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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... > Context Menu.

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.

To enable heif/heic image thumbnails, edit /usr/share/kservices6/imagethumbnail.desktop by adding image/heif; to the line which starts with MimeType=.

Note that heif/heic thumbnails will be enabled by default on versions of kio-extras after 21.12 (see the link to this bug report for further explanation).

View audio CDs

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

Single click to open folders/files

To configure Single-Click to open items, you need to install and run "qt6ct" from the terminal, which will then give you the option to enable Single-Click (and change the theme etc.) from the 'Interface' tab.


Open terminal

Dolphin and other KDE applications use konsole by default. To change the default terminal emulator, run kcmshell6 componentchooser and select Terminal Emulator > Other....

If it is preferred to launch tmux along with a terminal emulator inside Dolphin, simply type in terminalname -e tmux after selecting Other....

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.

File tagging

Dolphin provides extensive support for file tagging. You can add tags to a file by right-clicking it and selecting "Assign Tags". You can view the tags on a file from the Properties menu, or from the Information panel (if visible).

If Baloo is enabled, Dolphin will also show a list of all indexed tags within the Places panel, and you can search for files by their tags.

Dolphin uses the user.xdg.tags extended attribute to store tags directly along with each file. Baloo indexes these tags into its own database to allow for fast searching, and maintains a list of all known tags.

Hiding "lost+found" and other custom files/dirs

Files/dirs not starting with . could be hidden by creating file .hidden with filenames (one per line).


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 is required that the user has exclusive access rights to the Trash. The rationale being that you do not 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 cannot 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 do not 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 displayed in Dolphin, install and run qt6ct, choose one icon theme at the Icon Theme tab, and Apply.

If icons are still not displayed in Dolphin, set the QT_QPA_PLATFORMTHEME variable to qt6ct in your xprofile. Alternatively, start Dolphin with the platform theme flag:

$ dolphin --platformtheme qt6ct

Also make sure to install and inherit a fallback icon theme like hicolor or Adwaita when you are using an uncommon, incomplete icon theme.

Icons are too big

If icons are too big on Dolphin outside of a 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 RGB value you prefer (it may be given in the form #RRGGBB or R,G,B):


If you get a blue border around the folder view pane (if you are in split view it will only be around the focused pane), you may get rid of it by applying the fusion-fixes.qss style sheet via the qt6ct app. This answer describes what to do to get the adwaita dark theme working for dolphin under Gnome.

Alternatively, use kvantum to manage your Qt6 theming. For instructions on usage see the Kvantum project homepage.

Zsh profile not loading in integrated terminal

The factual accuracy of this article or section is disputed.

Reason: This issue is not limited to just Zsh; konsole (and thus konsolepart) does not launch a login shell by default. zprofile should be loaded by the display manager when starting the session (like it is done by SDDM[4][5]) not by the terminal emulator. (Discuss in Talk:Dolphin)

If your zsh profile is not loading, try editing your current profile. Right-click on the integrated terminal then Edit Current Profile... and edit the launch command to /bin/zsh --login

GTK applications are not using Dolphin

See Uniform look for Qt and GTK applications#Consistent file dialog under KDE Plasma.

Unable to install any context menu plugins

When you go to Dolphin menu Settings > Configure Dolphin > Context Menu > Download New Services and try to install any service, you get this error message:

/usr/bin/servicemenuinstaller: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

This can be solved by installing packagekit-qt6. Then restart Dolphin.

Default applications have disappeared while running under a window manager

Install archlinux-xdg-menu package, set XDG_MENU_PREFIX=arch- environment variable permanently (e.g. /etc/environment), and run kbuildsycoca6 once.

See also