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How to connect to servers on Linux with the KDE file manager

By far one of the most useful things a file manager can do is transfer files to external file servers or ones on the local LAN. When it comes to the best network protocol support, each Linux file manager has comparable features, but some are more advanced than others.

In this guide, we’ll talk about how to connect to different network servers through the KDE Plasma 5 file manager (aka Dolphin). Additionally, we’ll show you exactly how to use it to transfer files from a remote location (such as FTP, Samba, NFS, etc.) to your Linux PC running KDE!

Note: every version of the Dolphin file manager in KDE supports network connections. That said, it’s a good idea to ensure your system is up to date and running the latest release of Dolphin.

Connect to FTP/SFTP

Connecting to FTP and SFTP servers in the Dolphin file manager works by making use of the ftp:// protocol in the location box of the file manager.

To start a connection, launch the Dolphin file manager on the KDE Plasma desktop. From there, click on the location bar at the top of the window.

Erase the text in the box currently there by pressing the backspace key on the keyboard. Then, once everything is cleared out, write in the address to the FTP or SFTP server. For example:

ftp://192.168.1.1

After you’re done filling out the address information in the text box for the FTP server, press the Enter key on the keyboard to send out a connection to the server.

As you press the Enter key on the keyboard and send out an outbound connection with Dolphin, a login menu will appear on the screen.

In this menu, you’ll need to enter the FTP username and password. Fill out the login information. Then, check the box that says “Remember password” to ensure that your FTP information stays next time you choose to access the connection.

Connect to SMB (Samba)

The Dolphin file manager has pretty good support for Samba. The reason for this is that Samba is one of the most used file-sharing protocols on Linux, Mac, and Windows.

To connect to a Samba share on Linux with Dolphin, start by opening up the file manager. Then, click the location bar with the mouse and erase the text in the box with the Backspace key.

Once the previous location address is erased, using the smb:// protocol, write in the hostname of the server, or it’s IP address. For example:

smb://ubuntu-file-server

Or

smb://192.168.1.1

Assuming the Samba file server is password protected, you’ll need to enter username and password details in the login box that appears. If your SMB server doesn’t have a username, it will automatically give access to the file share.

Connect to NFS (Network File System)

The NFS network protcol is pretty popular with Linux users, due to it’s superior speed and ability to move large amounts of data quickly. For this reason, all modern Linux file managers support the Network File System.

To start a connection to an NFS server with the Dolphin file manager, launch the app. From there, click on the location bar with the mouse and erase the current location information in the bar.

With the location data erased, you’ll be able to put in the IP address of the NFS share, using the nfs:// protocol. For example:

nfs://192.168.1.1

After entering the NFS address in the Dolphin location box, press the Enter key to send out a network connection.

If the network connection is successful, you’ll be able to access your NFS server.

Connect to other protocols via browsing

The Dolphin file manager supports a wide variety of different network protocols. In this list, we talked about some of the main protocols that users try to connect out with. However, they aren’t the only ones you can use.

To make a connection out to other types of servers in Dolphin, make use of the remote:/ feature. It’s a neat feature that scans for server connections (on LAN) for compatible network servers in Dolphin.

Accessing the “network” feature in Dolphin to connect to various types of network servers can be done in two ways.

Method 1: Location bar

Click on the location bar in Dolphin with the mouse. Erase the text in the box. Then, enter:

remote:/

After writing in “network” in the box, press the enter key to access Dolphin’s network area. From there, it’ll show you server connections which you can access with the mouse.

Method 2: Network shortcut

An alternative way to access the remote:/ feature in Dolphin is by clicking on the “Network”  button in the file manager.

To access the “Network” button, launch Dolphin. Then, look to the sidebar on the right and click on the globe icon. Selecting this icon will instantly take you to the server connection window, where you can use the mouse to access different servers.

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