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Dolphin is the default file manager of KDE. For the video game console emulator, see Dolphin emulator.


Install the dolphin package.

For version control and Dropbox support, install dolphin-plugins. To enable the relevant plugin go to Settings > Configure Dolphin... > Services.

Compare files

The Compare files dialog depends on kompare. Alternatively, you can compare files in any diff tool (such as meld) by selecting two files, right clicking, selecting open with, and then the diff tool.

File previews

Enable preview showing of required file type in Settings > Configure Dolphin... > General > Previews.

View audio CDs

Support for audio CDs is provided by the kio extension audiocd-kio.


Open terminal

Dolphin and other KDE applications use konsole by default. To change the default terminal emulator, run kcmshell5 componentchooser and select Terminal Emulator > Use a different terminal program.

Some users will not have the module installed. Instead, the default terminal can be changed by modifying the kdeglobals configuration ~/.config/kdeglobals, and adding TerminalApplication=terminalname under the [General] tab. Note, it is likely that this method will not make the internal Dolphin terminal window (opened with F4) use the terminal specified in the kdeglobals configuration.

KIO Slaves

Dolphin uses KIO slaves for network access, trash and other functionality, unlike GTK file managers which use GVFS. Available protocols are shown in the location bar (editable mode) [1]. To quickly bookmark them, right-click in the workspace, and select "Add to Places".

You can install KIO slaves manually. For example, to browse your Google Drive in Dolphin, install kio-gdrive.


Device names shown as "X GiB Harddrive"

Create a filesystem label, or a partition label, and Dolphin will show this label in the device list instead of the size. See Persistent block device naming#by-label.

Moving files into trash takes long on external drives

For moving files into the Trash, it's required that the user has exclusive access rights to the Trash. The rationale being that you don't want that others can see what you deleted. For that, a folder such as .Trash-1000 is created on the external drive, with permission mode 700.

If the correct access permissions can't be set, dolphin will (unlike GNOME) move the files to the trash in the home directory, which takes time.

To mount USB-Sticks / external HDDs, Dolphin uses Udisks. FAT32 / EXFAT / NTFS don't support UNIX file permission, udisk mounts them by default with mode 755. To configure udisks to mount these drives with mode 700, have a look at the file /etc/udisks2/mount_options.conf.example. Copy the file (the name should end with .conf), uncomment the relevant part and add for the three filesystems to the lines with xyz_defaults the options fmask=177,dmask=077.

(Background information: [2], [3])

Transparent fonts

Fonts in selection frames may become transparent when using the GTK Qt style. Native Qt styles such as Cleanlooks and Oxygen are unaffected.

Crashes on mounted SMB share

See Samba#Unable to overwrite files.

Icons not showing

If icons are not displaying on Dolphin, and an error similar to "Pixmap is a null Pixmap" appears on the console, try putting this line in your ~/.profile


If icons are still not able display, and same error "Pixmap is a null Pixmap", run qt5ct, looking at "icon theme" tab. Choose one icon theme and apply.

Icons are too big

If icons are too big on Dolphin in not KDE environment, start it with:


Mismatched folder view background colors

When running Dolphin under something other than Plasma, it is possible the background color in the folder view pane will not match the system Qt theme. This is because Dolphin reads the folder view's background color from the [Colors:View] section in ~/.config/kdeglobals. Change the following line to the R,G,B values you prefer:


Alternatively, use kvantum-qt5 to manage your Qt5 theming. For instructions on usage see the Kvantum project homepage.

See also