‘Sunflower’ is a simple looking, yet a versatile twin-panel file manager for the GNU/Linux platform. Now twin-panel file managers like ‘Sunflower’ are obviously not for everyone as they differ themselves in terms of usability and functionality, when compared with the classic file managers that come with major desktop environments (‘Nautilus’ or ‘Dolphin’ for example).
However, for purposes such as easily copying (or moving) files, comparing contents etc, they are very popular. Anyway, ‘Sunflower’ is certainly not a new file manager as it has been in development for sometime now. And yesterday, they released an update (0.1a-51), which according to the ‘Change log’, has brought few major changes such as:
*. Performance improvements over file copy operations.
*. Checks for available space before starting file copy operations.
*. ‘Open-with’ context menu item is now also available while opening folders.
*. Major bug fix that prevented opening new tabs.
*. Bug fix for drag-and-drop and a lot more.
Another thing that I really like about ‘Sunflower’ is that its ability to let you ‘pause’ while copying or moving files (a very useful feature that ‘Nautilus’ does not have), plus, it also has a very informative file-copy dialog too (shown below).
Note: ‘Sunflower’ seems to be using the somewhat improper unit prefixes while calculating file sizes.
I installed it in Ubuntu 12.10 and ran two simple tests (copying 14384 small files, altogether about 3 GB and copying a reasonably large file, about 763 MB) to see the performance against ‘Nautilus’ (default file manager in Ubuntu). Nautilus’s overall speed was marginally ahead of ‘Sunflower’ while copying those small files, but the speed was almost the same while copying the single file.
So all in all, I’m pretty happy with its performance. As mentioned earlier, you can’t really compare the two file managers in terms of features as they are both designed for slightly different purposes.
Nevertheless, ‘Sunflower’ also comes with a mount manager, few built in plug-ins (including one that enables mass renaming of files), you can also select file with a certain extension (‘pattern selection’), open tabs, open Terminal on the current directory and a lot more of other features too.
You can also configure few other tweaks through its ‘Preferences’ window plus, it also comes with standards functions of a file manager such as create, delete, edit, rename files etc as well.
So, if you are in need of such a tool, then please go to this page and download the latest package (has built in packages in RPM and DEB formats). Each package name displays the GNU/Linux distribution it supports, so you should be able to select the proper one easily. Good luck.