 2013-12-16 15:01:56

lykwydchykyn
Member
Registered: 2013-07-11
Posts: 87

Re: Keyboard-centric (but not CLI) file manager advice

Thanks; I've looked at it, but it really doesn't seem to be what I'm after.  It's more like midnight commander inside of Emacs, which is fine and all, but doesn't cover all the features I'm after.

Here's a concrete scenario:

Visiting family member asks me if I have a picture of the kids from a visit last summer, and if I can copy it to a thumb drive for them.  In something like Dolphin, Nautilus, or PCManFM I can just
- browse to my samba server, enable previews, and scroll through the thumbnails to find the photo
- either open a new window or split the file pane
- plug in the USB drive.  It pops up automatically under "Places"
- Click to the USB drive to simultaneously mount it and browse to it.
- drag and drop the correct file(s) to the usb drive
- Unmount the USB drive in 1-2 clicks.
- Close the window and be completely done (no unmounting or removing mountpoints, etc)

I want that same kind of workflow and ease of use, but with keyboard-centric controls so I can do it without the mouse or without tabbing 8000 times.  Does something like that exist, or do I need to get coding?

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#4 2013-12-16 16:09:29

Lone_Wolf
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From: Netherlands, Europe
Registered: 2005-10-04
Posts: 4,239

Re: Keyboard-centric (but not CLI) file manager advice

lykwydchykyn, look at Krusader and/or Double Commander.

They operate similar to MC, allowing almost any combo of mouse / keyboard control, but are gui-oriented.


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#5 2013-12-16 17:33:11

drcouzelis
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From: Connecticut, USA
Registered: 2009-11-09
Posts: 3,475
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Re: Keyboard-centric (but not CLI) file manager advice

Regardless of whether or not a file manager that meets your requirements actually exists, I can't even imagine what the key bindings would be for all those tasks! Can you? For examle, how would you use the keyboard to "click to the USB drive to simultaneously mount it and browse to it"?

My best guess as to what you'd be happy with is to find the most configurable file manager possible (maybe SpaceFM) and to change the key bindings and write your own scripts for it until it is configured just the way you want it.

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#6 2013-12-16 19:47:42

lykwydchykyn
Member
Registered: 2013-07-11
Posts: 87

Re: Keyboard-centric (but not CLI) file manager advice

drcouzelis wrote:

Regardless of whether or not a file manager that meets your requirements actually exists, I can't even imagine what the key bindings would be for all those tasks! Can you? For examle, how would you use the keyboard to "click to the USB drive to simultaneously mount it and browse to it"?

I don't know, maybe someone has solved that problem?  The point is that it's easy to see and mount/unmount available removable drives.  The current workflow for that from, say, the terminal is:

- peruse the tail of dmesg to figure out what device file the device was assigned
- create a mountpoint
- mount the device with something like pmount or fuse

Surely we can do it easier than that without resorting to the rodent?

My best guess as to what you'd be happy with is to find the most configurable file manager possible (maybe SpaceFM) and to change the key bindings and write your own scripts for it until it is configured just the way you want it.

I will try that, thanks.

I'll also check out the things Lone Wolf mentioned.

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#7 2013-12-16 20:12:56

roentgen
Member
Registered: 2011-03-15
Posts: 89

Re: Keyboard-centric (but not CLI) file manager advice

drcouzelis wrote:

I can't even imagine what the key bindings would be for all those tasks! Can you? For examle, how would you use the keyboard to "click to the USB drive to simultaneously mount it and browse to it"?

Ctrl+M in Krusader.

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#8 2013-12-17 11:47:03

ball
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2011-12-23
Posts: 164

Re: Keyboard-centric (but not CLI) file manager advice

lykwydchykyn wrote:

The current workflow for that from, say, the terminal is:

- peruse the tail of dmesg to figure out what device file the device was assigned
- create a mountpoint
- mount the device with something like pmount or fuse

Surely we can do it easier than that without resorting to the rodent?

Why should you have to do that? Check out udiskie and use some scripting e.g. described in that blog post and in a comment below that post...

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#9 2013-12-17 15:14:04

lykwydchykyn
Member
Registered: 2013-07-11
Posts: 87

Re: Keyboard-centric (but not CLI) file manager advice

@ball: that's a neat script, I'll have to use that in any case.

