When comparing Nautilus vs Dolphin, the Slant community recommends Dolphin for most people. In the question“What are the best Linux file managers?” Dolphin is ranked 2nd while Nautilus is ranked 7th. The most important reason people chose Dolphin is:
Like other KDE applications, Dolphin makes use of KIO which gives Dolphin access to other APIs and services. For example, it allows Dolphin to manage files stored remotely the same way you can manage local files through FTP.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Allows you to access remote or local locations
On recent versions of GNOME, you can click the Files entry in the panel to access a specific location (remote or local), connect to a certain server (FTP, SFTP, SAMBA, etc.), access your bookmarks, open a new window, as well as to change its default functionality.
Pro Widely supported
The program is distributed as a single source archive, which can be configured, compiled and installed on almost any Linux flavor. There are no binary files for a specific Linux distribution, but you can install it directly from the default software channels of your operating system.
Pro Minimalistic looking
It does what it is supposed to do, and leaves a lot of screen space to look for a file.
Pro Easy to use and familiar user interface for Ubuntu users
The user interface of Files is very familiar to Ubuntu users, most probably because Canonical still uses Nautilus (an old version of it) as the default file manager for its world’s most popular free operating system, Ubuntu Linux.
It split into two parts, a sidebar and the main file viewer. While you already know what the latter can do for you, the sidebar offers quick access to Places, Devices and Network locations, as well as any other bookmarks that you can add whenever you want.
Pro Nautilus action configuration tool can configure systems in ways no other FM can
It can configure popup menu depending on file type.
Pro Can split views
Dolphin supports splitting the view in two navigational areas, this way you can navigate two different directories at the same time.
Pro Easy to extend with plugins
Dolphin follows KDE's philosophy of being extendable and configurable. It can easily be configured and customized through plugins.
Pro Integrated terminal
Perssing F4 with any opened folder on a mounted path opens a konsole within dolphin.
Pro Auto mounts flash drives
Dolphin automatically identifies and mounts external flash drives.
Pro Immenseley configurable
As with any KDE app, Dolphin, allows adding or modifying toolbar buttons and keyboard shortcuts.
Pro Fast at opening graphics folders
Pictures with or without previews is optional and selectable at the touch of a button.
Pro Also has a refresh option
Dolphin is without a doubt the best fully functional and easy to use and multitask with.
• Dolphin also has a refresh button which no other File manager has. It's great for tracking a large files transfer; that's what file managers are for - good common sense.
Pro Fully supports HiDPI
Supports HiDPI displays.
Con It has lost so much functionality
As already stated, this is not well configurable anymore. One can not even start in dual pane mode for cut/copy and paste. Just a ridiculous transgression. It was great just 1-2 years ago, but over-simplification in this case is detrimental to functionality.
Con Mostly unconfigurable
There are not many ways to configure Nautilus to fit your needs. Besides what can be seen in the settings button you can't configure it further.
Con Slow at moving picture folders
A move, even to the same disk, can take a minute for a folder containing a hundred images.
Con Has too many bugs
There are too many bugs at the current state for this file browser to be usable.
Con "Type" column too verbose
Despite having a large enough monitor, If you keep the size of the browser window small, the "Type" column (in "Details" view mode) insists on including the complete multipart MIME string, making the column so wide that trying to limit its width makes the column useless. Sorting by "Type" renders the list into an incomprehensible mess.
Con Maybe a little slow on startup
Dolphin can be a little slow on startup (depending on distro, hardware etc...). Startup time can vary from a couple of seconds to up to a minute.