Krusader 2.40 Beta 3 Review – Twin Panel File Manager Done Right

very good
key review info
application features
  • Extensive archive handling
  • (5 more, see all...)

Krusader is a twin panel file manager that is mostly used in KDE environments, but that also works in various other environments without any problems. It can be used to perform a large number of tasks. We took a closer look at the options and features of this interesting software, even if it's not as popular as it used to.

There was a time when most power users were only using twin panel file managers like Midnight Commander or Total Commander, but something happened and, slowly, this type of software fell into the second tier. The users started doing the same things, but the old-fashioned way.

I was one of those users and ten years ago I would not do anything without an application like this one, either on Linux or Windows. I can't pinpoint the exact time when I stopped using it, but it happened. I'm sure that there are still people out there that love this kind of software, but it looks like the majority of users don't actually care about it anymore.

Even the developers have forgotten somewhat about their own application and Krusader, for example, hasn't been updated since October 2012. It doesn't mean that the application is not working anymore, just that it's no longer actively maintained.

Installation

Because the latest update for Krusader was done so long ago, it's very likely that most of the repositories out there already have the latest version. We tested the application in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and the official repositories have Krusader 2.4.0 Beta 3, which is the latest update in the series.

In fact, on the developer's website, there are still two different versions, 2.0 and 2.4.0 Beta 3, but it looks like the Beta release was considered stable enough to be offered by default. You can either open the Ubuntu Software Manager and install it from there or you can open a terminal and enter the following commands (you will need to be root in order to make this work):

sudo apt-get install krusader

Be patient because there are a lot of dependencies and it will take a while to download and install them all. Also, if you are thinking to compile your own version, be warned. Unless you are in a KDE environment, there will be numerous dependencies to take care of and it will take you a lot of time.

Usage

When you open the application for the first time, it will verify what dependencies are in place, and what compression packers are present in the system. Just hit OK on both counts and you should see the main window.

This is where all the magic is happening. This is a very useful application, especially if you have a lot of things to move, copy, delete and a few others. Users don't have to constantly switch between two folders and navigate, followed only then by the action itself. With Krusader, you can do everything in half the time, on condition that you take the time to familiarize a little with the main functions.

The basic actions like copy, move, and so on don't need to be explained, but Krusader also allows users to compare two directories and check for differences, calculate the occupied space, search the computer, locate files in the operating system (it's using the same locate command from the terminal), synchronize directories (for backup purposes), and numerous other things.

The users can also start the application with root access, which means that it's easier to move files into protected folders, for example, or to delete folders that can't be removed by regular users. You will still need the root password.

The Bad

The application does pretty much all you can think of, but there is one function that is not properly implemented, the option to connect to an FTP server. It can be done, but it's a convoluted procedure.

Also, switching the application to root mode will make Krusader look like a piece of software from 1995. The themes don't work in this mode, but that shouldn't be a major issue.

The Good

Despite the fact that the development for this application has stopped for some time, Krusader still works very well and performs without a hitch. I used it multiple times already, with big and small files, but it's quite stable and extremely fast. In fact, it's much faster than the default methods.

Conclusion

It may not look like it at first glance, but Krusader is actually quite fun to use. In fact, now that I've tested it, I think I'm going to use it a lot more. The way I have been doing things until now seems boring and I would love to keep using it, despite its age.

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


final rating 4
Editor's review
very good
 

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