Home > Articles > Operating Systems, Server > Linux/UNIX/Open Source

  • Print
  • + Share This
From the author of

Navigating the Filesystem with Konqueror

To start the file manager, click any directory folder or the Home Directory button on KDE's panel. The file manager is started and displays the contents of the directory you selected in its main window. This is referred to as the browser area of the window. Usually, this is the only area in the main window. However, there is also a directory tree view, which shares the space in the main window with the browser area when it is exposed. Finally, there is terminal emulation window area. Figure 1 shows the file manager with all three areas exposed.

Figure 1 Use the file manager to browse files and directories on your system and remote sites on the Internet.

The Browser Area

The browser area is usually filled with the contents of the current directory. The items in the directory have icons identifying their file type. You can change the view of the directory contents using options on the View, View Mode menu. The five display types (corresponding to options on the View menu) are as follows:

  • Icon View—Shows the directory contents as large icons in a grid

  • Text View—Shows a detailed listing of files and directories, as well as their filesystem attributes

  • Multicolumn View—Shows just the filename and mini-icon in a multicolumn view

  • Detailed List View—Shows the same file details as Text View, but also includes mini-icons to indicate the file type

  • Tree View—Is similar to Detailed List View, but each icon can be expanded into a tree of subdirectories

Normally, hidden files (those that start with a dot) are not shown in the listing. To see these files in the listing, select View, Show Dot Files from the menu.

Other options to control the view of the browser area are also available and will be described next.

There are a number of ways to navigate to other directories in the file manager. To move to a subdirectory, click the folder or directory name in the browser window. To move to the parent directory, click the up arrow in the File Manager button bar. To switch between directories that you have already visited, use the forward and back arrows on the button bar. Each of these buttons also has a small down arrow under it. This is to indicate that if you hold down the button, you will see a list of places to go. For the up arrow, this will be a list of parents, grandparents, and so forth of this directory (or URL). For the left and right buttons, this will be backward and forward in the history the cache.

To switch to an item in the bookmark list, select it in the Bookmarks menu.

Finally, you can type the location to which you want to jump in the location bar at the top of the file manager window or in a pop-up Open Location dialog box. You can access this dialog box by selecting the Location, Open Location menu item, or by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+O. When you type in the location, you can specify it as either a regular directory path or a URL.


Konqueror can handle a wide variety of protocols. For example, http: will open Web pages (as in http://www.example.com), ftp: will open FTP sites, (as in ftp://ftp.example.com), file: will open local files (as in file:/users/rnapier/.bashrc), and smb: will open Windows shares (as in smb://example/directory).

Windows shares are also available using Universal Naming Convention (UNC)–style paths such as \\example\directory. Note that SMB support may not work in all situations, particularly if you have complex authentication schemes.

If you don't provide a protocol, Konqueror will make its best guess based on the location.

The Directory Tree

The left pane of the file manager window area is generally the Tree View. By default, it is hidden, but you can show it by selecting Window, Show Directory Tree in the File Manager menu.

Tree View has three top-level directories corresponding to different places to begin browsing the filesystem:

  • The Home Directory folder—This corresponds to your home directory.

  • The Network folder—This folder has three subfolders: FTP Archives, for FTP sites that you frequent; Web Sites, which contains your bookmarks; and Windows Shares, which provides access to SMB shares.

  • The Root folder—This corresponds to the root of the entire filesystem.

Tree View shows only directories, not individual files or links. To expand or collapse a directory, click the box with a plus or minus sign to the left of the directory name. When a directory is collapsed, the box has a plus in it; when it is expanded, the box has a minus sign. To make the browser window jump to a directory in Tree View, click the directory name (provided that the browser window is linked—see the upcoming section "Linking Windows").

The Terminal Emulator Window

You can display a terminal emulator window (similar to konsole) in the bottom of the file manager by selecting Window, Show Terminal Emulator Window. This will give you access to a shell prompt, where you can enter normal Unix commands. As you change directories using the browser or directory tree, this window will automatically change directories as well (provided that they are linked—see the next section, "Linking Windows"). Changing directories in the terminal emulator using the cd command will not change the views of the browser or directory tree.

Linking Windows

When you change directories using the browser or directory tree, other windows can change as well. By default, all windows are locked together so that they select the same directory. Sometimes it can be convenient to unlink an individual window, however, so that it will always view the same directory.

To link or unlink windows, select the Link box shown in Figure 1. All windows with the link box selected are linked together and will always point to the same directory. The one exception is the terminal emulator. If you use the cd command, it will be out of sync with the other windows.

Adding More Windows

The three default windows are just the start of your layout options. You can create multiple copies of the browser and terminal emulator windows, and each copy can view a different directory or Web site.

To create a new window, select an existing window of the type you would like to create. Then select one of the following menu options:

  • Window, Split View Left/Right—Splits the current window vertically into two windows of the same kind. The shortcut for this is Ctrl+Shift+L.

  • Window, Split View Top/Bottom—Splits the current window horizontally into two windows of the same kind. The shortcut for this is Ctrl+Shift+T.

  • Window, New View on Right—Creates a new window of the same kind on the far right.

  • Window, New View on Bottom—Creates a new window of the same kind at the bottom.

Newly created windows will be unlinked by default, making it easier to view other locations. You can change the location they view by clicking them (the small green light in the lower-left corner will indicate which window is active) and then entering a new location in the Location bar at the top of Konqueror.

To remove an existing browser or terminal emulator window, click it and then select Window, Remove Active View, or use the shortcut Ctrl+Shift+R. To resize a window, click and drag the border between two windows.

Saving a Layout

When you've created a particularly useful layout, you can save it by selecting Window, Save/Remove View Profile.

First, choose a name for your profile, or select an existing profile name. Then select whether to save URLs in profile. If you select this check box, then whenever you load this profile, it will visit the same URLs.

You can also select the Save the Window Size in Profile check box, which will save the overall size of the Konqueror window. Otherwise, just the relative sizes of the windows will be remembered.

Finally click Save to save the profile, or click Delete Selected Profile to delete it.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account