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Saturday, 11 March 2017

Polo Beta 2

Beta 2 of Polo File Manager is now available.

Beta builds are currently available only to a limited set of users who have donated to this project. The final stable release of Polo will be available to all users (April or May). People who donate will get access to a few extra features in the final release.

If you are interested in testing the beta release of Polo, please send me an email and I will add you to the beta mailing list.

Next beta will be available next weekend (March 18).

Feature status

Completed: Sessions, Media View, List View, Icon View, Tile View, Toolbar, Statusbar, Layouts, Tabs, File Context Menu, File Menubar, File Operations, Overwrite Confirmation, Settings, Keyboard shortcuts

Pending: Sidebar, Trash, Cloud storage support, Archive support, Remote and virtual filesystems, Checksum calculations, Drag & drop.

What's New


Polo will remember the last session and reload the state on the next run. Open tabs, open directories, pane layouts and view modes will be restored. You can keep tabs open for directories that you normally work with, and Polo will restore them the next time you start the application.

Media View

A new view mode has been added for browsing photos and videos. If a folder is detected as containing photos and videos, Polo will switch to a 256x256 size icon-view. This view displays large-sized thumbnails that makes it easier to browse through items in the folder. Missing thumbnails will be generated automatically. You can exclude certain directories if you do not wish to switch to this view automatically.

Existing thumbails will be displayed from the system cache, and missing thumbnails will be generated for photos and videos. Since thumbnails generated by Polo are larger than ones created by other file managers, you can clear existing thumbnails in your system cache to force Polo to generate fresh images:

rm -rfv ~/.cache/thumbnails/{normal,large,fail}
rm -rfv ~/.thumbnails/{normal,large,fail}
mkdir -pv ~/.cache/thumbnails/{normal,large,fail}
mkdir -pv ~/.thumbnails/{normal,large,fail}

Speed Improvements

Application startup and new tab creation is now 8x faster than previous beta. Various optimizations have been done to speed up application startup, and initialization of tabs and views.

Distro Support

Issues have been fixed for Ubuntu 16.10 and 17.04 and tested on following - Ubuntu 16.04, Xubuntu 16.10, Xubuntu 17.01, Kubuntu 16.04, Manjaro 17 Xfce

Tab Rename

Tabs can now be renamed by right-clicking on the tab label and selecting "Edit Name" from the popup menu.

Icon Drawing Options

You can now select if emblems and thumbnails should be drawn/loaded for list view, icon view and tiled view.

Emblems and thumbnails affect the speed with which folder contents are loaded, so turning them off can speed up loading of directories which contain a large number of items (1000+). You will not notice any speed difference with smaller directories.

Emblems indicate if an item is a symlink or read-only but can also make the icon look congested, so you can now turn it off if you prefer a clean look for your icons.

Emblems and thumbnails are turned off by default for list view since the icons displayed in list are already very small (16px). You can turn it on if you wish to.


If you find my applications useful and wish to say thanks, you can buy me a coffee by making a donation with Paypal. You could also sign up as a sponsor on People who donate get access to beta releases of applications during the development stage, and extra features in the final release.


  1. Tony - thanks for the update. The image/thumbnail view is awesome. Will you add drag-and-drop for moving/copying files/directories? Also, Polo doesn't seem to recognize my external USB 3.0 drives nor thumb drives.

    1. Which distributions are you using? (example: Xubuntu 16.10)

      Please send me the output of following commands:

      lsblk --version


      These commands may throw errors on your system. Send me the error messages in case it does. You can save the output to a file by adding a "&> output.txt" after the command.
      for example: lsblk --version &> output.txt

  2. Can't get the terminal to download and install Polo, but the deb works. It doesn't see any attached drives or my hard drive data partition. I'm using btrfs for OS and Data drive. L-May

    1. Which distributions are you using? (example: Xubuntu 16.10)

      Please send me the output of following commands:

      lsblk --version


      These commands may throw errors on your system. Send me the error messages in case it does. You can save the output to a file by adding a "&> output.txt" after the command.
      for example: lsblk --version &> output.txt

    2. lsblk from util-linux 2.27.1
      zz@Q ~ $ lsblk
      sda 8:0 0 465.8G 0 disk
      ├─sda4 8:4 0 354.2G 0 part /mnt/32e62a74-bf84-4e74-9e0f-982196f6f44a
      ├─sda2 8:2 0 103.4G 0 part /home
      ├─sda3 8:3 0 7.7G 0 part [SWAP]
      └─sda1 8:1 0 487M 0 part /boot/efi
      zz@Q ~ $ lsblk --bytes
      sda 8:0 0 500107862016 0 disk
      ├─sda4 8:4 0 380296495104 0 part /mnt/32e62a74-bf84-4e74-9e0f-982196f6f44a
      ├─sda2 8:2 0 111000158208 0 part /home
      ├─sda3 8:3 0 8299479040 0 part [SWAP]
      └─sda1 8:1 0 510656512 0 part /boot/efi

      zz@Q ~ $ lsblk --pairs
      NAME="sda" MAJ:MIN="8:0" RM="0" SIZE="465.8G" RO="0" TYPE="disk" MOUNTPOINT=""
      NAME="sda4" MAJ:MIN="8:4" RM="0" SIZE="354.2G" RO="0" TYPE="part" MOUNTPOINT="/mnt/32e62a74-bf84-4e74-9e0f-982196f6f44a"
      NAME="sda2" MAJ:MIN="8:2" RM="0" SIZE="103.4G" RO="0" TYPE="part" MOUNTPOINT="/home"
      NAME="sda3" MAJ:MIN="8:3" RM="0" SIZE="7.7G" RO="0" TYPE="part" MOUNTPOINT="[SWAP]"
      NAME="sda1" MAJ:MIN="8:1" RM="0" SIZE="487M" RO="0" TYPE="part" MOUNTPOINT="/boot/efi"