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#10 2013-12-18 20:37:00

thiagowfx
Member
Registered: 2013-07-09
Posts: 532

Re: Keyboard-centric (but not CLI) file manager advice

drcouzelis wrote:

[...] I can't even imagine what the key bindings would be for all those tasks! Can you? For examle, how would you use the keyboard to "click to the USB drive to simultaneously mount it and browse to it"?

I really agree with you. This reminded me of Vimium, a Firefox / Chromium extension to essentially navigate through webpages with the keyboard then following some link. I think the approach it uses (ace-jump-mode like) could be applied to a file manager too. I don't remember any file manager with this approach, though. Maybe it would be a good idea to implement it.

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#11 2013-12-19 15:18:23

lykwydchykyn
Member
Registered: 2013-07-11
Posts: 87

Re: Keyboard-centric (but not CLI) file manager advice

Well, I've tried many of the suggestions here, so far Krusader comes the closest, but it's really busy and overkill and it'll take some time to adjust to the keyboard shortcuts.  I'm not entirely convinced that it can be used end-to-end with just the keyboard anyway (seems like I kept getting into a state where no key commands responded, and all I could do was click around until the right thing was in focus again).

Vimium sounds like the vim equivalent of conkeror; and yeah, if we can browse the web with a keyboard (or do 9/10 of the things I do every day in emacs with just a keyboard), file management and drive mounting shouldn't be impossible.

Thanks for all the advice.

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#12 2013-12-29 20:43:53

xtraroot
Member
Registered: 2013-12-17
Posts: 59

Re: Keyboard-centric (but not CLI) file manager advice

I personally love ranger, it's simple and it's fast. Automount w/ udiskie.

edit: sorry, didn't see the ranger reference.

Last edited by xtraroot (2013-12-29 22:08:11)

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#13 2014-01-05 08:46:50

ndt
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2011-10-12
Posts: 30
Website

Re: Keyboard-centric (but not CLI) file manager advice

- VFS support (e.g. smb:// ssh:// etc)

Dired at least does ssh://. Not sure about the others.

- easy visualization and mounting/ejecting of removable media

I am no pro at elisp (only learned Emacs a week ago!), but you could always take this as an opportunity to write some functions! I whipped this one up in a jiffy:

    (defun my-unmount (drive)
      "Prompts the user for input and unmounts the given device."
      (interactive "sunmount: ")
      (shell-command
        (concat "/usr/bin/gksu /usr/bin/umount " (shell-quote-argument drive))))

You can bind this to a key and it will prompt you for a device to unmount. If you don't need the root privileges (or don't use sudo/gksu?), then remove the "/usr/bin/gksu" part.
If you were to take this a couple steps further, you could get the output from "lsblk" and pump it into something like virtual dired, then use that as input to "my-unmount" or some yet-to-be-defined "my-mount" function.

- shortcuts to common places

For shortcuts, see blog post or do something similar.

- Thumbnails/previews

Well, there's stuff like image-dired out there. With some searching, you might be able to hack a full preview feature into dired.


[~/.]

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#14 2014-04-24 21:39:41

Meskarune
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2009-03-21
Posts: 341
Website

Re: Keyboard-centric (but not CLI) file manager advice

You could check out sunflower: https://code.google.com/p/sunflower-fm/

Its alpha stage, but very usable

I also really like ranger, so +1 for that. smile


Home built desktop:
Intel Core 2 Duo (3.0Ghz), 4GB DDR2 ram, NVIDIA GeForce 9500 GT     
Netbook:
EEEpc 1011CX-MU27 Acer E3-111 COWA

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#15 2014-05-14 21:08:32

PieterGen
Member
From: Groningen, NL, EU
Registered: 2012-01-18
Posts: 59

Re: Keyboard-centric (but not CLI) file manager advice

Why limit yourself to one File Manager? Why not have 2 or 3 and use the tool that's best for the job?

That said, I think all of the things you want can be done in ranger (yes I did read your remarks). Shortcuts are very easy, I use them all the time. Very fast previews of files. Opning, copying, manipulating, you name it. Can be used with the rodent as well lol

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