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Author Topic: Linux File Manager With A Preview Panel and Favorites catalog  (Read 1461 times)

cicerosc

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Is there any interest anywhere (besides me) for a competent but not frilly linux file manager that has (1) a preview pane (which is my #1 need), and also (2) a "catalog" or "favorites" pane, where files (FILES, not just folders!!) can be dragged or dropped for quick reuse?

It seems to me that all the big windows file managers, from the current versions of windows explorer to XYplorer to Freecommander to DirectoryOpus all have these basic functions, which I use ALL THE TIME to organize my work.

But in the world of Linux which I favor as much as I can, I can't seem to find anything close.  Sure Dolphin has a "sortof" preview pane (but I can't get it to work most of the time in the distros I use, and I don't want to be stuck with KDE).  But from PCMANFM to THUNAR to XFE to SpaceFM to DoubleCommander (and on and on and on) I can't seem to get either of these basic desirable features (especially the preview pane) working. 

I can get Freecommander and XYPlorer to work (sort of) in Linux with wine/crossover, and using the plugins from totalcommander I can get it to preview almost any type of file, but it's hit and miss.   And all I really want is something relatively simple that doesn't try to reinvent the wheel for folder synchronization, editing, and all sorts of features that aren't core to basic file finding and launching.

Can anyone point me toward a direction for hopefully one day resolving this in the linux world?

Attached is a sample of the format I use every day.  Help?   The way this is set up is as follows:

- On the left, a tree pane PLUS a favorites pane (drag and droppable from the file list in the center).  (May not be easy to see, but the bottom pane on the left is a standard directory tree; the top left pane is a drag and droppable "outline" of files and folders for quick reference.)

- In the center, a standard File list for standard rename, delete, and similar file (including double-click to LAUNCH!) operations in middle.  This center pane is actually two separate file lists, with the one on the bottom all but minimized.  Two file lists for moving files between them is nice but not at all mandatory.

- On the right, a preview pane for viewing pictures, media, word processing files, etc that displays the currently-selected file in the middle pane.

(The graphic is from a customized freecommander; the mx logo is just from the linux distro I am using - it's just here as a sample of a media file preview.)

sample.jpgLinux File Manager With A Preview Panel and Favorites catalog
« Last Edit: July 10, 2017, 08:48 PM by cicerosc »

Shades

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Re: Linux File Manager With A Preview Panel and Favorites catalog
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2017, 10:19 PM »
There is a Linux file manager: Krusader. It looks like Directory Opus 4.x did on Amiga and it works with 2 panes and looks like it can use different views per pane. It has been a year or two ago that I played with this file manager in Linux. My use of Linux is only on Server editions, where I on purpose do not install anything GUI-related, so there is no use to have Krusader installed...the only allowance I make is for Midnight Commander.   

cicerosc

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Re: Linux File Manager With A Preview Panel and Favorites catalog
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2017, 06:35 AM »
Thanks Shades, but like most of the two-panel-focused file managers, krusader  (1) has no "catalog" or "Favorites" pane as I have described.  (2) It does have a pane that can be switched to thumbnails, but as far as I can tell that's not tied to browsing or selecting files or directories in the other panes.  Also, if what I were looking for were in KDE then I would switch, but krusader carries the added investment of the kde libraries which I prefer not to use on non-kde systems.  Dolphin is a little closer to my needs, but it has no favorites tree for files (not directories!) and its previewing of files has always been very finicky for me (especially viewing of word processing files).

http://www.tuxarena....14/01/krusader01.jpg


Thanks for the suggestion however and I will appreciate any others that people make!

panzer

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Re: Linux File Manager With A Preview Panel and Favorites catalog
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2017, 06:50 AM »
You can try these two new file managers:

Shallot:
https://pseudopolis....s/shallot/index.html

Polo:
https://github.com/teejee2008/polo


wraith808

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Re: Linux File Manager With A Preview Panel and Favorites catalog
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2017, 08:30 AM »
Shallot doesn't have the favorites panel.  Though I guess it could be implemented if someone could be found to code it.  Same with Polo.


cicerosc

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Re: Linux File Manager With A Preview Panel and Favorites catalog
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2017, 12:07 PM »
Thanks to Panzer and Wraith808.  I am afraid I agree with Wraith, but with an emphasis on the viewing being missing two, because the panes don't appear to be linked in any usable way - they appear largely independent.  I better stress that - there are "hundreds" of multiple pane file browsers which allow viewing in a single pane as "thumbnail format, but not so many based on a tree to the left (with favorites pane for FILES, not just folders!!) that control what is visible in the next pane over and allow previewing on the right.  To repeat, that pane on the left in my diagram is not just a simple directory tree, it's a drag and drop customizable outline that allows entries in the middle pan to be dragged and organized for future use in a tree-like structure.


