Now there’s nothing seriously wrong with the default file management utility (Nautilus) in Ubuntu Linux, other than it’s “extreme” simplicity. It loads reasonably fast and lets you easily deal with files/folders. And thanks to its script support, if you feel like a feature is missing, then you can even add new features by installing a new script.
But if you’re looking for a file manager that loads extremely fast, uses little resources yet comes with a lot of built in tools/features, then Rodent is pretty darn good one. But please don’t expect Rodent to be Nautilus since it has way of its own doing things. Still they both have a lot in common (built using the GTK+ toolkit, share a lot of Gnome desktop libraries).
According to the official Rodent web page it seems that “big names” in GNU/Linux such as
Richard Stallmann himself are among its users (update: actually the page states that RMS and others have contributed to the code rather than its users).
So I thought, “heck, why not give it a go!” and so far I’m quite happy with it. Although it won’t be my primary file manager & if you’re a bit new to GNU/Linux then, it could be a bit daunting with those options but for experienced users it can come in handy.
*. Except that it doesn’t have a menu, it looks a lot like Nautilus and Thunar.
*. Powerful Create/Copy/Delete/Move files & folders (of course) functions, it even lets you securely delete files/folders!.
*. Create .ISO archives out of folders.
*. Execute shell commands easily.
*. Search or compare files and folders.
*. Bookmark locations.
*. Tab windows supported.
*. Has a built in application menu that shows when you right click.
*. A settings window that lets you tweak it here and there (single or double click to open items, change icon theme, enable Drag & Drop etc).
*. Set file/folder permissions.
*. Change default text editor and Terminal emulator.
*. Make the background transparent or change its color.
*. Awesome folder/file preview window (supports image thumbnails) with their attributes such as size, created date etc.
*. A log output window.
Basically, it has a right-click menu that’s quite “long” which reminds me of the one old Qt/KDE Konqueror had :).
You can install Rodent file manager in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot, 11.04 Natty Narwhal, 10.10 and 10.04 by first downloading the “.deb” file from this page (supports both 32/64 bit versions) and just double click on it to start the installation once the downloading completes.
Although Rodent has this nasty habit of taking over your desktop thus you’ll lose the background and Nautilus right click menu on the Unity desktop.
How to fix it?
1. Luckily, we can easily fix that by right clicking on Rodent (desktop or in file manager) and go to:
“Personal Settings” -> “Desktop” (tab)
And make sure the option “Show Desktop Grid (localhost)” is disabled by removing the check mark (as shown below). That’s it. From now on it won’t replace Nautilus from managing the Desktop.
But I also did have few issues with Unity top panel (since Nautilus is being used for that too), but they seem to be gone now. Still if it gives you troubles, then you can remove it by using the below command.
sudo apt-get purge rodent
Rodent is a pretty powerful and extremely fast while both loading and dealing with folders filled with files but it lacks few features in Nautilus (such as Video thumbnail generation). But the rest assured, if you’re a power user who wants some additional control over your files, then you might even fall in love with it :).