IgnorantGuru's Blog

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SpaceFM: How And Why?

First, spacefm 0.5.1 is available. This corrects a few bugs that affected some installations as detailed in News.

Second, a bit on dependencies compared to its predecessor pcmanfm-mod: spacefm drops dependency on hal. It now supports udisks, but udisks is NOT a build or package dependency – spacefm interfaces with it the old fashioned way: text streams. In this way spacefm should be more resilient to changes in the udisks API, and users who don’t have udisks installed can still use spacefm (the udisks device manager will just be empty). Also, if you do still use hal, you can build spacefm with ––enable-hal, which will cause the old device manager code to be used. And there currently are deb packages available for the hal build. The hal device manager is the same one from pcmanfm – very primitive so I do recommend udisks. spacefm is devmon and then some.

The dependency on fam|gamin has also been removed, replaced with inotify kernel support. So spacefm has fewer dependencies than pcmanfm-mod, yet with greater functionality. I don’t like dependencies – they are sources of endless trouble because the APIs and libraries keep changing – a real problem in Linux. Plus spacefm, like pcmanfm-mod, is somewhat retro, so I have no intention of making it dependent on gvfs.

Third, here’s a start for those interested in the background…

spacefm is NOT pcmanfm or pcmanfm-mod, so don’t expect it to be. It’s quite a different beast, but its design is certainly inspired by pcmanfm, and it still uses some of the pcmanfm code, most of it modified, plus lots of new code. That’s why it’s being released under a new name and as a test version – there is a lot of new code that needs time to mature.

I was considering writing a new fm in gtk3 to try out some ideas I’ve had, but I don’t like using the latest toolkits as they’re always changing, which makes for bugs (it’s not easy developing stable software when everything its based on is changing, as is too much the case in Linux). And who wants a file manager that doesn’t WORK? Plus I didn’t feel at the time that I knew gtk well enough (I do now!) Plus a fm is a massive project to start from scratch.

This got me rethinking pcmanfm-mod. I’ve spent some time debugging its built-in vfs the last couple of years, and I found it very fast and stable. It uses core C and glib I/O functions, so it doesn’t crash with every change to some library, and I can modify or correct parts of it to do whatever I need. It is because pcmanfm-mod ran so solid and had few dependencies (eg no gvfs) that I decided to use it as a base for developing spacefm. I didn’t know if I would succeed in what I wanted to do, but I figured it was a good target for experimentation.

spacefm is experimental, especially in the UI department. This is not your typical file manager, at least in some ways. There are enough of those that work well, so I wanted to get more creative with it. I always hear from users how they want things their way, and I do too! So I wanted a UI that was very flexible, and also had a good memory for remembering and allowing user options and settings. To give you an idea, pcmanfm remembers about 20 settings or so in its config file. A typical spacefm config file remembers about 1000 settings, and that number only gets higher as you add custom commands and customize parts of the program. spacefm remembers just about everything in terms of preferred dialog sizes, program options, menu options, fonts, icons, etc. (If it forgets something you want it to remember, let me know – this is one of the key design aspects.) This design blurs the line between development and use – in using spacefm you are the developer of your own version of it, and you can make it look and work quite uniquely. As you use it, it begins to change and conform to your uses, sort of like a baseball glove that breaks in with use. It’s up to you to decide if I achieved this, but that was the idea. It can seem a little unusual at first though, like a new baseball glove, so give it a chance to break in.

Another aspect of this design is that it’s supposed to be always changing. The ‘space’ in spacefm is much like a room. If you move a chair or a couch in a room of your home, you expect it to be in the same place the next time you walk into the room – it doesn’t magically pop back to its original location. For the most part, everytime you start spacefm it’s exactly as you left it. It’s a space that you’re always changing gradually as you use it.

The other big design priority was easy integration with bash. Having to modify C code everytime I want my fm to do something is a pain. Yet fm UI’s are easier than bash for dealing with lots of folders, long filenames, etc. – click and copy. I wanted it to work like a word processor, where I can create a quick macro to do something repetitive or intelligent. And I may keep some macros long term, while other macros I’ll delete after a few uses – they served their purpose. It’s much easer to whip up a bash script than compile C code.

And I’ve missed multiple panels since I gave up using KDE and Krusader. Tabs are great, but sometimes it’s so handy to have folders next to each other for comparison, without trying to manage multiple windows. Yet pcmanfm was never designed for multiple panels, and the author has even stated it will never have them.

