Thursday, 1 December 2011

Marlin File Browser for GNOME - Overview

Marlin is a relatively new file browser for GNOME somewhat similar with Nautilus when it comes to features, but with a different default interface.

The default interface is divided into a left panel, which provides fast access to bookmarks and common places, the rest of the area being occupied by the file browser itself. The status bar at the bottom shows the name, type, size, date modified and owner of the currently selected file.

These are the main features:

  • tab support
  • Nautilus-like location bar
  • three file view modes: Icon View, List View and Column View
  • networking support (SSH, FTP, Windows share, HTTP and HTTPS)
  • customizable toolbar, including toolbar icon size
  • single click/double click to open file
  • show hidden files
  • zoom in/out

Installation in Ubuntu

Marlin is not yet in the Ubuntu official repositories, but a PPA is available. To install it, open a terminal and type in these commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:marlin-devs/marlin-daily
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install marlin

The repository contains versions for Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot and 12.04 Precise Pangolin.

Overall, Marlin gets the job done. It's nothing more, nothing less than what you'd expect from a simple file manager, it blends well in GNOME, and it's pretty lightweight.


Anonymous said...

Why would I prefer this to any other file browser?

Without a direct comparison, like "nautilus does this but marlin does that", this post is not helpful in making a decision.

For example, which is more "light-weight"? Nautilus or Marlin?

Craciun Dan said...

I guess they are both the same in terms of start-up time and resources, however I couldn't measure this exactly, I doubt there is a proper way of doing it.

Regarding features, they both seem the way, however Marlin has less configuration options than Nautilus. Also, screenshots should be of help too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. It made widely known what was previously unknown to many, such as myself.

How could one ever make a decision without even being aware of the very existence of the application?

Your article is a pretty detailed introduction to and description of the new file browser.

One just has to read the post enriched with screenshots to see Marlin's features, without the need to repeat the already known features of other file browsers.

Some people like Anonymous above are like spoiled children, as they never appreciate the service offered by others and only criticise without doing anything themselves.

Anonymous said...

funny how the 2nd Anonymous blames the 1st Anonymous for being lazy for not doing the comparison between the two file browsers, but 2nd Anonymous himself points out that he was unaware of Marlin and needed this article to find out about it.

Hey 2nd Anonymous, how about don't be lazy yourself and go search for alternate programs, instead of relying on articles such as this one.

Any reputable reporter should state why a program is light-weight, instead of just saying it's better.

Anonymous said...

Change over to a another blog system like wordpress this thing sucks.

Oh and this site is nasty as well ;-) (the sidebars are too big the content too small and the colour scheme makes my eyes bleed.)

Luckily the content is great :-)

Anonymous said...

How do I copy text from the location bar, that is how do I change the bread crumbs to text?

AF said...

The best file manager I've found is the Windows tool Xplorer2 Lite (free) with not tabs but actual dual pane along with the sidebar. Selecting and dragging items from one pane straight into another without without either copy/paste or the nuisance of opening another tab or window is the way it oughta be.

Kenny said...

Marlin looks like a nautilus clone with an awful UI.
Is there a single, plausible reason you would prefer it over Nautilus?

Anonymous said...

If you compare Marlin and Nautilus GUI, there are stark differences. I prefer the way Marlin's sidebar does not go all the way up to the bottom of the menu (or title bar, depending on global menu being used or not) and that Marlin PROPERLY has forward and back buttons on the left, as most everything always does... why does Nautilus have navigation buttons on the right (it's inconsistent!) It's silly that these things in Nautilus can not be easily customized.

Michael Rudas said...

A good alternative file manager for ANY desktop environment is Xfe. It's a dual-pane file manager if you want it to be. It has its own graphical element libraries, so it has a consistent look-and-feel in any desktop environment. It most closely resembles xplorer2 under Windows; this is a good thing. It's available in most distro repositories.