Linux Format

Simple simplifica­tion

If you want a basic file manager GUI, can it be achieved?


Dolphin is one of the most extensive and customisab­le file managers available for Linux, and starts off with an extremely conservati­ve layout that we can’t mark down for being too complicate­d. If you don’t change anything, it’s on the lower end of the scale in terms of interface complexity.

Nemo is a fork of the official Gnome file manager and attempts to retain some of the complexity that is constantly being taken out by the Gnome developers. The end result is a user interface experience that strikes the right balance between being slick without feeling dumbed down.

From the start, Krusader throws its multi-pane layout and fully populated menus and toolbars in the user’s face. There isn’t a great deal that can be done to reduce the number of interface elements that this technologi­cal monster offers. We can’t see Krusader becoming the default Ubuntu file manager any time, and we can’t see the Krusader users or developers wanting it to.

On the downside, Thunar doesn’t offer a great deal of scope for ramping up the features and adding a lot of extra user interface elements – however, it does well in this section because it presents the basics of what most users expect from a file manager. It even has several options that can be switched off if needed.

Most users can learn how to use it, but there isn’t much hope for radically simplifyin­g the user interface of Midnight Commander. It has a certain retro charm mixed with a pragmatic efficiency, thanks to keyboard-operated text-mode goodness, but it takes some time to learn, and it could never be considered a beginner’s tool.

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