Does anyone know if it is possible to remove Thunar as the Xfce file manager, and use another one in its place?
I don't quite understand you.
What's wrong with your distribution's remove application function?
I mean the "aptitude uninstall thunar" or "emerge -C thunar" or whatever else.
BTW, I think that nautilus will mess with you desktop, but I'm not sure.
Try it and see what happens. By the way, the preferred method would be to open Shaman (GUI for pacman), search for Thunar, and select to remove it. While doing this simple process, one obtains an excellent list of the dependencies which will also be removed. These include:
I would be particularly worried about that last one. It doesn't take a genius to realize that one had better just leave it alone. IMHO, the whole thing would probably cease to work.
The problem appears to be that there are a lot of tie-ins, like is done in Windows. Without true modularity, there can be no true customization.
As for my rationale:
In this case, Thunar doesn't hold a candle to XFE. When looking for that perfect program, it is often better to go with a specialized program then trying to reinvent the wheel. I saw Thunar coming down the pike and reviewed it a number of years ago, and a comparison showed the things that were lacking in the roadmap for the program. It was never the intent of the developers to make something with the ease of Windows Explorer, let alone to improve upon it. Roland Baudin's desire was to take that functionality and bring it to X. Simply stated, he has done a wonderful job.
On the other hand, Nautilas is just scary. This is the perfect example of Jack of All Trades, Master of None. A file manager that is a browser, viewer, etc., etc.? It would never be my browser; it simply can't compete with Firefox or Opera and likely never will. Picture viewer? No again. File manager? Too constraining. It is one busy program that does nothing.
But back to the original problem. I don't use Thunar, but it is tied to everything in the desktop and is always in the way of improved productivity. Xfce is designed to cut the overhead and give the user the option of increased speed and stability because of its simplicity. That directly relates to increase productivity. That's why it is the best desktop at this stage of the game. But there is always room for improvement, and figuring a way to get Thunar unhooked from the rest would solve the file manager problem.
I hope that explains what you wanted to know. Please feel free to ask me any questions you have.
This is not an Xfce problem, it's Arch's (you said pacman and that's Arch's package manager afaik).
In Gentoo you can freely uninstall thunar. Actually when you pull the xfce4-meta package, thunar is NOT pulled.
The only thunar dependencies are its plugins, but you can still uninstall thunar anyway.
So no, thunar is not so integrated to Xfce, let alone xfdesktop. I would not recommend it, but probably pacman
would have some option of allowing the breaking of dependencies, so you could delete thunar alone and I believe that xfdekstop will still be working.
Well even if I'm wrong you can reinstall it from the command line; if you use Arch you should have the appropriate experience anyway.
As for which is the best file manager I really don't know. After the major disaster of kde4 konqueror became a no-go for me, along the the whole kde system.
I think nautilus is ok, but I want JUST a file manager, I don't want to mess with desktop, change wallpapers, icons,
be browser or whatever, and certainly not being tied to a specific Desktop Environment.
LXDE's PCMan file manager seems a bit basic but you can give it a try.
So it leaves thunar as the only non-DE tied, just fm nothing else, fast and simple, low dependencies.
If you have a specific file manager to suggest me that approaches Win2K File Explorer, I would greatly appreciate it.
If you want desktop icons etc, Thunar is need (thunar-vfs specifically) (hence USE=thunar for xfdesktop)
Thanks, galanon. I was wondering a little about the packaging of the bundle presented in the Arch repository, but I have a hard time believing that these things were bundled in some arbitrary manner. Keeping it modular is important, and I am sure they would break things down into the lowest common denominator they can, while still keeping things working correctly. And thanks to sOulslack, we do know that some things are indeed tied together, so it isn't likely to be a packager problem, but is actually an Xfce problem.
I have reviewed something like twenty or more file managers for the Linux enviroment. I have found that the best is still XFE (the X File Explorer), as I pointed out. You should give it a try.
Shaman is currently a total mess/ totally unusable... don't touch it.
It has never been an official ArchLinux tool, nor it will ever be.
pacman or yaourt from console is all you should use.
Wow, scarecrow. Not even on topic. But since you made your statement, I can attest that it is by far the finest package manager front-end I have ever used in my life; and that's saying something. There simply isn't anything better. However, if you like to work at the command line, that's fine. Just don't cast dispersions upon those of us who find that archaic. On the way to the future, we've stopped at GUI's along the way. We're on the road to voice recognition, and we ain't gonna look back. Type 'till till your fingers are raw; we don't care. We just want something better, and one hell of a lot faster.
To be clear, we are not discussing GUI's versus CLI's, nor package managers or their front-ends. We are talking about trying to improve the default file manager by replacing it with something more preferrable. Hence the name of "Re. Thunar Removal".
That's fine if you like it. But then, don't complain if it wants to remove the whole universe together with a single package, or if it fails to fetch packages, or...
I've been using ArchLinux exclusively since summer 2004, and I have used shaman when it was still moderately usable- that is more than ten months ago.
The blame is definitely on shaman- neither XFCE4, nor the Arch packaging system, or the pacman backend.