One other thing – I and some users of pcmanfm-mod didn’t like the handling of popup dialogs and errors. So I designed a task manager that provides flexibility in this area, and also allows custom commands to be integrated into the task management – you can add your own popup dialogs for your commands, with error detection and more.

About 4-5 months ago I began tearing apart all the source code of pcmanfm-mod thinking, “How will I EVER get all of this back together again and working?” spacefm is pcmanfm-mod after major Frankenstein surgery, with large sections of new code grafted into it, and old code used in ways it wasn’t originally designed for. I added support for up to four panels, which allows a combination of side-by-side and vertical (plus tabs too). And I added a custom data set for giving it a practically infinite memory for settings, custom commands, etc., and this memory is automatically saved with your session. This makes it very easy to add additional user options, etc (unlike having to code each one independently in pcmanfm-mod). Plus the new Design Mode, a tricky and unique use of gtk’s menus, allows the user to change the menus, keys, icons, etc. (On this topic, Design Mode currently doesn’t work without a mouse, or the ability to ctrl- or middle-click, so if you need a keyboard mode please let me know. I tried once at that and failed, but I plan to revisit it. If I know it’s a priority for you I’ll move it higher on my list.)

It’s not easy designing a multiple-panel file manager with all of this flexibility while still retaining pcmanfm’s simple, clear interface. Yet I didn’t want a program that looked like the control panel of the space shuttle. I wanted it to be as simple as possible, and as direct as possible. A setting for anything should be directly accessible from that object (in a context menu for example), rather than having to hunt it down in a list of options. To me this makes use much easier.

I think I did pretty well with this, but I’ve been looking at every detail of it for so long it’s hard to tell. I’m still getting to know spacefm myself – I haven’t actually had a chance to use it much yet. I’ve been using daily builds of it on my HTPC for a few months with great results – I love being able to customize the panels and columns, plus the large fonts on the tv. It can create some unique views. As for the custom commands, I’m just starting to use those seriously myself.

Anyway I hope you enjoy spacefm, or at least give it a try when you’re comfortable with its stability level. I’m somewhat burned out after working on it intensely for several months. I’d like to use it a bit to get an idea of how it works in practice, plus get the existing features as stable as Linux allows. As a free software author I don’t make any promises or deadlines, but I can certainly see myself working on this more from time to time. And in the design I left a lot of space to accomodate ideas that I knew I might want later, so I think it has a lot of potential for growth despite being (deliberately) retro.

January 14, 2012 - Posted by | Mods, Software


  1. How about a shortcut key for launching terminal (like F4 in libfm based pcmanfm)?

    And why not re-write this in gtk3, since gtk2 will be deprecated and will become unmaintained (like gnome2 codebase).

    Thanks for the AUR package. How about a dev package like spacefm-git or spacefm-bzr or something like that?

    Where is the VCS or SCM (git?) repo for spacefm source-code? Thanks in advance.

    Comment by Keshav P R | January 15, 2012

    • Hi – I just answered you re gtk3 on the AUR comment. :) But I have more room here so I’ll repeat and extend some of that:

      gtk3 may happen in some form down the road. Part of it is just a manpower issue, and I also prefer to use toolkits that aren’t changing much anymore, especially with spacefm, which pushes gtk and goes into undocumented areas with its unusual use of menus, etc. (It took a lot of trail-and-error and fine tuning to get it to do what it does with the menus. If the toolkit were still changing much I think it would break every five minutes.) I find using the latest and greatest causes more problems and instability, and I’ve heard that gtk3 may not be around for too long (in terms of gtk4). I don’t want to waste my time ‘keeping up’. gtk2 is nice and quiet now. ;) The continuously changing and breaking nature of Linux is one thing I’m explicitly trying to avoid as much as possible in spacefm.

      I’d rather focus my time for now on what the program can do – although usable it’s not complete yet. So gtk3 is still a ‘we’ll see’. This project is somewhat of a prototype in my mind – a place where I could try out some ideas. If it works well then at some point I may just rewrite it from scratch to bring in some additional design elements. The code as it stands can’t handle much more.

      There is no source repo, just the tarball – I’m the sole developer. I realize it would be handy for updates but setting that up now would distract me from higher priority items. Thanks for your patience.

      As for the terminal launch key, I was debating which key to use (Ctrl-S from the mod or something else). The default keys aren’t all done yet. At any rate you can add your own key using View|Design Mode.

      Thanks for your feedback.