Both of these appear to be simply just more implementations of independent multiple panes for file manipulation, rather than a work environment for actively working with a set of currently-hot files in a tree (left side), manipulating them (middle pane), and viewing them (right side). 

That's what I want to do in my "work environment" - I want to gather up a manageable set of files, organize them into priorities or whatever on the left, rename or launch them from the middle, and view them (so as to find which one to launch) on the right.  The order of panes isn't important but the ability to keep a set of "favorites" (including both files and directories) and then scroll through them (the middle pane) and view as I scroll (the right pane) is the key.  XYplorer and Freecommander and even the current Windows file explorers allow this basic level of function, but so far nothing in Linux (or even something in basic windows that really works in wine emulation.)

Yes I love multiple panes for copying and pasting files from one place to another, but I'm talking about actually working with the content of the files, not just shuffling them from place to place.

Here's another example of use of this:  Like most people I use multiple word processes, and multiple image editors.  Part of what I want is to be able to organize my files and then launch them with the "open as" dialogue in the program of choice at the moment.   

ALSO:  I previously asked the programmer of XFE if he would add a favorites pane, and he said that's on his roadmap but no promises.  That would be one way forward, but I really want the file preview function too.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2017, 12:18 PM by cicerosc »

wraith808

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Re: Linux File Manager With A Preview Panel and Favorites catalog
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2017, 12:52 PM »
What you state as a general premise towards software on Linux and Windows is the reason I gave up on my Linux experiment (and indeed my Mac experiment).  The difference in platform isn't the only difference.  There's a difference in mindset, and what the users think is important.  That leads to a difference in what is available, and trying to go from something that you've used and features that you need to a different platform is a very big exercise in futility and finding software that you can feel comfortable with.  I'm finding that same problem in going from iOS to Android even.

Good luck in finding it!

cicerosc

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Re: Linux File Manager With A Preview Panel and Favorites catalog
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2017, 03:46 PM »
Thank you Wraith808 we are on the same wavelength.  I decided to post here because the forum and website seem oriented toward working toward practical solutions to existing problems, so maybe there is someone who will come across this thread who sees an opportunity for profit. I am a lawyer and able to use linux for 90+ percent of my work, but I still have to keep a Virtualbox running for several of my important organizational tools.

I'd certainly be willing to donate toward people who are willing to make linux more business-friendly, so maybe at some point something will "click" on this and similar projects.  There are so many reasons to work hard to avoid being totally dependent on Microsoft and Google.

panzer

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« Last Edit: July 12, 2017, 07:29 AM by panzer »

wraith808

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Re: Linux File Manager With A Preview Panel and Favorites catalog
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2017, 08:07 AM »
Have you used any of those?  Because (1) many of them you have to download and try to even see the features, and (2) many of them just outright don't have the features that were asked for in the OP, especially a terminal file manager (no drag and drop, no preview pane by design).   A list of file managers with nothing else when there are set requirements is less useful than it might seem, IMO.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2017, 08:26 AM by wraith808 »

panzer

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Re: Linux File Manager With A Preview Panel and Favorites catalog
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2017, 08:37 AM »
It looks like that he has four options left:
- use the one (FM with GUI) that covers as many requirements as he wanted as possible
- try terminal based FM and see how it goes
- ask devs to add his requirements to the "will be added in the future" (if devs are not friendly, well ... good luck with that)
- leave Linux

cicerosc

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Re: Linux File Manager With A Preview Panel and Favorites catalog
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2017, 04:21 PM »
Thanks again guys - no one paid you for your time and you didn't have to reply.  Alas Wraith808 remains correct.  With all the people who seem willing to program the same independent multi-pane design over and over and over again, I was hoping to happen onto someone who might be looking for a new twist in file managers, since that is what some of the people on this website apparently specialize in doing.

Short of someone in the linux world seeing the wisdom of the XYPlorer/Dopus/Freecommander approach, I guess I am doomed to limp along in virtualbox and/or wine.  Order me another glass, I suppose! ;-)

panzer

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cicerosc

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Re: Linux File Manager With A Preview Panel and Favorites catalog
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2017, 05:19 AM »
That suggestion of NewBreeze is interesting Panzer - thanks.  I left a comment with the developers.

cicerosc

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Re: Linux File Manager With A Preview Panel and Favorites catalog
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2017, 06:00 PM »
One of the developers of NewBreeze wrote me back to say this:

"I have some plans similar to yours, but on the whole, the changes you suggest are substantial, and I am not willing to make so many changes. The Right Pane, yes. I will add it in the future. I find the TreeView in the sidepanel messy, but have plans to add it anyway. As for adding file to favorites, I am working on SuperStart, which will have support for files and folders bookmarking. If you want help building a file manager for yourself, I'll try to help you as much as I can. Most of the features you want are not that complicated. You can use most of the Qt classes as is and make do. It would make a very lightweight and a feature rich FM."

