Thursday, July 20, 2006

Konquer Linux...



Mastering Konqueror

Konqueror is one hell big monster, all in one Advanced File Manager, Web Browser and a File Viewing application. It indeed is a very valuable tool for Linux users. Once you master in using Konqueror; which is a quick, easy learning process, you will soon figure out that in Linux, you can't survive without Konqueror. Generally, Konqueror comes pre-installed with Linux systems which have KDE desktop environment installed. Konqueror can also be installed separately and made to run without KDE desktop environment such as in Gnome, XFCE or even in plain twm, but you need Qt, Kdelibs and Kdebase installed in your Linux system. If you already have Konqueror, it is fine, let us straightway go to learn to master it. If you do not have it, install it immediately since you are lacking a worthwhile Linux experience in your life. You can install Konqueror with KDE complete install; the installer files are distributed periodically with LFY CDs, so check it out. Latest stable version, KDE 3.3 is all set to rock the world.

Basic Functions:

As any other Linux application, Konqueror can be started in many ways. In your KDE desktop, you may find “Start Here” icon. Double click on it and Konqueror will start immediately. Alternately, you can give command konqueror in any Xterminal and it will start Konqueror for that user. Konqueror can be started either as limited, non privileged user mode or as super user mode. To start Konqueror in super user mode, click on Start menu button, go to Start Menu >System Tools > More System Tools and then click on File Manager Super User Mode. You can change to su in terminal before giving konqueror command to start it. Note that for some advanced file management functions, you need to run Konqueror as super user mode, but using Konqueror in super user mode has its own problems. Hence avoid using Konqueror in super user mode unless you are in dire need. Konqueror supports all basic file manager functions such as cut, copy & paste within and across windows. You can open a file with its associated application (which can be changed in its configuration window) with a single click from Konqueror's window. Browse across directories, sort them and view them in various views and orders. Besides that, presently, it is the only web browser capable to display complex Indic scripts, say Hindi, Marathi, and Gujarati etc. in Linux system without errors and without need of any additional patch. Additionally, it also supports plug-in and can work with other popular browsers plug-in. Moreover, Konqueror's almost all aspects such as Behavior, Appearance, Fonts, Cookies, Plug-in and Performance are highly configurable and you can customize its look and feel the way you want.

Finding Files:

Konqueror has powerful built-in file finding utility, complete with filters and advanced search options including regular expression. To search for a file, go to Tools menu, and then click on Find File. A dialog box will appear where you need to fill certain information about the file being searched. In Name location tab, fill the Name and extension of file and its probable location. You can use wild cards in file name and extensions. If you have some advanced information about the file, you can give these in input field of Contents and Properties tab respectively. Finally, click on Find button and after a while; it will display search result in its bottom window. Though Konqueror's search function is somewhat slow, but then you can implement complex search functions and results you get are fairly accurate.

Advanced Functions:

Multiple Views: As a file manager, Konqueror provides you advanced multiple viewing facilities. There are 8 different views you can choose from. Click on View menu and then point to View Mode. You will be presented Icon View, MultiColumn View, Tree View, Info List View, Detailed List View, Text View, FSViewPart and Cervisia. As the name suggests, first three are simple variations. However, Info List View gives you some brief information about your files. For example, for a text file, it will display Lines, Words, characters, format etc. of that file. In Detailed List View, you can see different attributes of file and folders such as file permission, owner, group etc. Text view is the detailed view in text mode which is helpful in big directories having large number of files. The most significant view of them is FSViewPart, which graphically shows the size of the directory, sub-directory and files in multi colored rectangles. It is of immense help in keeping disk quota in limit. Cervisia view is helpful to developers in managing versions of their software. You can set individual filter for file types for any of the above mentioned specific views.

Multiple Windows for Multiple works:

Konqueror gives you option to work in split window, to assist you in file move/copy/paste operations. You can split Konqueror's window either horizontally or vertically. Go to Window menu and select the appropriate one out of the two: Split View Left/Right or Split View Top/Bottom. Konqueror window also provides you a built in terminal window inside its main window. To get a terminal window, go to Window menu, and then click on Show Terminal Emulator button. A terminal Emulator window will appear in the bottom of Konqueror's window. Now you are ready to use powerful Linux commands inside the directory in which Konqueror is already in.