With your clarification, I can now understand the tie-in with the subject and can appreciate your viewpoint, but it is based upon a mistaken understanding of how the Arch package management system works. Again, Shaman is simply a GUI front-end. Therefore it will not do anything to the packaging. It does not decide what parts to remove, nor does it decide on the dependencies. All of that is handled by ALPM and the pacman mechanism. So if any part is removed that should not be, then it most certainly is the fault of anything but Shaman.
Well, the real problem might well be in alpm- not in shaman...
But since the frontend is behaving erratically, the only sane choice one can give is simply: DO-NOT-USE.
Granted, all graphical frontends to pacman are either buggy, or incomplete. The only one working fine is the Frugalware pacman GUI. But since the Frugalware pacman is quite different than the one used in Arch, and, more than that, the Frugalware packages are a bit different than the ones use in Arch (packed with bz2 instead of gz is one of the diffs) it can't be used in Archlinux, unless someone cares to port it.
Then I guess I'm confused. So, the problem is not with Shaman?! Or at least you aren't as sure as you first were?
But now you start saying the GUI front-ends are all buggy. Where in the world did you get that from? I've never heard of such a thing. In fact, it appears even less likely to be true now that we realize your first statements were not correct.
Then you start talking about Frugalware, which further confuses the issue.
Don't forget that if ALPM is bad, then so is pacman automatically. Pacman does not work without it. Pacman is the CLI interface to ALPM (just as Shaman is the GUI interface to ALPM).
So basically we are back to what I first implied as my summary of the problem, that if the contents of the Xfce package was supposed to be in separate packages, then the problem was with the people who packaged things in the first place. But I believe that sOulslack ought to know, and he stated we can't even have desktop icons without Thunar. So basically, the functionality of Xfce will fall apart without Thunar. That is a serious problem.
It appears that we need to hack the DE to get Thunar out of there and still keep everything else working. I am totally under-qualified to even attempt to do that, so I hope someone that knows how can help with this.
I am running XFce under Mandriva. Mandriva uses a different packaging type (RPM) with a different shell around it to handle dependency checking (uprme/uprmi for CLI; rpmdrake for GUI). I find that I can remove thunar; the only dependencies that are going with it are thunar-specific:
> urpme thunar To satisfy dependencies, the following 5 packages will be removed (11MB): thunar-1.0.1-2mdv2009.1.i586 (due to missing thunar-volman) thunar-media-tags-plugin-0.1.2-9mdv2009.1.i586 (due to unsatisfied thunar >= 0.8.0) thunar-thumbnailers-0.4.1-3mdv2009.1.i586 (due to unsatisfied thunar >= 0.8.0) thunar-thumbnailers-ffmpeg-0.4.1-3mdv2009.1.i586 (due to missing thunar-thumbnailers) thunar-volman-0.3.80-3mdv2009.1.i586 (due to unsatisfied thunar >= 0.8.0) Remove 5 packages? (y/N)
None of this is needed for anything else than thunar, so I would also conclude that thunar is not firmly tied to XFce. The link you see in your distro seems to stem from a packaging decision. I also note that thunar (on mandriva) is not providing icons (mandriva has some general packages for this). Suggestions to get to closure on this one:
file a bug with your distro; may be they want to change the packaging a bit and achieve the modularity you want. I have had some success with the plugins for thumbnailers (one of tehse required lots of other packages to thumbnail files which were only occurring rarely)
Manually override -- don't know pacman, but using (pure) rpm I would do a 'rpm -e --nodeps' to remove what I do not want.
Thanks for the interesting idea. I believe, as a former Mandriva user, that the overall OS is a Linux heavy-weight distro, and as such, is going to have overhead that I don't want in the first place. It could be that, as the Mandriva folks do with many things, they customize the Xfce DE for their distro by specific hacks. The average person is not privy to those. Also, that they have substitute icons does not apply to the rest of us who do not.
IMHO, I think that the best way to reach consensus is to first understand what would be ideal (something like XFE). Second, understand the existing limitations toward that goal (the Thunar-specific hooks in the DE). Third, to figure out how to make steps toward the first issue while considering the second. Specifically, since we would like a greater degree of modularity, we would like to see the code broken up a bit into separate parts.
We do see some of this happening upstream from Xfce. For instance, there are changes to file system handling that is being institued in Linux by GIO, and Xfce is starting to implement that. I don't quite understand how that affects the Thunar code, but it seems as though it would be fairly significant. At that point, a major rewrite or redesign might be appropriate. However, I hate to reinvent the wheel. Thunar will never be as good as other file managers. As in anything else, the user should have the choice of programs within the DE.
And as with any code, the basic issue will always be a beginning simplicity, which should continually be reviewed for functionality and applicability. The lowest common denominator is always a good tool for reaching simplicity, but it is often overlooked in application. What is also overlooked is the fact that patchwork is not modularity.
It appears to be a fairly foundational fact that Xfce is way ahead of anything else in the simplicity, performance and stability arenas, and because of that, it deserves to be pushed forward. A greater degree of modularity and customizableness (Is that a word?) is needed. So, polish, polish, polish. And improve, improve, improve. And it can be improved by removing Thunar.
File a bug for what? About a third party tool which doesn't manage packages well?
All one has to do is opening a terminal and typing
# pacman -Rc thunar
... and that's all.
And that is really horses for courses. For me, thunar is a great and extremely customizable filemanager, and its removal hurts XFCE4, both regarding integration, and functionality.