Use Krusader For Better File Management in KDE Desktop

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:

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.


Folder Synchronization

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.

Disk Usage

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.

Damien Damien

Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.


  1. It sure looks nice. But Dolphin also have a split View, it also have a built in terminal and it also can connect to remote networks over various protocols.

    Custom User Actions you can add with Kubuntu board tools.

    And the diskusage feature looks nothing different than “filelight”.

    Its nothing wrong with krusader as it is, but not all of the features are anything new. But it is nice to have them all bundled in one Filemanger Programm ;)

    1. This is obviously late to the discussion, but those features are not what set Krusader apart from file managers like Dolphin. Twin panels by themselves don’t mean anything. It is how they are used by the software that sets them apart. In Dolphin these panels let you see two directories. Nothing special there. They also let you drag and drop files from one panel to the other, and thus from one directory to another. Again, nothing special. What Krusader lets you do is make selections with the keyboard and then copy (F5) or move (F6) those files from the active pane to the inactive pane. One key press. Nothing more. The source and destination are determined by the directories shown in each panel and by which panel is active. The active panel is the source and the inactive panel is the destination. File managers like Dolphin don’t allow that level of function combined with that level of simplicity.

      Need to create a folder? F7. Need to delete a selection of files and/or folders? F8. Want to rename a file or folder? F9. Want to edit a file? F4. Want to create a file and edit it? Shift-F4. Open a terminal on the active panel’s directory? F2.

      You could duplicate some of this in Dolphin with keyboard assignments, but not the links between the two panels and file operations like copy and move.

  2. When I first left the dark side and moved to a GNU/Linux OS a few years ago, I searched around a file mananger (FM) that could replicate xplorer^2. I tried all then available, and settled with Krusader.

    It’s got a few rough edges still sticking out, but I think becasue of focus put on functionality and doing well what it most should.

    And this it does. Yeah, I’ve mucked with Nautilus (and with Dolphin, which does eclipse Nautilus IMHO), and can get other FMs to kinda do what Krusader does (e.g., multiple panes and tabs), but Krusader is natively designed for them, and so does them better.

    To me, Krusader is a powerful and inherently function-rich FM–more so than the likes of Nautilus–but requires a bit more of a learning curve and settling for a less slick interface; it’s more Linux and Apple while avoiding the blighted cludges of MS. It’s bringing the power of Midnight Commander to a somewhat more GUI world, retaining much of what makes MC great while being a bit (to me) more useable by still being keyboard-accessible but also mouse-friendly.

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