I like file managers, always have, don't know why, but I just do. I am always on the lookout for new ones as I have never found the 'ultimate' file manager for my needs, although I have tried just about all of them. At the moment I use Dolphin as my default file manager even though I run a Gnome desktop. It is an excellent manager, but heavy on resources if you aren't already running KDE (or perhaps even if you are). So recently I tried a new one. Now I don't know if it is the best file manager ever, hence the question mark in the title, because that depends a lot on what you are looking for. I do know though, that for my purposes it was certainly worth installing and it might be for you too. I will warn you from the start though this is a 'Power Users' tool, if you are happy with Nautilus or even think that is difficult then this will make your head explode - as file managers go it is complicated - very complicated, so unless you are an inveterate tinkerer and don't mind reading help files then leave well alone.
It describes itself as front end to the command line - well all gui's are that, but this one doesn't attempt to hide it as much as the others, in fact it regularly shows you the commands it is about to run and invites you to inspect and amend them if you feel it necessary (only for more complex commands, not for simple file operations). This is not only informative but if you are still a cli beginner it is also very educational.
So what impresses me about it?
The amount of options that it has and the scope for altering them make it like a KDE interface on steroids. It even has a 'design' mode for you to craft your own menu's with commands or scripts that are relevant to your particular way of working (it even pre-fills the more boring parts of the script for you so all you have to do is enter the code directly - I haven't tried this as I am not fully happy with scripting, although I have written my own 'menu' to call 'locate' from within the manager). If you are good at scripting and like to share your scripts with others it allows you to easily do that as well.
Like one pane, two pane, three pane, four pane - you can have them all - one mouse click to get what you prefer. LIke tabs or new windows - equally easy.
Like root functions in your file manager - there are scores of them here, more than I have ever seen before, and if you can't find one then it has a 'root window' in which everything is carried out as root (and it is helpfully coloured red to distinguish it from a normal window). And of course as stated above, if you can't find a root function, but you know how to script it then you can build it for yourself.
Complete and fully functional control of removable media is one of the main things that I want from a file manager. It is so complete and comprehensive here that it even offers a daemon mode which will run automatically on start up and 'take over' the removable media functions from your normal DE. I haven't tried this, but its control is so precise that it might be worth while.
Ever heard of a file manager that will backup and restore a full disk or an mbr from its interface? Or format/erase a disk? - this one does (using fsarchiver or partimage for backups). I have tried most of those functions and they all work.
It is lightweight and fast.
I could go on forever about it's good points, so how about some bad ones (nothing is perfect).
It is not a network browser this is what they say: It browses only mounted filesystems and does not navigate smb://
, and similar URLs. It is possible to add custom commands which automate mounting of network shares, or to use another program to mount the shares locally.
I can't get the search function to work, I don't know why - hence the 'locate' menu item, which I prefer anyway, and I might add a 'find' one as well shortly.
It is quite a new project so it may change rapidly.
So what is it and where do you get it?
(you need one of the first two files)
User Manual here:http://ignorantguru.github.com/spacefm/ ... vices-root
(you WILL need to read it)
And as I said - not newbie friendly.