Joined: 23 Feb 2004
|Posted: Sun Feb 29, 2004 6:20 pm Post subject: DFM 0.99.9
DFM is a Linux file manager which is loosely based on the veteran Work Place Shell (WPS) that came packaged with IBM's OS/2. There has always been controversy between Linux users about whether a Graphical User Interface (GUI) is required for manipulating files. After all, all Linux distros come with commands such as cp, mv, rm, chmod, chown etc that let you organise your filesystem to your heart's content. I'm of a different school of thought; maybe I'm lazy, but I prefer dragging and dropping files, launching files into a suitable program, and having an attractive interface.
The following commands were entered at a shell prompt:
|tar zxvf dfm-0.99.9.tar.gz
The program appeared to have compiled perfectly with no problems whatsoever, although none of the icons were being found on startup of DFM. The HELP.ERROR file documents a manual procedure to follow so that the icons were found, I ended up setting up a nasty symbolic link as it was quicker than the proposed method.
Basic file operations are performed reasonably easily with DFM. Dragging an icon from one window to another moves the file. Copying the file is performed in the same manner except that the shift and ctrl keys need to be held down at the same time. If only the shift key is held down a symbolic link is created.
I started up the application in my home directory. Clicking on any of the folders launches another window. Each folder can be displayed in a detail or structure view, in addition to the normal view. The normal view can get messy especially if you have lots of long filename files like I have. The icons supplied with DFM help to make different file types distinctive.
Right clicking (or ctrl-O) on a file/windows brings up a menu with options including the previously mentioned detail/structure view. The Options menu allows you to rename files, change the icon, shell command and permissions.
DFM hasn't been updated for over 3 years, and this frankly shows in use.
One thing that annoyed me was that there isn't any way of opening a file in more than one different application, the .dfmext configuration file only lets you choose one application for each different file type. Although every single file can have it's own start command, it's laborious to have to configure this for every file especially if you then want to open it up in a different program.
The features offered are basic but perform the minimum required of a filemanager. If you hanker for OS/2, DFM may suit your needs.