Unfortunately I am no programmer myself and doubt I could learn fast enough to make this worthwhile.

That's one of the reasons I posted on donationcoder.  I'd really like to do something rather that sit back and hope. Is there a method or a place - here on DonationCoder or otherwise - where it would make sense to post a prototype design and try to raise money to support development of a new (hopefully open source) programming effort?  Maybe forking off of the QT version of PCMANFM or some other current QT design?



Tuxman

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Re: Linux File Manager With A Preview Panel and Favorites catalog
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2017, 06:56 PM »
Stop using inferior operating systems and join the Windows side of life. Problem(s) solved.

If you eventually resist this offer and there is no way to make you take the best chance you have  :P, it might be hard to fulfill your specific needs. I don't really understand why you dislike Krusader with its "KDE libraries" but you like Dolphin which uses "the KDE libraries" as well, but that might be just me.
The most missing feature in the available file managers seems to be a way to add bookmarks for single files. This might be related to the bookmarks management being closely tied to the underlying desktop's "bookmarks", e.g. GNOME bookmarks, which limit the feature set to their own. Windows does not have that. Hooray!

The only non-Windows file manager I found which can do that is muCommander which lets you enter file names as bookmarks - but it is written in Java, ugly as fuck and it lacks most of the other relevant features.

Edvard

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Re: Linux File Manager With A Preview Panel and Favorites catalog
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2017, 07:12 PM »
What I wouldn't give to have Xplorer2 for Linux...  :-\

Cicerosc, I've tried every file manager I could find for Linux and nothing but XFE could compare to Xplorer2, so I feel your pain a bit.  My first thought after seeing your screenshot was XnViewMP.  It's an image editor/viewer/organizer that does more things than I can use it for, and it has favorites, previews, folder view, etc.  It does not have a tree view, but that may be a configuration tick away, I just couldn't find it.  Then I saw you do word processing as well, so you need more than in image viewer.  I'm sorry I can't recommend anything better, but check out XnViewMP anyway, I think you'll find it useful.
http://www.xnview.com/en/xnviewmp/

P.S. I sometimes program little doodads in Freepascal with Lazarus.  I have been looking into programming a file manager that does what I want, but the task so far looks a bit daunting.  If I ever dive into it more seriously, I'll look you up.

cicerosc

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Re: Linux File Manager With A Preview Panel and Favorites catalog
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2017, 08:03 PM »
Edvard thank you for your comments and I do use XNview and see its similarities to this discussion. I wish xnview could view office documents!  I have also checked out xplorer2 and agree that it fits with xyplorer and freecommander and dopus.  So there is room for at least four of these programs in the windows world but none in linux?  (to repeat an earlier comment, I've never been able to get dolphin to do this though it seems set up to do some previewing - but certainly not a favorite files pane)

Another program with similar paradigm to what we are talking about is "everdesk" and it also has the category / list/ preview format, but it is windows only and does not appear to me to be actively developing.

Since this format seems to be basic to the explorer in windows I am sure I am not the only linux user who would like the kind of functionality that we are discussing

wraith808

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Re: Linux File Manager With A Preview Panel and Favorites catalog
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2017, 08:11 PM »
It's a good idea, and maybe someone would jump on that, but unfortunately there's a place for 'snacks' which are smaller mostly single purpose programs, but nothing for larger prototypes and such.  You have to have an investment in doing so and committing to it- at least from my developer perspective, and knowledge of the subject at hand.  Hopefully someone sees this and is willing to look into it for you.

Edvard

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Re: Linux File Manager With A Preview Panel and Favorites catalog
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2017, 11:26 PM »
...
Since this format seems to be basic to the explorer in windows I am sure I am not the only linux user who would like the kind of functionality that we are discussing

I agree with Wraith808's comment to this that it seems Linux users have a different workflow paradigm from Windows users (in general), and that affects software design.  For insight, compare "Orthodox" vs. "Navigational" file manager concepts here:
https://en.wikipedia...rg/wiki/File_manager

Not much to be done besides contacting developers, and hopefully something happens in the near future.

cicerosc

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Re: Linux File Manager With A Preview Panel and Favorites catalog
« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2017, 04:37 PM »
Been looking at XNVIEWMP further.  Boy is that close to what I am describing - probably only needs an added viewer for excel and microsoft word to totally fit the bill.

cicerosc

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Re: Linux File Manager With A Preview Panel and Favorites catalog
« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2017, 07:27 AM »
For anyone who comes across this thread, question asked at XNViewMP forum here:  http://newsgroup.xnv...amp;p=143957#p143957