      Comment by IgnorantGuru | January 15, 2012

  2. Thank you. Wow. Design Mode is great. I added a new Tools -> Roxterm option with F4 as the key.

    Comment by Keshav P R | January 15, 2012

  3. How do I configure backspace = go back dir ?

    Comment by Keshav P R | January 15, 2012

    • Thanks – in the file browser right-click context menu you’ll find Go|Back and you can set it to that. (Most of the Go submenu is provided primarily for setting keys, same for View|Go.) Thanks for asking – there isn’t any documentation yet so if anything is unclear please ask.

      Comment by IgnorantGuru | January 15, 2012

      • Thanks. That worked. What is the requirement for -> Left and Right context menus? I initially tried to set the Back option there.

        Comment by Keshav P R | January 15, 2012

        • I’m not sure what you mean by requirement. If you click the leftmost toolbar icon in the toolbox (a little wrench), you’ll see the Left and Right menus. These control what toolbar items appear on the left and right side of the smartbar, and also lets you add your own custom toolbar commands. You change or add to those menus using Design Mode. Anything you change in those menus will change the toolbars – the toolbars are built from them. As for keys, normally you wouldn’t set a key for a toolbar item, but you can. Just set it for the corresponding menu item in Left/Right. Hopefully that’s clear – if not let me know and I’ll try again.

          Actually the toolbar go back and the menu Go|Back should have shared keys (changing one changes the other). That’s something I need to correct, but setting either should do what you want.

          Comment by IgnorantGuru | January 15, 2012

  4. I think a Archwiki page for SpaceFM would be great. I can’t start right now but I will try to create one within this week (with the Design mode details in it).

    Comment by Keshav P R | January 15, 2012

  5. Devices -> Settings -> Show Internal Drives or Show Partition Tables or Ignore Udisks policy ==> seg fault.
    GDB backtrace – http://pastebin.com/P1t4HXB2

    Also how to specify multiple mount options for a single filesystem

    sync+ntfs, windows_names+ntfs,

    or any other way? (windows_names is ntfs-3g specific mount option)

    Comment by Keshav P R | January 15, 2012

    • SpaceFM recompiled with options=(!strip) in PKGBUILD and CFLAGS=”-g”
      GDB backtrace – http://pastebin.com/f059iKpp

      Comment by Keshav P R | January 15, 2012

      • Thanks for the detailed info! That segfault should now be corrected in 0.5.2.

        Re the mount options, your way is correct. There is not currently a way to group them, but it’s not something you should have to change often once you set it. Also, the other way to do it is to simply specify ‘sync’ and then add sync-fstype for any types you DON’T want that option for. (For sync that probably isn’t the best approach.)

        Comment by IgnorantGuru | January 16, 2012

  6. Great job! When it will become more mature, I would like to move it into [community]

    The only thing which would be great to see is changing icons (graphically, sizes, etc) in toolbar.

    Comment by Barthalion | January 18, 2012

    • Thanks. An icon size for the toolbar is a good idea. The toolbar config is bit primitive right now, but you can change the icons in case you didn’t see it. Click the leftmost icon (little wrench) and then modify the Left and Right menus using Design Mode. If you change the icons in those menus, the toolbar icons will be updated. Also, re the size, currently it should use whatever your GTK theme is set to use for toolbar icon size. Thanks for your feedback.

      Comment by IgnorantGuru | January 18, 2012

  7. I’ve never considered using applications like ktsuss, gksu, or gksudo to be good to use.

    Since the project as always been about simplicity, why even bother and just make it work for sudo is all?

    If you really want to go for it then fine, it’s your project but I think these are bad choices to mess with.

    gksu is being replaced by gksu PolicyKit, it’s old and outdated… And forget PolicyKit if you don’t really need, just more nonsense…

    I hope you’ll keep the project light, like it has been, but it looks like you’re starting to take the approach of bloat… :(


    Comment by Friaion | January 18, 2012

    • This project will stay light. spacefm can route root commands through graphical or non-graphical su, and this has been part of the design since the beginning. You can even set su or sudo as your graphical su command and it will run it in a terminal. So if you don’t want to use gksu, no need. I like ktsuss – nice and light. gksu I do not like. Although if I’m doing much as root I just run spacefm as root – use at your own discretion.

      How does udisks run without policykit? I thought it depended on consolekit+policykit.

      spacefm is still under dev, so you will see additional things being added. But it is my aim to keep the interface as simple as possible while still doing what I want to do. Thanks for your input.

