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November 4, 2009

Pimping Linux with Gigolo

by @ 1:45 am. Filed under Linux tips, sweet tools

As many know, one of my BIGGEST gripes with Gnome and/or GTK-based apps is their inability to NATIVELY support remote filesystem access, like Konqueror does by default, and Kate does by default, and many of the other applications built for KDE do by default. As mentioned in a previous post:

kio-slave – For anyone who doesn’t know what this does, it gives KDE the ability to interact with remote filesystems via FTP, SSH, etc. You can open up a remote filesystem, and drag and drop a text file right onto your Kate icon. Kate will open the file for you to edit it. When you are done editing, just click SAVE and close the file. KDE via kio-slave saves the file back to the remote fileystem (assuming you have the proper privileges). This is the one thing that has the supremest of importance to me. It is possible to have one Konqueror window open and have it split into 16 different panes, each pane connected to a different filesystem or directory, whether local or remote. If you have never done this, you have to try it some time. You can split Kate windows the same way. Before anyone says it, I realize that you can make other desktop environments do this, but KDE just does it right out of the box.”

Some may even remember when I posted a bit of a rant about this. I use remote filesystems ALL DAY LONG.

As I’m moving away from KDE and everything that ties me to it, the need arose to access remote filesystems very quickly in a windowing system. I realize ssh does this. With ssh, it takes about 12 seconds to log in and copy a file over, not to mention all the keystrokes. With Konqueror, I click the Konqueror Icon, press CTRL+SHIFT+L, and select the remote filesystem I want from my bookmarks and I’m there. All of 3 seconds and a tenth of the effort.

How to mimic the functionality I want?

One possibility is a little app called gigolo. Why the name? As the author says, “Because it mounts what its told to.”

For XFCE4 users, this little baby is pretty fun. It allows you to bookmark remote filesystems, autoconnect to them, and all sorts of great stuff, quite a bit like kio-slave does. Just a bit more cumbersome, but at least I get the functionality.

Experience is a great teacher, so add the repo and install gigolo:

[1207][root@suse-desktop:/home/scott]$ zypper addrepo "" XFCE4 ; zypper modifyrepo -r XFCE4 ; zypper in gigolo
Adding repository 'XFCE4' [done]
Repository 'XFCE4' successfully added
Enabled: Yes
Autorefresh: No

Autorefresh has been enabled for repository 'XFCE4'.
Retrieving repository 'XFCE4' metadata [done]
Building repository 'XFCE4' cache [done]
Loading repository data...
Reading installed packages...
Resolving package dependencies...

The following NEW package is going to be installed:

Overall download size: 90.0 K. After the operation, additional 310.0 K will be used.
Continue? [YES/no]:
Retrieving package gigolo-0.3.2-1.1.i586 (1/1), 90.0 K (310.0 K unpacked)
Retrieving: gigolo-0.3.2-1.1.i586.rpm [done]
Installing: gigolo-0.3.2-1.1 [done]

Now just run it. You’ll get a window similar to the following:

Gigolo Window

Press CTRL+B to edit your bookmarks. A window like this comes up:

Manage Bookmarks Window

Click ADD. In the box that appears, fill out the info and click OK:

Adding a Bookmark

If you selected autoconnect, you’ll be prompted for the password:

Password Prompt

You may also have to create a keyring password. When you are done, if you selected autoconnect, you’ll see an icon showing that it’s connected:

Showing Connection

If not, click the down arrow next to the bookmark button (furthest left), and select the bookmark you want to connect to:

Connect via Bookmarks

Once you have connected to a bookmark, double-click it in the gigolo window. Nautilus comes up displaying the remote filesystem. Not sure if you can use other file managers, but if you can, let me know.

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