Comparison: Krusader vs. Gnome Commander
It’s not really a secret that I use Gnome but tend to prefer KDE applications so with that in mind my comparison of Krusader and Gnome Commander will probably be unbalanced at best.
First of all, both of these utilities are used as file managers and have the feel of Norton Commander of old. I’ve always liked tools like this in both Windows and in Linux. I especially like having a 2 pane interface to manage files within directories.
Secondly, the specific task that I am measuring is as follows: Connect to a share on a Windows machine, analyze/compare to a directory on my Linux machine and then synchronize the folders. Why am I doing this? Well, I have a “pictures” folder on my Windows box that I use as a master folder for all of my digital images which I share on my network so that my Wife’s PC can see them as well as for sharing with various other PCs. However, when it comes to really working with the pictures I prefer to use my Ubuntu machine for editing, uploading to Flickr, etc so I want to always be certain that I have the pictures stored on two machines.
Now, the test results.
Gnome Commander: When I open up Gnome Commander, it’s fairly easy to connect to a network share by clicking on the SMB button. It then searches for available workgroups and shares. It does take a few seconds to identify what is available, but locating my shared folder “All Pictures” is accomplished. However, if I close Gnome Commander and reopen it, it remembers my local folder selection on the left pane but on the right pane I get an error “file not found” and it defaults back to my home directory. It isn’t terribly difficult to reconnect however. Next, attempt to compare the directories. This is done by going to the Mark menu and selecting Compare Directories. At this point, nothing seems to happen. However, it does show in the bottom “2 of 2000” files selected although there is no visible difference to let you know what it found different between the two folders. If you select copy it does actually copy the files. End of test. Result: Sort of pass. Would be nice to know what it found before copying with a visual clue. Could be that I don’t have the program configured correctly in some way but this seems to be the out of the box behavior.
Krusader: To create a new network connection, you click on a toolbar button “new network connection”. It doesn’t appear to browse the network; it just gives you a smb:// prompt which allows you to type the host name. Fortunately the host I’m connecting to has a short and easily remembered name. After that, available shares are displayed. Next to compare directories, there are two ways. You can go to the “edit” menu and select compare directories or you can select the “Tools” menu and choose “Synchronize Directories” which also includes a comparison feature. Using the Synchronize feature has quite a few options to only look at certain file types and many other choices followed by a “Synchronize Button” which will the sync up the two directories. This works and satisfies the requirements laid out. End of test. Result: Pass.
In this case for my specific task, Krusader seemed to work better. I prefer the network detection of Gnome Commander to Krusader but the synchronize functionality is much better in Krusader.
I may have missed an option or two in Gnome Commander but I couldn’t seem to find a “Synchronize” menu choice. I’m also not certain if it recursed through the directories to detect changes whereas Krusader definitely does. So, my final choice is to use Krusader.