Dolphin File Manager Review

very good
key review info
application features
  • Navigation bar for URLs, which allows navigating quickly through the file hierarchy.
  • (4 more, see all...)

A file manager or file browser is a computer program that enables a user interface to speed up the interaction with files on a hard drive. Every file manager will offer basic file operations like create, open, edit, view, search, rename, move, copy, delete and so on. More advanced file managers will provide other functions as well, such as network connectivity via FTP, NFS or SMB, directory synchronizing and other powerful features. File managers started as command-line and generic graphical tools and progressed towards desktop-specific ones, gaining sophistication along the way. Commands and buttons were replaced by mouse controls and more options and features were added with every new released version, suiting the needs of more and more users.

Dolphin is a very simple and easy to use file manager for KDE desktop. It offers only a few basic features as it's a file manager focused on speed and optimization, but that's all it is - a file manager. It could never be a substitute for Konqueror or other advanced file manager because it doesn't support advanced functions such as searching or viewing files.

The first time you run Dolphin, you'll notice a very simple interface, divided into five sections: the menu bar, the toolbar, the location bar, the workspace and status bar. The menu bar contains Dolphin's menus: File, Edit, View, Go, Tools and Settings. The toolbar consists of buttons that act as a shortcut to various functions. The user can choose what buttons will be available in the toolbar and which won't. The location bar displays the current directory path and has two versions: first is the typical line input version which shows the current path as text, while the second uses the 'bread crumb' display which displays each folder as a link. The workspace section shows the contents of the current directory. Users can configure how the workspace displays directories: either as icons, details or previews. The workspace can also be split in two, gaining a midnight commander-like look. The status bar shows a limited amount of data related to the currently selected file or directory, while if no file is selected, the status bar shows the amount of files and folders in the current directory. Both ways, the status bar always shows the amount of storage space that has been used on the current mount point.

Dolphin can display the contents of a directory in a variety of ways. When the icon view is selected, the workspace will list the contents of a directory using each file type's icon. For example, mp3 files will be represented with the mp3 icon currently configured in your desktop environment. The detail view will show the contents of a directory in alphabetical order and by type. Folders are shown at the top of the list, while the files are listed at the bottom.

The preview mode is similar to the icon view, except that whenever possible, there's a preview shown instead of the icon. For instance, if you list a directory with jpg files, those files will appear as a small preview, rather than showing the jpg icon.

Dolphin also offers a sidebar feature, which has two modes: bookmarks mode and information mode. The sidebar can be enabled or disabled via the menu bar: views / sidebar. The bookmarks mode will display the filesystem bookmarks an user has stored, while the information mode allows the user access to their service menus for a given file type.

The Good

Dolphin is a file manager suitable for users that need speed and simplicity. It offers basic file managing features such as navigation bar, split mode and a bookmarking feature.

The Bad

Dolphin doesn't have bad parts unless you have higher expectations than it can fulfill. It's just a file manager with no advanced functions.

The Truth

If you're looking for a simple, two-panel file manager without tons of features, Dolphin is the perfect file manager for you.

Check out some screenshots below:

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user interface 4
features 2
ease of use 5
pricing / value 5

final rating 4
Editor's review
very good