Using ssh to browse remote file system in Dolphin & Konqueror on KDE

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Dolphin/Konqueror

Dolphin and konqueror are 2 powerful file managers available for the KDE desktop on linux. Both of them support accessing remote file systems over protocols like ftp.

So if you want to access the files on your server over ftp simply type

ftp://username@servername_or_ip

It will then ask for the password and open the remote file system like a local file system. The user can navigate and work with the files very easily.

Use SSH protocol to browse files

Ssh is a protocol to manage remote systems over the terminal. There is a related command called scp that can be used to copy file across the remote and local system from the terminal. However when it comes to moving files, its a lot easier with a gui interface like a file browser.

So instead of scp, we can right away use ssh protocol inside dolphin and konqueror just like ftp. The url will be like this

fish://username@server_name_or_ip

It will then ask for the password and will then open the remote file system just like ftp.

Fish stands for File transfer over SSH (File transfer over shell protocol).

And it can be used very much like ftp. Read the wikipedia article for more information.

Ftp clients like gftp also support using ssh for file transfer.
By using ssh for both terminal access and file access, you can avoid installing a separate ftp server. Ftp is not secure as it transmits data in plain text format unless using SSL encryptiong

It should be noted that Fish is not "Ftp over SSH".

Use SFTP to browse files

Along with the FISH protocol, the same OpenSSH server provides another great service for file transfer, called SFTP. The usage is same as FISH and it allows for remote file system management just like FTP.

To connect to the server over SFTP just change the protocol of the url

sftp://username@server_name_or_ip

Simple as that.

If the key of the remote server already exists in the ~/.ssh/known_hosts file then dolphin/konqueror might give an error like this

The host key for this server was not found, but another type of key exists. An attacker might change the default server key to confuse your client into thinking the key does not exist. Please contact your system administrator.

To fix this, first remove the key from the known_hosts file using the ssh-keygen command







$ ssh-keygen -R example.com

This will remove the ssh key for example.com that was saved earlier. Now try connecting with sftp and it shall prompt again to save the key file and will work fine.

Last Updated On : 3rd January 2014

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About Silver Moon

Php developer, blogger and Linux enthusiast. He can be reached at m00n.silv3r@gmail.com. Or find him on

  • An0nym0usC0ward

    Oddity I just found: adding keys to ssh-agent, and configuring hosts in ~/.ssh/config gets dolphin to use this info for sftp but not for fish. :-/

  • james

    wasn’t aware of “fish” syntax in dolphin. thanks a lot. very helpful

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