Section: Managing Files

One of the most common administrative tasks that end users and administrators alike need to perform is file management. Managing files can consume a major portion of your time. Locating files, determining which files and folders (directories) are taking the most disk space, deleting files, moving files, and simply opening files for use in an application are some of the most basic yet frequent tasks we do as computer users. File management programs are tools that, hopefully, streamline and simplify those necessary chores.


Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the choices available in file managers, nor do they realize the full capabilities of the one(s) they do know about. As with every aspect of Linux, there are many file managers available. The most common provided by my favorite distribution, Fedora are:

  • Midnight Commander
  • Konqueror
  • Dolphin
  • Krusader
  • Nautilus
  • PCmanFM

The program you choose to use as your primary file manager will become quite familiar to you. Other file managers may have features and capabilities not available in your regular file manager, so you may use them for specific tasks.

Default File Manager

Each release of Fedora, Ubuntu, Red Hat and other Linux distributions has a default file manager. At one time it was Konqueror, then it was Dolphin and, for a while, the default file manager for Fedora was Krusader. Since at least Fedora 15, the default file manager has been Dolphin.

Desktop folder with Home and Trash icons

Figure 1: The Desktop folder with the Home and Trash icons.

Each release of these Linux distributions has an icon that looks like a little house; that is your “home” directory, i.e., folder. Click on the Home icon and the default file manager opens with your home directory as the PWD, or Present Working Directory. In current releases that use KDE 4.1 or above, the Home icon is located in the Desktop Folder along with the Trash icon, as shown in Figure 1, above.

Standard File Dialog

KDE also has a standard file dialog that allows you to save files and email attachments from application programs. Some applications also have their own file dialogs. This is wasteful, but apparently those application developers felt that they had some special needs that were not met by the standard file dialog.

This section of the Databook® for Linux Users covers managing files with the various file managers and the standard KDE file dialog.

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