In KDE, the default file manager is Dolphin, which is a decent application and does its job well. However, if you are looking for a more powerful and useful file manager, you won’t want to miss out on Krusader. It is an advanced twin panel file manager that provides all the file management features you could possibly want.
Krusader is commonly found in the most Linux repository, so you can easily install with your package manager. In Kubuntu, you can install in the terminal using the command:
sudo apt-get install krusader
Alternatively, you can also download its source code and compile it in your system.
Note: You can install Krusader on a non-KDE desktop (such as Gnome) as well, but be prepared that it will install a big bunch of KDE related files that you have no use at all.
On the first run, Krusader will scan your system for external applications. This will determine what type of features it can support.
Once that is done, it will launch the Konfigurator where you can customize Krusader to your liking. For the first run, you might want to accept the default settings and get familiarize with Krusader first. You can return to Konfigurator to make changes later.
Krusader is termed as the Midnight Commander for KDE and it comes with dual panes where you can easily move/copy files from one pane to another. Each pane also comes with tab support so you can open multiple tabs and view them side by side.
A good thing with Krusader is that it comes with a built in terminal emulator so you can view your files and run commands at the same time. You can, of course, also get it to open the default terminal (Konsole) by clicking on the Terminal icon at the side.
What makes Krusader powerful is the many features that come with it. One of them is the folder synchronization option. By going to “Tools -> Synchronize Directories…”, you can select two folders to compare their content and synchronize the files within from one folder to another. There are advanced options for you to configure which file get sync over and which file doesn’t.
Connect to remote network
Other than the local directory, Krusader also allows you to connect to remote networks and manage your remote files. Protocols supported by Krusader include FTP, Samba, FISH (Files over SSH) and SFTP.
This is a powerful feature that can bring your productivity to new height. It allows you to add to the context menu a series of commands that you want to carry out for a specific file. For example, you can select a MP3 file and queue it to Amarok directly from the context menu, or move/copy a folder to the backup directory. If you are not sure how to utilize it, you can also check out the Krusader forum where there are tons of user-contributed UserActions. For those who just started out using Krusader, don’t forget to read the documentation before you create that “killer” UserActions.
With a little practice and some command-line wizardry, you will be able to get it to do (almost) anything you want.
In most Linux distro, you often have to use a disk usage application to find out which file/folder is taking up the most space in your hard disk. In Krusader, the disk usage feature is built right in. You just have to open it up and get it to check the amount of space you have and which file is occupying all the space.
Advanced search module
How many times have you done a search in your default file manager only to be disappointed by the result? I am not sure of other file manager, but in Nautilus, the search function sucked! Krusader comes with an advanced search module that allows you to specify exactly what and where you want to search. You can select the type of files, the directories to look in (or not to look in), case sensitive and whether it should be more/less than a certain file size. For example, I can search for an image file (*.jpg) in the “Pictures” folder that is more than 2MB in size and is modified between last year and now. This will give me a good result of the files that I wanted to find.
There are many more features, such as directories and files comparision, mounted filesystem support, profile, batch renaming, in Krusader that were not mentioned above. If you are not satisfied with your default file manager and are looking for one that more powerful, Krusader is definitely the one for you.