Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Saturday, October 31, 2015 at 01:00

Now after Caja, we bring Dolphin. It is KDE file manager. We find Dolphin on Kubuntu, openSUSE, Slackware, or any other distro using KDE. We will explain briwfly how to use Dolphin to manage file and folder in Linux. We use Dolphin 14.12.3 in Kubuntu 15.04 here. We hope this will help any new users. Enjoy.



  1. Main toolbar. It consists of toolbar itself plus Control button (menubar inside a button, just like latest Chrome or Firefox web browser).
  2. Address bar (breadcrumb or text).
  3. Left Sidebar. By default, Dolphin has Places style.
  4. Status bar. It consists of status indicator, zoom slider, or folder size bar.
  5. Right Sidebar. By default, it is file preview panel.


  1. Dolphin is an advanced file manager. By functionality, it is closer to Windows Explorer than any other file manager programs.
  2. Dolphin has split view, tree view, and show in groups feature while another file managers don't have it anymore.
  3. Dolphin builds its visual appearances from components. Sometimes it is toolbar, sometimes it is panel. Every component can be added, modified, or removed. So it is possible to create custom toolbar with your choosen buttons in Dolphin, just like LibreOffice Writer toolbars.
  4. Dolphin has many panels. For example, tree view in Dolphin is treated as a special panel, named Folders Panel (F7).
  5. Dolphin doesn't have menubar by default, moved into single button Control.

Split View

To split view in Dolphin, press F3. Press it again to revert back.

New Tab

To open a new tab, press Ctrl+T. Press Ctrl+W to close it.

New Folder

To create a new folder, right-click main area > Create New > Folder. You can't use Ctrl+Shift+N by default because that shortcut has been used as New Window.

Sort By

Dolphin is the only one file manager to do file sorting (by date or else) + Show in Groups. This feature can help us to easily differ a file from a another files in a folder. You ill find this feature in Windows Explorer too. To achieve this,
  1. Open menu Control > Sort By > Date then select Descending.
  2. Open menu Control > Sort By > Descending.
  3. Open menu Control > Show in Groups.
This is our default view in Dolphin. If you want the other, change Date by Name, Type, or Size.


To search file in Dolphin, press Ctrl+F. Press Esc to revert back. Remember that KDE Baloo component needs some times (a few minutes) since the first run to index your files. Baloo is the new Nepomuk, the file indexing service in KDE. Baloo in KDE is similar with Google Search Engine in the web.

Tree View

Tree view in Dolphin is achieved by adding Tree Panel (Folders Panel) manually. To do it, press F7 or access Control > Panels > Folders. See picture below. Red box means how to do it, green box means the result. You may edit the panel positions by unlocking panel first then drag them then lock them again.

Change Folder Logo

To change folder image, right-click a folder > Properties > click folder logo > select one image. In this example, we change default logo into red folder logo.

Integrated Terminal

To open Terminal directly inside Dolphin, press F4. To close it, press F4 again. It is an embedded Terminal, no need to open different window. Probably it is the most used/needed Dolphin feature for a Linux user.