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The File Manager

Christian Weickhmann

Konqueror with simple settings


KDE includes a versatile and powerful file manager called Konqueror which allows you to do everything you want with the files stored on your computer, your network, and even the Internet. There are too many features of Konqueror to describe here, so we will just take an overview. If you want more details about what Konqueror can do, take a look at the Konqueror Handbook by selecting Help -> Konqueror Handbook in the Konqueror menus; or, alternatively, you can use the help KIOslave in Konqueror by entering help:/konqueror in the Location Toolbar.


When you first open Konqueror in file management mode, you can see two panes: on the right is the folder view; on the left is the sidebar. The folder view contains icons for each item inside the current folder. These items can be folders or files. Many file types can be “previewed” without opening a new application to edit them in. To preview a file, hold the mouse cursor over the name of the file for about a second: a popup window will appear, showing the contents of the file and other some useful information, like file's size and which user owns the file.

You can open any item by clicking (just once – KDE does not use double-clicking in its default settings) on the icon for the file. Folders will be opened in the same window; files will either be opened in the appropriate program, or the file manager will ask you what program to use. For instance, if do not have a word-processor set up to open Microsoft� Word documents, the file manager will ask you what to do.

You can go back to the last-opened folder by clicking on the Back button or go up one folder by clicking the Up button.

The Navigation Panel (aka “The Sidebar”)

The Konqueror sidebar

Navigating through the folders by using the folder view can become impractical. The sidebar provides shortcuts and special functions that make it easier to find what you are searching for.

On the left edge of the sidebar you will find a number of buttons, each with a different icon:


As Konqueror (the file manager) also serves as a very powerful web browser, it also has a bookmark functionality. Here you will find the same structure as in your Bookmarks menu.


Next the sidebar provides a list of all known devices on your computer. These devices can be either physical drives — such as your hard disk, CD-ROM drive, or floppy disk drive — or virtual “drives” — such as remote shares or hard disk partitions.


Konqueror will remember the web pages you have visited and list them either by date or alphabetically in a tree structure. You can select the behavior by right clicking on the History item and selecting Sort by . Left click on an item (e.g. ) and Konqueror will show you the documents you have visited. Left clicking on a document (e.g. index.html ) will open the web site in the folder view.

Right clicking on a history item, like -> index.html , opens a slightly different popup menu: you will also find the item New Window , which makes Konqueror open the site in a new window.

Home Directory

The Home Directory item is in the sidebar's navigation panel. You will find your home directory as the first entry. Below you will find all folders of your home directory. Left clicking on any folder in this view opens the folder in the folder view. Alternatively, you can also work with the folders' context menus, create subfolders, and so on.

Sidebar Media Player

Try dragging a music file (like MP3, Ogg, or .wav files) on the sidebar. The file will immediately be played.


Newsticker will display a customisable list of news sources. Right-click either on the Configure button or on one of the newssource buttons (e.g. KDE News, which is usually predefined) to add a new newsticker source.


Here you can browse the services provided by other computers on the network. The Lisa-Daemon has to be started in order to work correctly. The network browser allows you to see a variety of services provided by a computer. You can easily browse SMB shares, HTTP sites, or transfer files via the secure FISH layer.

Root Directory

Everything on a UNIX�-based system is organized in a file system tree. This tree must have a root and here it is. The Root Directory function is like the Home Directory function. The only difference is that every folder is being displayed, not only your home directory.


This is somehow the "rest". Try browsing through the different items. If an Audio CD is in your CD or DVD drive you will be able to find everything on it and even more in the Audio CD Browser item (you can even compress audio files and save them on your hard drive with this function).


To select only one icon hold down the Ctrl key and click on the icon you want to select. If you want to select more than one icon, hold down Ctrl while you click on each of the items you want to select. Once one or more icons are selected you can do what you want with them. If you want to move or copy items, select them and then drag them (with the left mouse button down) to the desired location. When you release the mouse button a menu will come up offering you to Move , Copy , or Link the selected items. You can also Cancel your action.

Many other actions can be applied to the selected items by right-clicking on one of the selected items, and choosing the action from the menu which appears. (The exact contents of this menu depend on the type of files selected, so it is called a “context menu”).

Links and Shortcuts

As already mentioned above you can link files or folders anywhere. It means that the linked folder will appear and behave just like the original in another location without consuming additional space on your harddrive. So if you, for example, have a number of documents, and only a few are used regularly, you can easily group them in a folder and create links in it.

The Trash

Before a file is deleted in the KDE file manager it will be moved to the Trash folder to give you the possibility of getting it back if you deleted it by accident. The trash bin will show all deleted items. You can select the one to be recovered and move it to its original place as described in the section called “Icons”. If you right click on the trash bin and select Empty Trash Bin the files in it will be deleted permanently.

Related Information

  • As mentioned in the introduction, the Konqueror Handbook has much more information about the features available in Konqueror. You can read it in KHelpCenter or by entering help:/konqueror in Konqueror's Location bar.

  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire