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Using the KDE File Manager kfm

If you use the K Desktop Environment with the X Window System, you will have access to the K File Manager. Despite its name, kfm is actually a Web browser (see Figure 3.3). However, it has been tailored with functions that make it useful for manipulating files and directories. Like its GNOME counterpart, it is also the program that manages your desktop icons. You can bring up the kfm client by selecting Home Directory from the K menu or by selecting the home directory icon on the panel. You can navigate to different directories by clicking on folder icons (or the up arrow as needed) or by typing a file path in the Location: box.

Figure 3.3 Although kfm is typically used for manipulating files on your hard drive, you can also use it to surf the Web. Just type the URL in the Location box.

Creating Directories Using KDE's kfm

There are a couple of simple ways to create directories using kfm. The first approach is to right-click the white space around the files. When you see the pop-up menu, select New, and then choose Folder from the submenu. In the dialog box, type the name of the directory you want to create. You can type the entire path if you choose. There is a second way to create new directories in kfm. Open the File drop-down menu from the top of the window. Select New from the menu and Folder from the submenu. Then, just type the folder name in the dialog box.

Copying Files and Directories Using kfm

Copying files and directories with kfm can be done quickly and easily. kfm uses the X11 clipboard for copying files. Just highlight the file or directory you want to copy by clicking once on the file's icon. To copy to the clipboard, either right-click and select Copy from the menu, select Copy from the drop-down Edit menu, or use the Ctrl+c key binding. Next, use kfm to navigate to the desired location. Now click once in the white space and choose Paste from the right-click menu or the drop-down Edit menu, or use the Ctrl+v key binding. Note that if you try to copy a file into the same directory as the original, kfm prompts you to rename the file or choose a new location.

kfm also allows you to copy files by dragging them and dropping them into the folder where you want them. If the folder you want to drop the file into isn't visible, you can open a second kfm and point it to the right folder before dragging. When you drop the file, kfm asks you whether you'd like to copy, move, or link the file you're manipulating. After you make your selection, kfm copies, moves, or links the file as directed.

Moving and Renaming Files and Directories and Creating Symlinks Using kfm

Moving files or directories and creating symlinks in kfm is as easy as dragging the original and dropping it where you want to move or symlink it. As mentioned in the previous section, when you drop the file you will be presented with a pop-up menu asking whether you want to move, copy, or symlink the file.

Deleting Files and Using KDE's Trash Can

When you right-click a file in kfm, one of the options on the pop-up menu is Delete. You can use this option to delete a file you no longer want; a slightly safer method, however, might be to select Move to Trash, which just relocates your unwanted file to a special area. You can also move a file to the trash can by highlighting it in kfm and either pressing Ctrl+x or selecting Edit, Move to Trash. This way, if you need to recover a file you moved to the trash can, you can click the trash can icon on your desktop, which opens kfm to your trash directory. There you can open or move your previously trashed files. When you are really sure that you no longer want any of the files in your trash can, you can right-click the trash can icon and select Empty Trash Bin from the pop-up menu, which will permanently delete from your system all files in your trash can.

Searching the File System with KDE's kfind Client

To search for a particular file in the directory tree, you can use the kfind client, either by selecting Find Files from the K menu, or from the command line:

$ kfind &

The resulting dialog box allows you to input the name of the file you are searching for, what directory to start looking in, and whether you want to recursively scan the subdirectories. If this isn't detailed enough for your search, select the Date Modified tab to narrow your search by when the file was created or last modified. Finally the Advanced tab allows you to specify the type of file, its size, or text it contains. When all your data about the file is entered, click the Start Search icon, select the File menu and the Start Search option, or press Ctrl+f. kfind will expand its dialog box to include its results at the bottom, as seen in Figure 3.4.

Figure 3.4 The various tabs in the kfind dialog box let you narrow down your search by many different criteria.

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