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Thunar File Browser: Tips, Tricks and Scripts

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If you are looking for a minimalist system with low processor and memory overheads to revive an old “underpowered” machine or make the latest PC look even faster, you have to start thinking about alternatives. One of them is Thunar, the default browser of XFCE. It even has its own homepage. The good news though is that it will run perfectly well on Gnome and KDE and other smaller desktops once you package manager has pulled in all the necessary dependencies, so you don’t need to change desktops to get and use it. This article will be Debian/Ubuntu centric, but Thunar should be available in the repositories of all the major distros like Mandriva and Fedora.

Thunar plays nicely. Easy to get too

We all love power user features in our software, whether it’s browsers or file managers; however as you add features the bloat meter goes off the scale and performance eventually degrades. The guys at XFCE make no apology for designing a file manager that eschews bloat and embraces the philosophy of KISS—keep it simple, stupid. In their own words, Thunar’s “interface is clean and intuitive, and does not include any confusing or useless options”. However, that does not mean driving a Mongol horde through the FreeDesktop standards. Thunar, as part of XFCE, is fully compliant so if you install it on the big hitters like Gnome or KDE it will just run out of the box without configuration.

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