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Old 09-12-2009, 01:05 PM   #1
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n00b Seeking an Advanced File Management Solution

I'm what they call a 'Windows Power User' that has just achieved enlightenment and switched to Ubuntu. I have about three and a half million images that I want to sort.

My primary interest is in file management, and that is mostly what I use my PC for. I want to sort and tag a large number of files quickly and be able to find/access them quickly by tag/category/comments/size/etc. I'll be moving a lot of small files around frequently and I need a system in which I can do this intelligently. Thumbnail viewing is a must, but I don't need any actual image-tweaking features. Also, I'm not looking for anything web-based. Ideally, I would like to be able to quickly access data in very large (90+ GB) directories.

Is there a distro that would be better for these purposes than Ubuntu? What file management application/system would you recommend for me? I'm not afraid of taking time to learn to use new things as long as my needs will be met, but please keep in mind my expertise level--I've never 'coded' anything more advanced than a line of italics in a blog comment.

Thanks in advance for suggestions.
Old 09-12-2009, 02:05 PM   #2
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there are several possibilities to solve your problem.

You are not looking for a new system, you are searching for more advanced software. From my point of view, i think coding will be the best way

I use gentoo filemanager and i like it. You can create custom actions for file types, two screen window to move,sort,delete,copy files. If you ever have used Norton Commander or such a program, you also will feel comfortable with.

If you are really a "Windows Power User", so you should learn in scripting software. There are dozens of tools for find/sort/copy/taging images and other things on Linux, which are in a lot of cases are made to automate work. This will save time
Old 09-12-2009, 03:54 PM   #3
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Unix, and by extension at least to a certain extent Linux, is built around the philosophy of "do one thing, and do it well". As such, I would suggest learning a few tools that work together well, rather than trying to choose a file manager to do all things. File tagging and photo metadata editing can separated from photo editing, and file system manipulation is yet another thing.

A little googling led me here:, a review of several photo indexing programs. Of these, gqview, photoseek and google's picassa seem to be top of the heap. I would favor a program which has some sort of command line interface or something that writes to a database that can be easily queried.

In terms of finding files by name or by date, there's nothing better than the command line tool 'find'.

There are probably a few programs out there that do most of what you want to do, but in my experience, I tend to get a faster, lighter weight solution that does exactly what I want, versus something that's clumsy, slow and almost fits, if I find the individual lego blocks that I want, and figure out how to put them together myself.

I know that's not really an answer; you'll get more of what you're looking for if you post a laundry list of the individual features that you're looking for; at that point we can help you to figure out how to fit them together in a way that makes you happy.

Last edited by bartonski; 09-12-2009 at 03:56 PM.
Old 09-12-2009, 07:02 PM   #4
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I looked into this a couple of years back - wasn't happy with the options.
You might want to look at Picasa - I rejected it as it is basically the Windoze code with a packaged emulator (wine) to allow it to run on Linux (I have a philosophical problem with that).
There is also a Linux option from Light Crafts for Lightzone if you don't mind spending a few bucks - they used to have a 30 day test download. More than you need, but might be a good option.

On a recent trip I needed a (local) weblog with photo management for a travel diary. For that I used "album" which is a perl script that indexes directories of photos as they are imported and generates a html "theme". Uses imagemgik tools for the thumbnail rescaling. I slapped another bit of perl over it to take a plain text file and generate a blog with the photos for each day simply linked. Wouldn't fit your requirements, but was a handy small and fast tool for what I wanted.
Old 09-12-2009, 11:05 PM   #5
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Try konqueror, krusader and dolphin (all KDE file managers). They are much more powerfull than anything you saw on windows. They have the ability to abstract file managing using a technology called KIO slaves. By using prefix before the folder source, you can access, copy and read file without having to care about locations and stuff like that. You can seamlessly copy a file from an iPod to a ftp then to a SSH server to an ISO and then to a local folder. It will just work, no mater where the file is stored or the protocol used to transfer it. If you open the file, KIO will take care to make it look like a regular file. No need to do a local copy like on windows to be able to edit it and save it. It also have advanced feature such as tiled view, embedded terminal, profiles, context menu scripts (convert file, compress, commit to SVN and stuff like that.
Old 09-13-2009, 01:18 AM   #6
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Ooops - for some reason I read the OP as (primarily) photo management.
Old 09-13-2009, 01:29 PM   #7
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Thank you

Thanks everybody, lots of interesting suggestions.


file manager, recommendations

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