      Comment by IgnorantGuru | January 18, 2012

    • I should have added that in View|Preferences|Advanced you can set both Terminal SU and Graphical SU commands, along with some other important run-as-root prefs. All commands are routed through spacefm’s task manager, so all the su code is in one place, making it easy to maintain. It has a few rules for dealing with the particulars of each su program. Each has its own way of doing things, but spacefm should make the differences transparent to the user. Same for different terminals – if one doesn’t work well please let me know.

      Comment by IgnorantGuru | January 18, 2012

  8. Hi IgnorantGuru,

    WOW SpaceFM is looking really wild, coming from PCManFM-MOD to this, hehe, my head is spinning… @_@

    On the top left, it’s now a hard drive icon, a usb icon, then the folder icon?

    So when you plug in a USB you need to click to see that?

    I didn’t install udisks, the compile options said;
    Udisks support…………………………. : yes (built-in)

    So I was hoping that meant you didn’t really need it and it still had USB support but when I plug in a USB drive I didn’t see anything so I guess I have to install it…


    Comment by Das | January 18, 2012

  9. I know what you mean – when I backported some fixes to the final version of pcmanfm-mod it felt very strange to be using it again.

    Built-in means udisks support is built-in – it is not dependent on udisks in the build or package dependency sense (I should make that clearer). But if you want to use the device manager, you need either udisks or hal (with a hal build). udisks is definitely recommended as the hal device manager does very little.

    The icons you mention show or hide the device manager, bookmarks pane, and dir tree.

    Thanks for testing.

    Comment by IgnorantGuru | January 18, 2012

  10. Hi IgnorantGuru,

    GREAT, I’ll compile in udisks right now and see how that goes and report later any bugs I run across…


    Comment by Das | January 18, 2012

  11. Hi IgnorantGuru,

    Ok I have spacefm up and running with udisks installed.

    I have some questions and feedback…

    1. When I plugged a usb drive in and clicked the Devices icon I now see my usb drive, but is it suppose to automount?

    2. I must admit, after using pcmanfm-mod for as long as I did I liked the left window pane view better, the two icons at the lower left, but who cares where those are now, hehe, I just meant those, one for icon view and tree view and in the icon view when you plugged a usb drive in, it just showed up at the bottom, only listing the partition names.

    3. To much information for the usb drive now, /dev/name – size – filesystem type – partition name – hard drive name…. WOOOO that’s some serious information over load and most people using a USB drive should pretty much have control of all this information without the need for all this. So I’d really love to see it go back to just showing the partition names as it was before in pcmanfm-mod, nice clean and efficient.

    4. Picking whether you want the devices or filesystems in view or not, I can’t say I’d have a need for this and I really don’t see the point, again I just liked the pane view look before, you either made it icon or tree…

    GREAT work by the way, can’t wait to see this when it’s final!


    Comment by Das | January 18, 2012

  12. Hi,

    Ok I see it’s suppose to automount in a terminal running it I get;

    Mount failed: Not Authorized

    So it won’t mount… :(

    Comment by Das | January 18, 2012

    • Sounds like you have a system-wide udisks problem. You are the person who said you removed policykit and consolekit, are you not? :)

      SInce spacefm’s docs are yet-to-be, you can consult devmon’s install instructions for help on that not authorized error. spacefm and devmon use udisks in similar ways, so most of what’s there will apply.

      Specifically, if you can’t mount the drive in a terminal with:

          udisks --mount /dev/sdX   # replace the X

      then spacefm won’t be able to mount it either.

      Comment by IgnorantGuru | January 18, 2012

      • For Antix (as shown under Devmon troubleshooting) creating /etc/polkit-1/localauthority/50-local.d/10-udisks.pkla & setting a username fixed the “Not Authorized” error (as there is no storage group to add a user to)

        Comment by Stuart | February 8, 2012

  13. Hi IgnorantGuru,

    SORRY I should of played longer, hehe…

    I installed consolekit and now it automounts…

    Found the ‘Display Name’ settings got the USB drive changed… :)

    For the Display Name format, hopefully you can change this so that you can edit them individually in the future, that would be really nice…

    OK I’ll go play and keep quiet now… LOL


    Comment by Das | January 18, 2012

  14. First of all: I just replaced PCManFM-MOD-nohal with this! Good work, very simple and great, but I have a few questions i came up with during testing:

    1. When will other languages be included? (Do you need/want help translating it to German?)

    2. Why is displaying devices such an un-intuitive mess and shows absolutely nothing when I try to set it up?

    3. Why does it not use ~/.gtk-bookmarks for bookmarks?

    4. Will there be a way to bind commands to shortcuts like in PCManFM-MOD?

    5. Why does it ask me all the time to enter my root password when configuring it?

    So long :)

    Comment by Dirk | January 19, 2012

    • > 1. When will other languages be included? (Do you need/want help translating it to German?)

