Dolphin file manager


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Dolphin file manager

  • Dolphin is the default file manager in Kubuntu (KDE). For usage instructions see the Dolphin wiki. Start:
K menu -> System -> Dolphin
  • Many folders and files, especially system folders and configuration files, have root permissions associated with them. It is necessary to start Dolphin with root privileges in order to access them:
kdesudo dolphin
A menu item can be created with this command.
  • When opening a file manager in this way, the default folder will be /root/. User files will be found by clicking on the "Root" icon and then navigating to the /home/user/ folder(s).

Add services to the Dolphin file manager

Context-sensitive services can be added to Dolphin.

  • Ruby must be installed first:
sudo apt-get install ruby
  • Add new services.
Dolphin -> Settings -> Configure Dolphin... -> Services -> Download New Services...
  • For example, a very useful service is the "Root Actions Servicemenu", which allows many functions to be performed with root (superuser or "sudo") permissions. This is necessary, for example, for editing text files that have root permissions.
  • The "Scan with ClamAV" service allows the anti-virus scanner to be run from Dolphin.
  • Once the new services have been installed, the system must be rebooted for the newly added service menus to appear in Dolphin.
  • <Right-click> on an item within Dolphin to bring up the services menu. For example, once the Root Actions Servicemenu has been installed, I can edit a text file with root permissions by <right-clicking> on it and selecting
Root Actions -> Open as text

This will open the text editor (kate) as root.

  • Other popular service menus include audiokonvertor, Extract and Compress, servicemenu-pdf, image2pdf, and vlcappend.

Preview video files with Dolphin file manager

  • FFMpegThumbs uses FFMPEG to create thumbnail frames from video files, which can be used by KDE from a file manager like Dolphin. Install:
sudo apt-get install ffmpegthumbs
Alternatively, install kFFMpegThumbnailer (sudo apt-get install kffmpegthumbnailer), which works in a similar manner. (Both require FFMPEG to be installed.)

After installation of either of these modules, log out and log back into (or restart) your system for changes to take effect.

  • MPlayerThumbs not only shows a video frame thumbnail in Dolphin, it also has the capacity to show the entire video in the Dolphin Information side panel (for previewing). Though more powerful, it is slower to load than either FFMpegThumbs or kFFMpegThumbnailer. (MPlayer must also be installed for this thumbnailer / previewer to function.) Install:
sudo apt-get install mplayerthumbs

After installation, log out and log back into (or restart) your system for changes to take effect.

  • Make sure the settings for Dolphin allow JPG and Video previews:
Dolphin -> Settings -> Configure Dolphin... -> General -> Previews -> JPEG Images (ticked) -> Video Files (ticked) -> OK
-> View -> Preview (ticked)

Close and re-open Dolphin for changes to take effect.

  • If you wish information about the file to be displayed while the cursor hovers over the filename, also make sure Dolphin "tooltips" is enabled:
Dolphin -> Settings -> Configure Dolphin... -> General -> Behavior -> Show tooltips (ticked)
-> View -> Panels -> Information (ticked)

How to use network options in Dolphin file manager

  • Open the "Network" icon in Dolphin.
  • A network folder can also be mounted in the left navigation pane for repeated quick access. For example, a Samba (Windows-type) network folder located at a LAN IP address of can be added:
Dolphin -> <right-click> on the leftmost panel -> Add entry...
-> Label: Network folder -> Location: smb://

Accessing a digital camera from the Dolphin file manager

  • Plug in your digital camera to the USB port using the appropriate cord and make sure the camera is turned on.
  • Start the Dolphin file manager.
  • In the leftmost panel of the Dolphin file manager, mount the camera as a folder:
Dolphin -> <right-click> on the leftmost panel -> Add Entry... -> Label: Digital Camera
-> Location: camera:/
  • Now you should be able to access the contents of the digital camera as a folder.
  • It may be necessary to adjust the settings of the camera first (and to be sure it is properly recognised):
K Menu -> Settings -> System Settings -> Digital Camera
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