Friday, 14 April 2017

Polo Beta 4

Beta 4 build of Polo File Manager is now available.

Beta releases 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 (in June). People who donate will get access to a few extra features in the final release.

Beta 5 will be available on April 30. You can track changes on the milestones page.

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

What's New

File View Changes

  • Views will update automatically when directory contents change. There is no need to manually refresh the view using toolbar button or F5 key.
  • Previously, the view would default to the user's home directory when a device was unmounted, or if the path was not found while restoring the last session. This is inconvenient as the user has to navigate to the path again after connecting the device. Unmounting a device will now display "Device was unmounted" in the view instead of switching to user's home directory. While restoring the last session, an empty view will be displayed with message "Path not found".

First-Run Wizard

  • A wizard-style dialog was added to select the default layout on the first run of the application. Users can click one of the images to set the default layout. More pages will be added later for selecting other defaults.

Device Dropdown

  • [Fixed] Loop devices created by snap packages will not be displayed
  • [Fixed] Swap volumes will not be displayed
  • Device list in sidebar will refresh automatically when devices are connected, disconnected, mounted or unmounted
  • Device dropdown was updated to display the volume size and mount path

Speed Improvements

  • Folders will take less time to open after the first time, as some data will be cached for future use. This gives a 10% to 60% improvement in speed when folders are re-opened (depending on the number of items and images in folder).
  • More speed improvements are planned for Beta 5

Media bar changes

In previous version the view would switch automatically to Media View if the folder contained images or video. User had to exit the view manually or select the "Ignore" option. This is inconvenient since the view would change suddenly on entering such folders even if user wished to stay in the selected view (List, Icon, or Tiled).

Now the media bar will prompt user to switch to Media View without switching to it automatically.

User can select Yes to switch to Media View, or No to ignore the prompt. Selection will be remembered for future sessions and prompt will not appear for same folder again.

To reset the saved decision, simply change the view manually from the toolbar and the prompt will appear again when you open the folder.

Hide Files & Folders

Files and folders can now be hidden by selecting "Hide" or "Unhide" from the right-click menu. This adds an entry to the .hidden file in the parent directory.

Normally, only files starting with dot "." are treated as hidden files. Using this option allows files to be hidden without changing the name.

Files will remain hidden in all file managers that support .hidden files (Nemo, Nautilus, etc).

Other changes

  • Added keyboard shortcuts and menubar items for Back (Alt+Left), Forward (Alt+Right) and Up (Alt+Up)

  • Added keyboard shortcuts and menubar items for Open Location (Ctrl+L)

  • (Delete) will send files to trash and (Shift+Delete) will delete files permanently. This was mapped in opposite order in previous versions.

  • Added type-ahead selection for list view (files and folders can be selected by typing on keyboard).

  • [Fixed] Thumbnailer: Random crash on browsing directories with images

  • [Fixed] Thumbnailer: Do not generate thumbnails for image files smaller than 128px, load file directly instead.

  • [Fixed] Thumbnailer: Do not upscale thumbnails for images which are smaller then requested size.

  • [Fixed] Tree browsing was broken. Subfolders were not populated correctly when node was expanded.

  • [Fixed] Only first file was trashed on trashing multiple files


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. "People who donate will get access to a few extra features in the final release." Can you say what those extra features are and if they'll be available to users who donate after the stable/public release?

    Will Polo be able to run in a "single instance mode"? For example Polo is running and I open a directory from a web browser (or any other program), instead of opening a new instance of Polo it will open a tab in the running instance.

    Also i have a few other suggestions should I post them on github?

    1. The donation features will be available to anyone who donates either during the beta period or after the public release.

      I have added some items to the GitHub tracker labelled as "donation feature". These are not yet implemented and there is no ETA. I'll start with them only after the stable version has been released.

      I'll add an option for single instance mode; its easy to implement. Please add this item to the tracker along with any other ideas/suggestions you may have.

  2. Donation features:

    1) Right-click menu option to scan directories for malware using ClamAV.

    Polo will integrate with ClamAV installed on the system and provide an integrated UI to perform scans, view scan results, quarantine files, update ClamAV signatures, etc.

    This will be a simple on-demand scanner for directories and there are no plans to add scheduled scans or other features. Linux does not need anti-virus software. This feature is for people who dual-boot with Windows and need to scan connected drives for malware.

    2) Right-click menu option for video files to extract audio track. Audio track will be extracted to same folder without re-encoding or loss of quality.

    3) Right-click menu option for video files for merging subtitle files. SRT and video files will be merged to produce a single MKV file in the same folder.

