JP Vossen on 19 Jan 2010 01:40:24 -0800

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[PLUG] dual-pane file managers and terminal

Last night at dinner after PLUG W, I was asking about a good dual-pane 
file manager and a better terminal than gnome-terminal.  It looks like 
I've found them.

I'd previously looked into both of these in the Hardy repos, but since I 
now have a new System76 Wild Dog (I'm not making that up) running 
factory installed 64-bit Karmic, I figured it was worth checking again.

I want a dual-pane, tabbed file manager similar to FreeCommander on 
Windows (which is great, BTW).  I found gnome-commander and tuxcmd in 
Karmic (gnome-commander was also in Hardy) [1].  Both are pretty good 
but not perfect, so I'll try them out.  Tuxcmd does tabs but you can't 
turn off the cruft at the bottom of the window that I don't want. 
Gnome-commander supposedly does tabs but I haven't figured out how, 
otherwise it's pretty configurable.  So far they look pretty similar 
otherwise.  Notably, neither installed any deps (which may be because I 
have a lot of deps already installed...)

I may take some abuse for wanting a fully GUI file mangler, since I'm 
usually such a CLI guy.  But there are some times (rare, but there) when 
a GUI is just a lot easier.  Multiple selections of dissimilar 
noncontinuous  files is the canonical example.  Old farts who can't 
remember what they just named a file are another.

I also want a tabbed SSH/terminal app like SecureCRT that can map 
key-bindings the way I want/need.  I also love how SecureCRT has an 
indicator that changes color if a background tab's connection is lost or 
its buffer changes at all. would 
be *perfect* except for the fact that it seems to be abandonware.  :-(

I know gnome-terminal is not that bad, except it's regression-buggy as 
hell WRT key-bindings.  I loath the stock SHIFT+CTRL+C/V/T 
copy/paste/new-tab bindings and I can't get ALT+C/V/T to work.  In 
theory, you can turn off capturing of ALT to use for menu accelerators. 
  In practice, not so much. 

But I found roxterm (at least Hardy+) which looks *exactly* like 
gnome-terminal, except better and it actually works.  The method for 
changing the key-bindings is obscure, but noted in the (web-page) help. 
  It doesn't do the tab/buffer change indicator thing though, I'll have 
to add a wishlist. (WOW, zero open bugs for this app!)  So far, I've 
already replaced my gnome-terminal with roxterm and it has Just Worked. 
  And it supports all kinds of drag&drop (


'apt-cache search {keyword} | sort | less -p {keyword}' is a wonderful 

[1] For dual-pane file managers I also looked at:
bsc - graphical file manager with two panels
	= Semi-minimalistic, not that pretty, OK
emelfm2 - file manager for X/gtk
 >	= No menus, too many buttons, very configurable
krusader - twin-panel (commander-style) file manager for KDE (and other 
	= WAY too KDE-y, overwhelming and eye searing
	= Depends: kdelibs4c2a
mc - midnight commander - a powerful file manager
	= text-mode full-screen file manager
xnc - X Northern Captain nc/mc-like filemanager for X
	= Really ugly, yuck

# New in Karmic?
tuxcmd - twin-panel (commander-style) file manager using GTK+ 2
 >>>	= tabs, Looks good! [no deps]

gentoo - a fully GUI-configurable, two-pane X file manager
	= No menus, too many buttons
worker - highly configurable two-paned file manager for X
	= No menus, too many buttons

[2] For terminals/SSH I also looked at:
mrxvt - lightweight multi-tabbed X terminal emulator
	= very minimalistic, doesn't look very configurable
multi-aterm - tabbed terminal emulator with efficent pseudo transparency
	= very minimalistic, doesn't look very configurable [looks just like mrxvt]
terminator - multiple GNOME terminals in one window
	= super minimalistic, doesn't look very configurable

And I found but didn't really look at:
eterm - Enlightened Terminal Emulator
fbterm - A fast framebuffer based terminal emulator for Linux
gstm - Gnome SSH Tunnel Manager
guake - A drop-down terminal for GNOME Desktop Environment
kdessh - ssh frontend for KDE
kssh - KDE front end to ssh
kterm - Multi-lingual terminal emulator for X
lxterminal - desktop independent vte-based terminal emulator
mrxvt - lightweight multi-tabbed X terminal emulator
pterm - PuTTY terminal emulator
putty - Telnet/SSH client for X
rxvt - VT102 terminal emulator for the X Window System
secpanel - A graphical user interface for SSH and SCP
sshmenu-gnome - A GNOME panel applet for connecting to hosts using SSH
xfce4-terminal - Xfce terminal emulator
xterm - X terminal emulator
xvt - X terminal-emulator similar to xterm, but smaller
JP Vossen, CISSP            |:::======|
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