  3. My notes so far:

    Tabs: I'm in dual vertical mode. In left pane, I have two tabs. First tab is my home folder, which I renamed to 'Home'. Second tab is my Downloads folder, which I have not renamed. If I now close Polo and reopen, the 'Downloads' tab is now named 'drohm', but it shows the correct folder (/home/drohm/Downloads). This is the same behavior with x number of tabs, they all get renamed to 'drohm' (no matter what folder they are currently pointing to).

    Will there be integration with third-party applications that add items to the context menu? Currently, I use BeyondCompare as my diff tool. It adds menu items to the context menu for file or folder compare. Is there a way I can do the same for Polo? The BeyondCompare documention for this might help:


    The File...New Tab menu item always creates a new tab in the left vertical pane (dual vertical viewing mode). I currently have the right pane active (blue dot) and when I select File...New Tab, it creates it in the left pane. I can't figure out how to add tabs to the right pane. The same behavior happens when clicking on the 'Add Tab' toolbar button, it always creates it in the left vertical pane.

    With Polo open maximized, if I then close Polo and reopen it, it doesn't remember it was maximized. Note that I deselected the 'Maximize on startup' option in Settings. With that selected, it obviously maximized the window. I assummed it would remember it's state like it remembers tabs open, etc. This isn't really a bug, just something I noticed.

    Could Settings also be a menu option? Maybe File...Settings or Edit...Preferences?

    Not sure if this is a bug, but when I click on the 'Add Tab' toolbar button, it creates a new tab, but doesn't automatically go to it. Should that be the default behavior or be an option for it in Settings?

    Will post more if I see anything else. Overall, Beta 2 feels more solid and stable. The startup time improvement is very nice. Great progress.

    1. Doug, the tabs are not for the left pane, they are for both panes. To explain it in another way - when you switch tabs, the 2 panes that you see are completely different from the 2 panes that you see on another tab. Maybe I should add a black border around the tabs to make it more distinct?

      The tab name displays the folder name of the active pane (unless the name was edited by user). So when you re-open Polo, the first pane would have become active and the tab name will display the folder name.

      The maximized state depends on settings. It is not saved in session. Sessions will save only the following - open tabs, open folders, layout for each tab, view mode for each pane, and hidden file visibility for each pane. Everything else is loaded from default settings.

      The file menu is basic. I haven't had time to add all the options. I'll be adding them.

      Many file managers have their own implementations for adding items to the right-click menu. So I need to see which ones I can support easily. Adding support for Nemo actions/extensions is easy so I will be adding that. I'm not so sure about Nautilus extensions.

      New tabs open in the background by default. I'll add an option in the settings.

    2. If I'm understanding you correctly, the tabs are more or less sets (a set of two in the case of dual layout) that can't be changed independently? I was expecting to be able to add/remove panes independently for each pane. I'll have to play with it more to see how I like it, but I'd prefer each pane to be able to add/remove tabs independenly of each other.

    3. I also meant to say it wasn't clear that was the behavior. Adding black border may help, but that could be tough.

    4. Most file managers have implemented it this way. Thunar, Nemo and even Directory Opus keep 2 panes in each tab.

    5. Maybe we're getting panes vs tabs mixed up here.

      When I open say, DOpus, I have it in dual vertical mode, so there are two vertical panes. Each pane can have any number of independently opened tabs. The panes are in no way linked to one another.

      For example, currently my left pane has 8 tabs each pointing to different folders. My right tab has 5 tabs each pointing to different folders. The two panes are not associated with each other. I can do anything in one pane (add/remove tabs) without affecting the other. I can also add/remove tabs to each pane, independently.

    6. I'll check it out. Haven't used it in a long time.

  4. I might be helpful for the 'Back', 'Forward', and 'Up' toolbar buttons to be small icons for each tab/pane.

    One other possible way to create new tabs:

    1. Yes, I had thought of this but dropped the idea to save more space for the links in the path bar. I'll make it optional in the settings.

    2. That tiny button for creating new tabs is actually hard to implement using the Notebook widget in Gtk. I'll see if it can be done.

  5. You mentioned keyboard shortcuts under Completed. Is there a way to view and/or modify them? Thanks.

    1. Basic keyboard shortcuts are added. Options to modify will come later.

      I currently have too many items in my list of pending features and not enough time to work on this project. So I need to prioritise which features will be added first and which will come later. Modifying keyboard shortcuts will be added at the very end since I don't have much use for it and the common shortcuts are already supported.