Science and technology

Do this Java file supervisor on Linux

Computers are fancy submitting cupboards, filled with digital folders and information ready to be referenced, cross-referenced, edited, up to date, saved, copied, moved, renamed, and arranged. In this text, we’re looking at a file supervisor in your Linux system.

At the tail finish of the Sun Microsystem days, there was one thing known as the Java Desktop System, which was unusually not written in Java. Instead, it was a (in response to on the time) “judicious selection of integrated and tuned desktop software, most based on open source and open standards.” It was primarily based on GNOME, with an workplace suite, electronic mail and calendaring apps, instantaneous messaging, “and Java technology.” I discovered myself musing about what it could take to create a desktop in Java. Objectively, a desktop does not really encompass all that a lot. The common consensus appears to be {that a} desktop is made up of a panel, a system tray, an utility menu, and a file supervisor.

It’s an attention-grabbing thought train to think about an precise Java desktop. Not sufficient to start out an open supply challenge with that as its intention, however sufficient for a fast net seek for the required elements. And because it seems, somebody has written and maintains a file supervisor in Java.


The Java file supervisor I discovered is named JFileProcessor, or JFP for brief. It’s a captivating train not simply in Java, however particularly in Groovy, a preferred scripting language for Java.

(Seth Kenlon, CC BY-SA 4.0)

As a file supervisor, JFileProcessor takes a minimal strategy to each design and performance. It allows you to view, open, transfer, copy, minimize, or delete information in your native system and on distant techniques. It’s not significantly customizable, it does not have additional options like break up panels or movable panes. It’s not constructed round any central theme apart from managing information. JFileProcessor is refreshing, in a method, due to its simplicity. This is a file supervisor, and that is all. And typically that is all you need in a file supervisor.

I’ve written about choices to theme Java Swing earlier than, and that method is technically an choice for this open supply utility. However, I feel a part of the appeal of this utility is what OpenSolaris known as its “Blueprint” theme. It’s a nostalgic look of Java, and I’ve loved working it in its native GUI look as a callback to my OpenSolaris (now OpenIndiana) laptop computer.

User expertise

Design apart, what actually issues is consumer expertise. JFileProcessor has simply three buttons that you just use each day: Up, again, and ahead. They aren’t sure to keyboard shortcuts, so that you do must click on the buttons to navigate (or use the Tab key to pick out a button). I do lots with keyboard shortcuts when utilizing graphical functions, so this slowed me down lots as I attempted to navigate my system. However, there are occasions when I’m really simply lazily looking information, and for that JFileProcessor labored precisely as I wanted it.

There’s a search part to JFileProcessor, too. As lengthy as you set an affordable beginning folder, the search is fast and clever, permitting for each search globs and regex patterns. I used this function frequently when looking for a particular e-book or comedian archive or recreation rulebook, as an illustration, or any time that I had a tough concept that listing contained an merchandise however could not be bothered to click on right through to the vacation spot. A fast search via the subdirectories inevitably returned the apparent outcome, and a double-click opened the file to no matter XDG choice I had set (Evince for PDFs, Foliate for eBooks, and so forth.)

A right-click on any file or listing brings up a context menu. It’s obtained many of the frequent duties you’d count on: Copy, Cut, Paste, Delete, Rename, New. It’s obtained some good additions, too.

(Seth Kenlon, CC BY-SA 4.0)

For occasion, you possibly can copy simply the filename to your clipboard or save a path to a file. You can even run some scripts, together with one to batch rename information, one to run a command on chosen information, one to create a ZIP or TAR archive, and plenty of extra. And in fact, there are a number of choices for the coder, together with opening a terminal at your present location and opening a brand new coding window.


I’m an actual fan of Java. It’s a transparent language with smart delimiters and a agency stance on cross-platform compatibility. I get pleasure from it as a language, and I like seeing what programmers create with it.

JFileProcessor is aptly named. It’s an efficient option to course of information, within the sense that JFileProcessor provides you a easy window into the information of knowledge in your system and permits you to work together with them, graphically, in the identical method you are prone to work together with them from a terminal. It’s not probably the most environment friendly file supervisor I’ve used, nor the one with probably the most options. However, it is a nice utility that gives you with the fundamental instruments you want for file administration with a comparatively small codebase that makes for some stellar afternoon studying.

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