      The translations are largely broken because the files are now outdated – some are intact but many no longer match the strings in the source. I plan to look into intltool eventually (I’ve never used it) to get it ready for new translations. Or if someone knows how to use it, maybe they can give me the steps to prepare it. Once that is done then I would appreciate translators, yes. If you drop me an email I can let you know when that is ready, or it will also be announced on this blog if you subscribe.

      > 2. Why is displaying devices such an un-intuitive mess and shows absolutely nothing when I try to set it up?

      Devices should show without any configuration changes – by default it will show (and automount) removable and optical devices. If those don’t show in the devices list, maybe you don’t have udisks installed or it is not installed to /usr/bin/udisks. You can try running spacefm in a terminal so you can see the output – this might give you a clue. If by ‘mess’ you mean the Settings submenu, spacefm has a powerful automounter and device manager, so there has to be someplace to command it. But if you just want normal operations, you shouldn’t need to adjust much. You can do most things just by clicking on a device to mount & open it, or middle-click to remove/eject.

      > 3. Why does it not use ~/.gtk-bookmarks for bookmarks?

      Mainly because I want spacefm to be as independent as possible from the system it is installed on, not just in bookmarks. I haven’t decided what to do with it, but probably spacefm will not use gtk bookmarks – it maintains its own (just as Firefox, for example, maintains its own bookmarks). However, the file formats are currently the same so you can copy your gtk bookmarks onto ~/.config/spacefm/bookmarks

      > 4. Will there be a way to bind commands to shortcuts like in PCManFM-MOD?

      spacefm has extensive custom command capabilities. It all begins with View|Design Mode. No documentation yet but if anything isn’t clear please ask – this feedback also lets me know where the interface isn’t intuitive.

      > 5. Why does it ask me all the time to enter my root password when configuring it?

      Anytime you change your terminal or root editor in Preferences|Advanced, it will try to save these settings as root to /etc/spacefm. This is optional but recommended (you can just cancel the password prompt if you don’t want to.) However, without being saved as root, those settings are vulnerable, and can create a root exploit. For example, if you save your root editor as ‘nano’, and skip the root password, then it will be saved to your session file in your home directory, with normal user permissions. This means someone or something could tamper with that file, changing the editor to ‘trojan ; nano’. When you edit as root, you will think you’re just running nano as root, but you’ll also be running the trojan as root, which can do anything. So that mechanism helps protect your system.

      Personally, if I’m doing much as root I think its more secure to just run spacefm as root – that way all preferences and processes are root owned. This is about equivalent to running Synaptic as root (gtk) except spacefm doesn’t access the network. Of course everyone has their own preferences regarding root, and keep in mind that spacefm is still in testing.

      Thanks for your input!

      Comment by IgnorantGuru | January 19, 2012

      • To 1: Oh, yes, i noticed that. Some translations are stile there, some are not. I have no idea how it actually works (I assume it works like in PHP with gettext or so), but i can provide German translation manpower if needed!

        To 2: Yes, I don’t have udisks installed udev is enough for me (plus: i don’t want this polkit – too much redundancy). Wouldn’t it be more independent if using udev instead of udisks? It only has to monitor add/remove changes and trigger some actions according to this changes.

        To 3: Firefox is used to manage Internet bookmarks, not file bookmarks. .gtk-bookmarks is the standard location for saving bookmarks in GTK applications. You should consider using it or at least making it an option for being standards compliant. As a workaround I deleted SpaceFM bookmarks file and replaced it with a symlink to the actual GTK bookmarks file.

        To 4: Oh wow! That TOTALLY needs some documentation! Works like charm with custom command and setting a shortcut. :)

        To 5: I did not change it. Not even once. Even if I click “View → Preferences” and directly click “Okay” instantly it asks me to “save the root settings”. This should be made an option or should be clarified – Or at least SPaceFM should only trigger that root setting thing when things are changed, that need to be stored as root settings.

        Comment by Dirk | January 19, 2012

        • > i can provide German translation manpower if needed!


          > I don’t have udisks installed

          In that case your options are to not use the device manager, or install hal and a hal build of spacefm for a very limited manager. udev alone is not supported. udisks isn’t perfect but it does allow users to mount/unmount in a more convenient way and configurationless way than udev. At any rate, currently spacefm only supports udisks or (if built for it) hal.

