I use Xfce for the window manager on my Arch Linux box because it is simple and fast. But there are a lot of great Kde4 apps that I prefer to their default Gnome counterparts. Although I use Firefox for most of my web browsing instead of Konqueror, I find Konqueror to be far superior to Thunar as a file manager.
Konqueror has excellent support for profiles, or sessions, and diverse protocols like ftp and sftp. I use the session capabilities to save the URLs and other details, like window layout. Then I create menu items that call these sessions so I don’t have to remember the session names. For Konqueror, you can create your menu items with the ‘command’ or ‘execute’ field set like this:
kfmclient openProfile filemanagemt (filemanagement happens to be one of the default profiles, but you can create your own). You’ll find the menu entries to work with profiles in Konqueror under the Settings menu.
Konqueror depends on having the ssh packages installed on your system for Secure File Transfer Protocol. I recommend using SFTP and not just FTP, since you want an encrypted channel to your server. The Kwallet package also comes in handy because it will store your password without you having to re-enter it every time you log into the remote site. If you’re working on a private computer and no one else can login as you, this is fine, but of course it’s not an appropriate solution if others have access to your computer.
The following tips are based on hosting at NearlyFreeSpeech.net but it should be fairly easy to adapt them to your own web hosting provider.
To view (and optionally edit) the actual files on your NFS site using Konqueror, the first step is to get the right URL. Login into your NFS account from the web and click the ’sites’ tab, then click the link in the left column under ‘Short Name’. In the box labeled ‘FTP/SFTP/ssh Information’, you’ll find the information you need to access your site in Konqueror. Copy and paste the details next to ‘Username’ and ’ssh Hostname’ into Konqueror’s URL input. Before you hit enter though, separate the two items by ‘@’ and put ’sftp://’ at the front of the address (thats the protocol, instead of the usual http://). Your URL should look something like this:
When you hit ‘Enter’, you’ll be asked for your password, and maybe a dialog will come up asking you if you want to add the ssh information to your local computer, which you do. If you have Kwallet installed, it can save your password.
If you’ve logged in successfully (sometimes I have to reload the page to get the remote files to show) you’ll see your site’s files. Divide the pane in two by using the Ctrl+Shift+L shortcut (or choose ‘Split View’ from the ‘Window’ menu). In the new pane, navigate to your site’s home on your local drive (or create a directory for it under your home directory). Now you can drag and drop between the local and remote versions of your site. If you want to edit a remote file, it’s as easy as right clicking on it and choosing ‘Open With …’. This will download the remote file to a temporary directory, let you edit it, and, upon saving the file in your editor (I use Kate for text files) your file changes will saved to the remote site. This may not be what you want though, so you can edit a file locally and then upload it (so your local version is current with the remote one).
Now that you have the two panes open, with your local files on one side and your remote files on the other, click ‘Configure View Profiles’ in the ‘Setting Menu’. Enter an easy to remember name for your profile in the ‘Profile name’ field, and make sure ‘Save URLs’ is checked. When you hit the ‘Close’ button your profile will be saved, making it easy for you to get back to the exact same place again. You can also use the ‘Bookmarks’ menu to add various URL’s to your bookmarks. One quirk of Konqueror is that the profiles and bookmarks are updated instantly, without your having to press a ‘Save’ button. I find that the ‘Edit Bookmarks’ menu choice is easier to use than just hitting ‘Add Bookmark’ because it’s more flexible. In the ‘Edit Bookmarks’ window it’s easy to change bookmark titles and you can even change the icons shown for each bookmark if you like.
Konqueror beats any other method I’ve seen on Linux for ease of use in managing your remote files. Give it a try!