    4) Download videos from YouTube and other sites by pasting the web page link into a folder. Polo will integrate with youtube-dl and mps-yt installed on the system, to display a prompt for selecting quality/format and download into same folder where link was pasted.

    These features will be implemented as plugins so you can install the plugins for features you need.

    I'm planning to move every donation feature to the free version 12 months after it is introduced. This will ensure that people who do not wish to donate do not miss out on the features in the long run. New donation features will be added to replace the ones that get moved to the free version.

  3. Is this beta for Ubuntu only or will I be able to install it on other distros as well (I'm asking this as I want to donate but I don't use Ubuntu).

  4. It can be installed on other distros also but requires Gtk 3.12 or newer. It will not work on older distros that have Gtk versions older than 3.12 (Ubuntu 14.04, Mint 17.x, etc)

    1. Sorry for my late reply, but I've just become a patron and downloaded beta but it doesn't work because it says it needs apt-get and my distro (Solus) doesn't use apt-get. It does work when extracting the deb file and double-clicking polo-gtk. But IMHO you should make the run file truly universal.

    2. The run file does not depend on apt-get and can be installed on non-ubuntu distros also. Please send me the error you are getting. You can email me at teejeetech at gmail dot com.

  5. I feel like this is a good place to outline areas where Polo could really excel and provide superior qualities making it attractive.

    To me these features are:

    1 ) Load directories fast.
    1a - (Nautilus loads folder and thumbnail icons first, I think this is a mistake because it can take 0.8 - 3.0 seconds just to open a directory, IMO if load times are going to exceed 0.5 seconds it should load those thumbnails after the directory is loaded.)

    2 ) Launch quickly.
    2a - I bind my file manager to Super + F and am constantly opening and closing it, launch has to be quick to get tasks done.

    3 ) Set custom folder icons (Right now I save a .icon.png file to every folder and run a nautilus CLI script to set the icons. It makes my filesystem beautiful but is a nuisance. - See

    4 ) As a graphics designer I often need to get image dimensions as quickly as possible. Years ago on windows I could simply select a file and see the image dimensions - if it was possible to see width x height in the file manager it would be a huge incentive to use said file manager.

    Dolphin does this however it also includes lots of other data I am not interested in eg:

    5 ) I use Rabbit VCS integration to manage GIT repositories right from the file manager, I wonder if a plugin system would help popularize the file manager by offering extensability beyond core function.

    6 ) Its important to me that if there ever is any location buttons to overlay the text location that when toggling it not change much, I prefer text location bar but if there ever was buttons letter-spacing would be really important to keep the lengths similar (I think Pantheon Files does this okayish but still not as nicely as I wish it did)

    A ) I love the "Hide" item in the right click menu, that is well done.

    B ) I'm really excited for someone to make this into a AUR so I can try it.

    1. 1) Polo has an option to turn off the thumbnails, but it will load thumbnails immediately if enabled. I'll try if it can delayed.

      2) Launch is already very quick. I'll be adding a single-instance mode so that new directories open in the current instance in a new tab, instead of creating another instance/window.

      3,4) Will be added

      5) I'm planning to provide options for Git and Bazaar

  6. I don't have many complaints with existing file managers on Linux, but there is one feature that is missing from every one of them (but exists on Windows) that I miss occasionally.

    Specifically, it's the ability to complete a rename and simultaneously move to renaming the next file without using the mouse. This is most useful if you're renaming a series of files, where the renaming will move them (because of how the directory is sorted).

    For example, imagine you're in a directory with X.txt, Y.txt and Z.txt, along with many other files. You want to rename all three of them, but not in a way that is regular enough for a bulk rename tool - like, such as X.txt -> A.txt, Y.txt -> Q.txt, Z.txt -> 9.txt.

    In Windows, you can use tab for this. It will finalize the rename for the current file, and open the rename input for the next file (so it would go from X.txt to Y.txt to Z.txt).

    Linux file managers don't have this feature. The only way to finalize a rename with the keyboard is enter, which will also force you to follow the file to its new location, meaning that, to do the described renames, you'd have to scroll back down to the initial position of the three files twice (once after renaming X.txt, and once after renaming Y.txt).

    If you use the mouse, you can finalize a rename without following the file, allowing for the less annoying workflow of right clicking on the next file to be renamed, but obviously a keyboard shortcut for this would be ideal. Please make this a feature (or maybe it is already, and I just don't know because I haven't tried it yet).

    I'm sorry for this incredibly long description, but I've been annoyed by the lack of this feature many times, and suggested it for several different file managers, but it's apparently an obscure windows feature and people generally don't understand what I mean when I talk about it.

    1. I understand what you mean. I'll be adding this feature.