          > To 3: Firefox is used to manage Internet bookmarks, not file bookmarks

          Thanks a point – I’ll leave the issue open for now. There was also a complication in the source regarding the gtk bookmarks, but I don’t recall the details. At any rate, I don’t think your link to the gtk bookmarks is a good idea. It is untested, it may not provide any locking (if two programs try to access the file at once), and it may overwrite the link. Up to you, just wanted to warn you.

          > Or at least SPaceFM should only trigger that root setting thing when things are changed, that need to be stored as root settings.

          I thought that’s how I had it working, but I’ll take another look. I think if it doesn’t find the root file it triggers the password prompt – that was new addition so maybe I broke the reasonable behavior. As a temporary fix, you can touch the file /etc/spacefm/YOURUSER-as-root as root and maybe then it won’t ask so much.

          Thanks for testing and if you come across bugs please file a ticket as it makes it easier for me to keep track.

          Comment by IgnorantGuru | January 19, 2012

          • Ewwww, I’m totally not gonna install HAL ever again! :) I stick with udev and it’s automount features creating mount points in /media for me and not using SpaceFM’s mounting functionality

            I’m using .gtk-bookmarks in several applications. Two of them I wrote by myself using Python. Parsing that file is rather easy: Just read it line by line and for each line split that line at the first appearance of the whitespace character. You already have the reading and parsing code, because your bookmarks file has the same syntax as .gtk-bookmarks file. The only thing you have to do is feeding your function/class with that file name instead of your file name i guess :)

            I just set the root options now, but I still don’t get it why it is more secure now. Could you please explain that to me? Thanks!

            About that “it asks even if not changed” bug I created ticket. Sourceforge behaves strange to me, it says “Anonymous Coward” in ticket, even if I was logged in … Anyways, the ticket is there :)

            Comment by DIrk | January 19, 2012

            • Re udev: you could make yourself some custom commands for mounting and unmounting, etc.

              The issue with the bookmarks file had to due with a multi-threading issue in the bookmarks code which was created by some other changes I made – I don’t recall the details but I’ll look again. If it’s not too problematic I don’t mind making this an option.

              > I just set the root options now, but I still don’t get it why it is more secure now. Could you please explain that to me?

              spacefm will read the root editor, terminal and a few other settings from the root-owned file in /etc/spacefm instead of from your session file, making tampering with those settings more difficult.

              > About that “it asks even if not changed” bug I created ticket.

              This has been corrected in 0.5.4. Re SF, you may need to click where it says “Anonymous Coward” to change it to your username. (I don’t like the name “Anonymous Coward”, “Anonymous” would be fine, but I don’t think I can change that. Thanks for testing.

              Comment by IgnorantGuru | January 19, 2012

              • udev makes all the mounting and creates the mountpoints in /media for me. That is okay for me. I was just wondering, why the devices pane was completely empty :)

                But with that root thing: I still don’t get it. Could you explain some kind of attack that gets prevented by the current behavior?

                Oh, and regarding to Sourceforge, i only get „We’re sorry but we weren’t able to process this request.“ when i click at “Anonymous Coward”. Well anyways, I keep testing and filing bugs.

                Comment by Dirk | January 19, 2012

  15. Hi,

    I can’t make changes to a NTFS partition, I don’t have Fuse installed, I just have NTFS support in the kernel.

    How can I get write support to NTFS?


    Closed Ticket: 33 Can’t Write To NTFS

    Comment by Das | January 19, 2012

  16. Thanks for another great project!

    Comment by Pablo | January 23, 2012

  17. Tried SpaceFM out. In fact, it exceeded my expectations. Well done! I’ve tried all FM I could find, none of them fitted my needs, so I had to stick with Nautilus, for it it the only FM than has all functionality I need and does not have critical errors (like Thunar does). But I don’t find nautilus very handy, and it is a little bit heavy for my openbox, so I am very interested in SpaceFM.
    So I played with SpaceFM and found it just great for a new project, in spite of that many things are still unclear (the project definitely needs some docs!)

    However I ran onto few inconveniences, especially when I made it to draw my desktop.
    1. Desktop icons are too big. I suppose they are the same size as ‘big’ icons in the window. It would be great to allow the user set the desktop icon size independently. (I need a big icons in the window to better see photo thumbnails but prefer smaller ones on a desktop).

    2. The icons are positioned too high as to partially miss the desktop area – the upper icons are cut from the above.

    3. Double-click on a desktop icon representing an app opens the .desktop file instead of running the application. Probably it is possible to configure it somehow.

