5.4. Managing Folders and Files with Konqueror

Konqueror is a unified Web browser, file manager, document viewer, and image viewer. The following sections covers using Konqueror for file management. For information about Konqueror as a Web browser, see Chapter 7, The Web Browser Konqueror (↑Applications).

Start Konqueror as a file manager by clicking the house icon in the panel. Konqueror displays the contents of your home directory.

Figure 5.4. The File Manager Konqueror

The File Manager Konqueror

The Konqueror file manager window consists of the following elements:

Menu Bar

The menu bar holds menu items for actions like copying, moving, or deleting files, changing views, starting additional tools, defining your settings, and getting help.


The toolbar provides quick access to frequently used functions that can also be accessed via the menu. If you hover the pointer over an icon, a short description is displayed. To the right, the toolbar features the Konqueror icon, which is animated while a directory or Web page is loaded.

Location Bar

The location bar shows the path to your directory or file in your file system. You can enter a path to a directory directly by typing it in or by clicking one of the directories in the display field. Delete the contents of the line by clicking the black symbol with a white X located left of the location bar. After typing an address, press Enter or click Go to the right of the input line.

Unlike a Windows operating system, Linux does not use drive letters. In Windows, you would address the floppy drive as A:\, Windows system data is under C:\, and so on. In Linux, all files and directories are located in a tree-like structure. The topmost directory is referred to as the file system root or just /. All other directories can be accessed from it. In the following, find a short overview of the most important directories in a Linux file system:

/home holds the private data of every user who has an account on your system. The files located here can only be modified by their owner or the system administrator. Your e-mail directory is located here, for example.

[Note]Home Directory in a Network Environment

If you are working in a network environment, your home directory may not be called /home but can be mapped to any directory in the file system.

/media generally holds any type of drive except the hard drive of your system. Your USB flash drive appears under /media once you have connected it, as do your digital camera (if it uses USB) and DVD or CD drive.

Under /usr/share/doc, find any kind of documentation on your Linux system and the installed packages. The manual subdirectory holds a digital copy of this manual as well as the other manuals and the release notes of the installed version of your Linux system. The packages directory holds the documentation included in the software packages.

/windows only appears if you have both MS Windows and Linux installed on your system. It holds the MS Windows data.

Learn more about the Linux file system concept and find a more comprehensive list of directories in Section 3.1.2, “Linux Directory Structure”.

Navigation Panel

You can hide and show the navigation panel by pressing F9. The navigation panel displays your information in a tree view. Determine which contents you want to see by clicking one of the symbols in the tab at the left of the navigation panel. If you hold your mouse pointer over an icon, a short description is displayed. For example, you can show the file system as a tree starting at the root folder or at your home folder.

Display Field

The display field shows the contents of the selected directory or file. In the View menu, choose between different view modes to display the contents, such as Icon View, Tree View, or Detailed List View. If you click a file, Konqueror shows a preview of the the contents or loads the file into an application for further processing. If you hold the mouse pointer over the file, Konqueror shows a tooltip with detailed information on the file, such as owner, permissions, or last modification date.

5.4.1. Copying, Moving, or Deleting Files

For performing actions like copying, moving, or deleting files, you need appropriate permissions to the folders and files involved in your action. Read more about file system permissions in Section 3.2, “Users and Access Permissions”.

[Tip]Selecting Objects in Konqueror

Clicking a file or a folder in Konqueror directly starts an action: a preview of the file is displayed or the folder is opened. To former users of MS Windows, this behavior may be rather unusual. If you just want to select one or several files without any other action, press Ctrl then click the object. Alternatively, alter your mouse settings in the Control Center (see Section 6.2.7, “Regional & Accessibility”).

To copy or move a file or folder, proceed as follows:

  1. Right-click the object and select Copy To or Move To from the context menu.

  2. If you want to copy or move the object to one of the folders offered in the submenu, select the corresponding menu item and click Copy Here or Move Here. Destination folders you have already used are listed in lower part of the submenu.

  3. To copy or move the object to a different folder select Browse. A tree view of your file systems opens where you can select the destination folder.

The quickest way to perform actions like copying or moving objects in Konqueror is the drag-and-drop method. For instance, you can easily move objects from one window to another by simply dragging them. When dropping the object, you are asked whether the objects should be moved or copied.

To delete a file or folder, proceed as follows:

  • Select the object and press Del or right-click the file then select Move to Trash from the context menu. The object is moved to the trash bin. If necessary, you can restore the file or folder from there or delete it completely. See also Section 5.3.1, “Managing the Trash Bin”.

  • To delete the object irretrievably, click Edit+Delete or press Shift-Del.

5.4.2. Creating a New Folder

To create a new folder in Konqueror, proceed as follows:

  1. Right-click the folder to which to add a subfolder.

  2. Select Create New Folder.

  3. In the New Folder dialog, enter a name for the new folder and click OK.

5.4.3. Changing File Associations

With Konqueror, you can decide which application should be used to open a file.

Figure 5.5. Configuring File Associations in Konqueror

Configuring File Associations in Konqueror
  1. In Konqueror, click Settings+Configure Konqueror+File Associations.

  2. To search for an extension, enter the extension in Find Filename Pattern. Only file types with a matching file pattern appear in the list. For example, to modify the application for *.png files, enter png in Find Filename Pattern.

  3. In the Known Types list, click the file type to open the setting dialog for this file type. You can change the icon, the filename patterns, description, and the order of the applications.

    If your tool is not listed, click Add in Application Preference Order then enter the command.

    To change the order of the list entries, click the program to move then give it a higher or lower priority by clicking Move Up or Move Down. The application listed at the top is used by default when you click a file of this type.

  4. If you need a file type that is not listed in the Known Types list, click Add to open a dialog where you can select a group and enter a type name.

    The group determines the main type, for example, audio, image, text, or video. Your file type can usually be assigned to one of these.

    1. Click OK then determine the extensions of the filename.

    2. Specify a description in the text field and select which application to use.

  5. Click OK.