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I Don't Like Terminal File Managers

Last Mod.: 2024-06-02 | Created On: 2023-07-09

This is an old blog post that I found on my old layout, I still stand by much of this, but I’m too lazy and tired to refactor and to remove the cancerous /g/ speak.

Terminal file managers are probably worst meme that I have fallen for and I think they suck for a lot of reasons (but aren’t limited to):

  1. Although you can have image previews with üeberzug or with kitty for example, there are no thumbnails! Not having thumbnails is non negotiable.

  2. No drag and drop, while you can have that with dragon-drop it is the most janky solution I have ever seen besides it’s way easier to drag your files if you have thumbnails.

  3. I’m just as fast with ls and cd and pressing the tab key on my shell.

  4. You will have to add functionality learn new shortcuts and key combinations which I don’t think would make you as fast as just using the cli, which is incredibly inconvenient.

  5. Jankyness. In this case lf, the üeberzug previews were a complete mess, a wrapper script had to be created along side a “cleaner” script, that I stole from Luke Smith’s dotfiles, which I guess it’s okay, but then I wanted my shell to follow wherever I was going (when exiting lf), so I had to create a function on my .zshrc. So in conclusion: a binary, then a wrapper + cleaner and then finally a function just to be able to use it, let alone the icon config file which is not pre-configured for some reason. lf was held together by duktape and glue.

  6. I can actually feel way more confident when I’m moving, deleting or copying files around on a gui than pressing buttons on a tui. Although I like using the standard utils sometimes, specially over ssh on servers of course.

I’m using KDE Plasma for now, because I got lazy I guess, and because I wanted to try Wayland, and guess what? The default terminal konsole is integrated into dolphin, the default file manager and it’s a treat to have that, not only that but the shell follows where you’re clicking in the gui and vise versa! It is really nice to have, sometimes I like using commands inside directories and having a terminal inside the file manager is very nice. I didn’t have to tinker a lot to get it, only press F4 on my keyboard to open or close it, the only tinkering I have done is changing the terminal’s color scheme, which was straight forward.

It’s like having a the terminal on your IDE, but well on your file manager now. I think the idea of a GUI file manager that integrates a console is way better than a “terminal file manager” alone.

20230715_101349.png 20230715_101349.png

Not even when I was using a tilling window manager had I seen the point of actually using it and after realizing it fits no use cases I started using a random gui file manager. If you want to use the terminal, you should just use the standard utils, and when you want to share a file (like dragging and dropping files into an IM) just use a gui file manager, don’t even bother with dragon-drop. I am not even sure if using lf on a server would be a good idea because I am already used to the standard utils anyway.

In conclusion, just don’t waste your time with this…

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