    4. Is it possible to make icons loose on my desktop? Currently they are glued to their places. Or, at least, to set the sort criteria separately for a desktop.

    5. In two-panel appearance, two toolbar icons (refresh and home) are hidden on the right panel even if there is a place to show them. Okay with the left one.

    6. Is it possible to access SAMBA shares somehow? (I’m talking about a client part of the story).

    7. Also, tools/plugin stuff is completely unclear and needs further explanation.

    Comment by kanyck | February 10, 2012

    • Hi, thanks for your feedback on the desktop manager.

      > 1. Desktop icons are too big.

      I’ll take a look at what determines their size and will consider the option.

      > 2. The icons are positioned too high as to partially miss the desktop area – the upper icons are cut from the above.

      I haven’t seen this and have never heard a report of it, dating all the way back to lxde/pcmanfm (where most of the desktop code comes from). So there might be something in your setup which is triggering this problem. I’ll take a look, but if you can narrow down what triggers it, that would give me more to work with. Also, perhaps this is related to the icons showing too big?

      > 3. Double-click on a desktop icon representing an app opens the .desktop file instead of running the application. Probably it is possible to configure it somehow.

      It shouldn’t work that way – I’ll take a look. I recently changed the default setting for option Preferences|Interface|Clicks runs executables. That may allow you to change the behavior for now, but normally that shouldn’t be necessary.

      > 4. Is it possible to make icons loose on my desktop? Currently they are glued to their places. Or, at least, to set the sort criteria separately for a desktop.

      It is not possible to unglue them, but their sort order can be adjusted – use the right-click menu on the desktop for this setting, which is independent of browser sort order.

      > 5. In two-panel appearance, two toolbar icons (refresh and home) are hidden on the right panel even if there is a place to show them. Okay with the left one.

      If you could provide a screenshot, I’d like to see what you’re seeing. Normally the toolbars of each panel should match, but note that each panel has 3 toolbars (Left, Right, and Side). The right toolbar is controlled by clicking the leftmost toolbar icon and entering the ‘Right Toolbar’ menu. Use View|Design Mode to check or uncheck option Show for each item. By default, Refresh and Default are shown on the right toolbar.

      Also, the Side toolbar can be shown or hidden, and the Left+Right toolbars are hidden if the Toolbox is hidden.

      > 6. Is it possible to access SAMBA shares somehow?

      spacefm does not browse network shares (eg smb://). You need to mount the share in order to use it. You can also make a custom command to mount the share for you. Or some users use Thunar or another program to connect the share, then use spacefm to browse it.

      > 7. Also, tools/plugin stuff is completely unclear and needs further explanation.

      Documentation for this is coming soon. If you learn to use View|Design Mode, most of the custom command features are in the design menu, so you can experiment. But I agree it needs further documentation, and that is planned.

      Thanks for testing.

      Comment by IgnorantGuru | February 10, 2012

  18. > thanks for your feedback
    Thank you for your efforts. When matures a little bit, SpaceFM might be the great app!

    > I haven’t seen this and have never heard a report of it
    Oh, yeah, I’m a good tester:) I have issues like this quite often for some reason. It’s a great chance to know Linux better, isn’t it?

    > there might be something in your setup which is triggering this problem.
    It seems so, but I’ve no idea what it may be. My config is quite usual, screen stuff worked fine from very start, so I did not touch it. The other programs work just fine. As I said, I tried out several FMs, none of them behaved this way. I will surely provide you with all necessary info, but at the moment I
    don’t know what may be helpful.

    > perhaps this is related to the icons showing too big?
    Definitely not. I tried out smaller sizes – it went even worse. For 48×48 a half of icon went out of sight. BTW, I notices that directories (folder icons) are of smaller size than the others. This may be related to the case. Please feel free to request any information, in the meantime I’ll think also what may cause this issue.

    > If you could provide a screenshot,
    I’ve emailed two screenshots to you.

    > spacefm does not browse network shares (eg smb://).
    Bump! It’s a disadvantage for me. One of the reasons why I stayed with Nautilus was it works transparently with both smb and nfs shares, so I could get rid of extra tools. This means SpaceFM will not be the only browser on my machine so far. At least, it would require some extra efforts. Or, an appropriate plugin may appear in a while… I don’t adore Nautilus, but I think the network-related stuff there is well-implemented, isn’t it?

    Thank you. It’s great anyway.

    Comment by kanyck | February 10, 2012

    • > It’s a great chance to know Linux better, isn’t it?

