Little introduction:

I was bored, so I decided start making a KDE 4.0 features/screenshots walktrough. I'll try to cover all major applications, improvements and new features without boring you.

So expect a lot of screenshots, and not so technical details about them, instead I'll cover the feature itself, not its background.
I hope you'll enjoy it.

This is article was updated on 11/13/2008

KDE 4: Dolphin

As most of you already know, it's the new KDE 4 default file manager. The KDE 3.x version introduce a new way for file management on KDE, You're probably asking yourself: New? In which way? Let me answer that, it introduced for the first time in KDE world a simple KDE file manager, easy to follow and use, because I believe users will agree that Konqueror (and don't even make me talk about Krusader) isn't the user friendliness application out there.

And now, having covered a little of it's history, let's see how it looks, and how it's an improved on File management:

As default:

As you can see, it's quite a simple interface, it looks clean, uncluttered and easy. It only shows the folders, favorites places and simple navigation tools.

And it's featuring the breadcrumb, but, for making it even more usable, and powerful, if you clicked it and doesn't release the click it will expand and show all foders inside.


Dolphin has 3 views available, Icons, Details and Columns, and the possibility to load/unload previews.

Icons is the default view you already saw.


And finally columns:

But, hey, you may need details view to certain folders, and icon view for others, so Dolphin is available to remember which setting you used for any folder automatically, so If you select details view in folder X when you come back to it, It'll be just like you leaved it, pretty neat actually (it can be disabled, if you don't like it ;). The next screenshot show what I'm saying (how can you show that on a screenshot? :P ):

Yes, showing another feature, The Split button on Dolphin aloud you to divide your view in two, making easy to drag, copy, or check folders contents easily (if you clicked the button again, it'll close the extra view).


Dolphin has different panels, they all are movable, can be on tabs, resize, and all that is animated. By default only one panel is shown, places.

Information Panel: It can show preview of the file on hover, as well as the information you may add and a it's rating, mandatory screenshot:

Folders panel: The old tree view is there too

And there's and embedded console too, it even follow your moves trough folders! I guessed there'll be a lot of happy power-users:

Tabs, zoom, grouping and easy item selection
Straight from 4.1.72

This is small update, Dolphin got some new features, the first one was quite requested (tough I sincerely prefer split mode), and those are the famous tabs

Did you read the Gwenview article? If you did, then you probably remember that you could zoom in/out folders and previews in the browser, well, this is now available everywhere

Grouping: It will sort your files per group basis, which can name, type, date, etc. It's nice looking and keeps things better organized in my opinion

If you click the group all files are selected

Easy item selection: Just hover a file, and a little plus icon will appear, if you click it, the file will be selected (if it's already selected, then a minus will appear in order to undo the selection) , then you can hover another one, and click, a lot better than ctrl selection and easier to discover too :)

The hover file:

Showing it in practice:

Configurations dialogs:

Konqueror was a little too complicated to configure (issue that still exists, since it's the default web browser), but, at least for file management now it's easy, yet powerful to configure Dolphin. As you can see in the next screenshot, it's so easy to understand, that I don't even have to explain it:

Check it out:

And all dialogs are as easy to follow:

Open File Dialogs

KDE 4, trough Dolphin, has new open file dialogs. They're feature rich, and solved size issue problems, the GUI is easy to configure trough a little menu, you can even add bookmarks, and the places sidebar is shared with Dolphin, this means that it shows the exact same places as the File Manager :)

With Previews enabled:

Little features that makes everything better:

Dolphin has a lot of small details that make it nice:
  • Animated hover over folder and files
  • Animated panels, and previews
  • If you hover a file, the complete file name will be show at the bottom, if it's too big, the lower part will resize, so it can fit in it.
  • A lot more...
You can even find youtube videos about it, however, I didn't find any video that looked nearly as good as it does when you actually use it, so I decided not to include them.

Well, this is all for now, I hope you like it, and I'm open to suggestions, I will try to make one of this mini articles per week :)

Next week: Okular, stay tuned.


Jeremy said...

Dolphin looks very promising and is quite stable the last time I used it.

Domo said...

Nice post. Thanks for the review. (You forgot to give an image of the embedded terminal :( )

Luis Augusto said...

I'm glad you like it :)

I added the dolphin embedded terminal screenshot now :)

Tío Rubo said...

Buen post y buen nivel de inglés en general, solamente he visto algunos errores comunes que yo también cometo a veces.

Solamente un consejo de formato: Queda mucho mejor (en mi opinión) utilizar el texto justificado en lugar de alineado a la izquierda.

Saludos desde España.

PS: Will I have to write comments in english for upcoming posts? :P

Luis Augusto said...

Me alegra que te haya gustado.

Un favor enorme, podrías ser tan amable de decirme en que partes me equivoqué, me sería de mucha ayuda :)

Lo probé justificado, pero siento que se ve recargado, sobre todo cuando el texto está cerca de las capturas de pantalla.

Sobre el idioma, como quieras, no creo que nadie se vaya a molestar porque lo hagas en español ;)


Anonymous said...

Excelente post, tengo unas preguntas acerca de dolphin y no he logrado solucionarlas por medio de google.. asi que pense que quiza me podrias ayudar.

He visto que en el menu contextual de dolphin esta la opcion de "crear nuevo", me preguntaba si es posible añadir plantillas de otros tipos de archivo quiza "nuevo archivo de PERL" o "nuevo programa en Python".

En gnome solo era cuetion de pegar en la carpeta templates ubicada en el home.. pero no he logrado conseguirlo con KDE.

icon manager said...

its a good blog.