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

By | July 29, 2020


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 in the location bar the url in the following format:


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.

1. Use FISH protocol to browse files

Files transferred over Shell protocol (FISH) is a network protocol that uses SSH to transfer files across local and remote systems and manage files on remote systems.

SSH is a protocol to manage remote systems over the terminal. The secure shell allows to run any command on the server as well as manage files. However the ssh command does not directly support transferring files across local and remote systems.

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 FISH protocol inside dolphin and konqueror just like ftp. The url will be like this


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. For more information read the wikipedia article here:

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 encryption.

2. 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


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

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

About Silver Moon

A Tech Enthusiast, Blogger, Linux Fan and a Software Developer. Writes about Computer hardware, Linux and Open Source software and coding in Python, Php and Javascript. He can be reached at [email protected].


Use ssh to browse remote file system in Dolphin & Konqueror on KDE
    1. Silver Moon Post author

      scp being a core command line utility will be the fastest.
      however, for small files, dolphin should work fine with the fish protocol.
      for example when editing text or code files on a web server.

      i browse webserver in dolphin using fish protocol and then open/edit .php files in kate and its good.
      never tried transferring large files. could be slower than scp, but should work.

  1. Martien

    The possibility in Dolphin to do file transfer to another PC was unknown for me, but it great and handy tool.
    Fist establish the LAN connection by a switch or cross cable between the two Linux PC.
    Test the communication between the two PC by pinging the IP adresses, for example and
    Then install the openssh-server op both PC’s!
    Then in Dophin add a new item below network in the left part of the screen and add “fish://[email protected]
    You will prompted to type the password for the target PC were the files will be copied.
    With the split screen you can drag and drop the files to the target PC

  2. 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. :-/

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