      Yes, I’m sure others have seen the problem – not everyone takes the time to report it, so thanks.

      > I’ve emailed two screenshots to you.

      Your screenshot is normal – the panel is simply not wide enough to display everything. The right toolbar will not be shown unless the smartbar (path bar) is, and it has a minimum width for display. So if you want more of the tools to show, you will need to make the panel or window wider, remove some tools, or change the tool icon size in Preferences.

      Re your folder icon, please see this.

      Thanks for your feedback and I’m glad spacefm is mostly working well for you.

      Comment by IgnorantGuru | February 10, 2012

      • > The right toolbar will not be shown unless the smartbar (path bar) is
        That’s what I missed! Apparently it works as it should.

        And I’ll fix the folders. Thanks for the reply.

        Comment by kanyck | February 10, 2012

      • One more thing. When drag-and-drop files between different volumes SpaceFM moves files. The “normal” behavior (i.e. one I got used to:) is move within a FS and copy between FSs. (I was surprised when tried to copy files from a USB stick and they’ve gone from it!) Probably it should be a subject of configuration, too.

        Comment by kanyck | February 11, 2012

        • Hi, this “normal” behavior was not popular in pcmanfm-mod, so spacefm leaves it up to the user instead of trying to determine the drag context. The advantage to this is that spacefm will always move if you hold down no key, rather than it changing. I think it works well this way so I’m inclined to leave it, but I can understand the other argument too – people are used to copy being a default when dragging from some devices. Unfortunately this can be difficult to determine accurately in some circumstances in linux, which creates seemingly random behavior. Feel free to file a ticket request on this if you like – maybe other users will have further input. Yours is the first spacefm comment on this that I’ve seen.

          EDIT: And you probably know this, but for those who don’t, to copy you can drag while holding down ctrl. Or to create a symlink hold down ctrl+shift.

          Comment by IgnorantGuru | February 11, 2012

          • > Feel free to file a ticket

            > to create a symlink hold down ctrl+shift.
            Oh! That’s a modifier combination I’m always not sure with, for I don’t use it quite often to firmly remember.

            And please, *in a spare time*, just think about probably adding a SMB access…


            Comment by kanyck | February 12, 2012

  19. How do I make filename sorting Type first and Name-wise within a type. Using type sorts the files of same type in some weird way. Can’t make out what is the second level sort type.

    Comment by Keshav P R | February 14, 2012

    • And how to open terminal in the current directory (I use f4 for roxterm) not as a child process of spacefm. That way I can close spacefm without waiting for tasks running in the opened terminal to finish.

      Comment by Keshav P R | February 15, 2012

      • Hi, The secondary sort is not implemented – this is something on the list to look at.

        File|Terminal to open your terminal.

        Also, if you don’t want to wait for a custom command in the tasks list, just uncheck Run As Task in the design menu. There are docs on this now so I can finally tell you to read the manual. :)

        Comment by IgnorantGuru | February 15, 2012

        • Out of interest – what “type/style of sorting” does “secondary sort” currently does? (with primary style being “file type” in v0.7.0)

          Comment by Keshav P R | February 18, 2012

          • You can sort by any column of course (name, type, size, etc), but I’m not aware of any secondary sort. I haven’t actually worked much on that part of the code, especially not recently, so I can’t tell you the details. Most of that code is unchanged from prior incarnations.

            Comment by IgnorantGuru | February 18, 2012

  20. SpaceFM is now the default File Manager in Antix (replacing Thunar):

    Comment by Stuart | March 6, 2012

    • Thanks for the news – this will be good for introducing more users to spacefm.

      Comment by IgnorantGuru | March 7, 2012

  21. I have @spacefm –desktop in my startup.
    Whith pcmanfm i can change my desktop icon position, with spacefm when i change an icon position it return imediatly to initial position whan left mouse button

    Comment by osside | June 25, 2012

  22. Hi, thanks for this wonderful file manager, the best that I have seen so far. It would be really great if the future versions had some support for cbr/cbz thumbnail generation. Once again great work and keep it up.

    Comment by darthvishous | July 20, 2012

  23. Is there any chance of adding support for ROX-style appdirs -so that they would be executed when you click them?

    Comment by Gilbert | July 25, 2012

    • I’m not familiar with those. I’ve noted this – you’re also welcome to add a feature request in Issues if you’d like updates on it. But to warn you there is a long waiting list for SpaceFM feature requests at this point, although some do get bumped up.

      Comment by IgnorantGuru | July 25, 2012

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