Managing Files with Kubuntu
Now that you have your system installed and set up the way you would like, it is time to learn how to navigate the different files and access information in Kubuntu. This starts with the default file manager, Dolphin. Konqueror, another application that can be used both as a Web browser and a file manager, is discussed later in the chapter.
Introduction to Dolphin
Introduced during the 7.10 release schedule as d3lphin, a port to KDE4, Dolphin is included as the default manager (see Figure 8-35).
Formerly, Konqueror, which is also the KDE Web browser, was the default file manager. With time, Konqueror development focused increasingly on the Web browser, while ignoring its file manager functionality. Dolphin focuses only on local files, is built on the Konqueror back end, and should be familiar to many KDE users.
Another key feature of Dolphin is the ability to use a split view to have multiple directories open in the same window, without having to switch tabs. An example of the split view of Dolphin is shown in Figure 8-36.
Dolphin is a very powerful file manager that nicely complements Konqueror. The two programs are often used in tandem.
Changes to the File Structure
New to the Kubuntu 8.04 release is a change in the default setup of the home folder, making Kubuntu conform to the XDG Base Directory Specification of the freedesktop.org standards.
XDG directories specify a default set of folders within a user’s home directory. Some of these folders are Desktop, Downloads, Templates, Music, and Video. The goal is to help create a standard location for files to be stored in a variety of different desktop environments (see Figure 8-37).
Introduction to Konqueror
Konqueror is the old default file manager in Kubuntu but still has a lot to offer. As a file manager, Konqueror can do nearly everything you need (Figure 8-38). You can browse files through either an icon view or a tree view. Copying, pasting, moving, and deleting files are all simple tasks with Konqueror. A nice feature of Konqueror is that directories are automatically updated. This means that if a file is created in a directory currently being viewed, you do not need to refresh the directory to see the changes.
One of the great things about Konqueror is how much you can do within it. Need access to media files? Simply type media:/ and browse your media files. All kinds of other shortcuts, called kioslaves, exist in Konqueror, including ones for searching the Web with Google (gg:/KEYWORD) and even browsing files via ssh through sftp://. Need help finding a file on your system? Simply use locate:/ to have Konqueror find it for you. You can visit the different system folders through system:/. Many shortcuts and keywords like this are built into Konqueror, including Google Suggest in the search bar.
Accessing Windows Partitions
A lot of people still have Windows partitions on their hard drives and would like to access the information stored there. Kubuntu can browse these files in read-only mode. By default, Kubuntu mounts the Windows partition in the /media directory. See Figure 8-39 for an example of accessing the Windows drive in Dolphin.
Accessing USB Drives
USB drives are everywhere these days, and Kubuntu handles them quite easily. Simply connect your USB drive, and it will mount automatically. It will then be available under Dolphin through the media folder. Before removing the drive, make sure you unmount it by right-clicking on the device and selecting Eject. The device can then be safely removed.
Kubuntu comes with a great program called JuK (Figure 8-40), which can help manage all of your music files.
This application serves as a full-fledged media library that can create playlists, track how often you listen to certain songs, and play your music CDs. Wondering what the CD cover of your favorite new album looks like? JuK can grab this information for you as well. Music is stored in a collection library arranged by artist, album, and songs based on the tags built into the media.