There is another important, very useful view called Navigation Panel the kind that only Konqueror and no other file manager provides. To get Navigation Panel in Konqueror's view, press F9 or go to Windows Menu and then click on Show Navigation Panel. A navigation panel will appear in right side of Konqueror's window. There are some default entries such as Files, Directories Devices etc. which you can edit/delete or add suitably. Navigation Panel is a handy tool to browse file system, partitions, CDROM drives and History. On Navigation Panel, you can put your favorite folder you often use and from here, they will always be one click away from you.

Help Every Where

Konqueror supports KDE's advanced help system. Any where during its configuration setting, if you feel any doubt, simply press Shift+F1 simultaneously and a Question Mark ? will appear beside your cursor icon. Now click over the menu/item for which you want some hints and if it is available (most of the time it is available), it will display some information or handy hint. There is detailed help for using Konqueror as a Konqueror Handbook which you can read from Konqueror's Help menu.

Built in Previews:

Konqueror has some built-in, powerful capability to view some common file formats. It can extend this ability further by using external applications. You can preview text, images, media, archives and many other kinds of files. To preview a file, simply right click on it within Konqueror window and select Preview in embedded viewer or select the other preview options given there. When you are through, click on Konqueror’s Back button to quit preview mode and to go back.

Other file operations:

There are some other useful file operations available under right context menu. Archiving files and folders are now simple mouse operation in Konqueror. You can create Zip, bz2 or gz tar archive or extract files from existing archives with single right mouse click. Right click on a file or a folder and on context menu that appears, go to Actions and then select appropriate action and you are done. Similarly, you can encrypt a file with Kgpg's powerful encryption technology.

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Here are some quick tips to use Konqueror at its best:

Want to read Help file of some other KDE application such as Kmail? Simply enter the following address in its Address bar (input field beside Location: entry):

help:/kmail

And then press enter or click on Go button, and it will display html help file of Kmail. You can use similar commands for other applications too.

You can read Man (Manual) or Info pages of Linux commands and applications in Konqueror. For example, to see man pages of bash command, enter following address in Konqueror's address bar:

man:/bash

And to see info pages of mv command you will need to enter:-

info:/mv

Konqueror is a powerful network browser. In tandem with Lisa demon, you can work almost all file operation across network. For example, to browse files of a machine having network address 192.168.100.1, enter the following address:

fish://192.168.100.1/

And press enter. If everything is fine, it will ask for a valid password, supply one and it will connect to that machine displaying its contents. Similarly, you can browse your samba share (Windows Workgroup computers) through Konqueror. Ensure that you have setup your samba share correctly and it is running, then enter following in Konqueror's address bar to browse samba share a of machine 192.168.100.1:

smb://192.168.100.1/a

Press enter or click on Go button. As usual, it will ask for a password. Supply the valid one and it will immediately connect to that machine. If you want to connect to an ftp machine, there is no other simple way then connecting through Konqueror. An example will look like this-

ftp://username@Address_Of_FTP_machine

Simply enter the above syntax in Konqueror’s address bar, press enter, provide password and you are ready to ftp in Konqueror;s graphical mode.

Screenshot Descriptions:

Konqueror1 You can browse Windows Workgroup computer connected across network through Konqueror. Simply insert smb://IP_Address/Share_name in its address bar, press enter and here you go.

Konqueror2 Konqueror provides you various types of split window for easy file copy/paste/move operations.

Konqueror3 With Konqueror's FSViewPart, you can quickly determine disk usage in current directory.

Konqueror4 Konqueror's Navigation panel is great tool for browsing local file system and devices such as Floppy/CDROM and other partitions of hard disks.

Konqueror6 Konqueror's look and feel is fully customizable. For example, you can assign an image for its face window.

Konqueror7 Konqueror in Plain text view mode. The result is similar as you get after giving ls -al command in a terminal.

Konqueror8 Konqueror in Tree View mode, helpful in viewing a directory's hierarchical contents.

Konqueror10 You can save Konqueror's settings in various profiles to load them quickly at a later stage.

Konqueror11 Konqueror as a LAN browser. Simply give IP address of network computer in its address bar and browse that computer.

Konqueror12 Konqueror's Configuration window where you can configure its most aspects such as Behavior, Appearance, Performance etc. Configuration settings are done through simple, selection boxes.

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