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Introduction to KDE’s KIO Slaves – Using fish://

Posted in Linux by Kevin Colyar on April 4, 2007

KIO (KDE input/output) is an API that allows for a single, consistent way to access many types of local and remote system resources. Using KIO, plugins can be written to access these resource over many different types of protocols including, but not limited to: http, ftp, smb, ssh, svn, tar, and zip. The programs that handle these protocols under KIO are called KIO Slaves or KIO Plugins. A KIO slave that I have found extremely useful, but not many KDE users know about, is the fish KIO slave.

I use ssh all the time and have worked on several websites where the coding was done in php just using ssh and emacs. That’s great and all, emacs is a powerful editor and everyone should learn how to use an editor that can be used in a shell. However, I’ve been trying some other editors lately, like kate, and I wasn’t about to play the download…edit…upload…edit…upload…download another file…edit…upload game over sftp. We’re not in 1998 anymore, WS_FTP. Sftp and ftp(bad idea) gui’s are just lame. You should be able to just use your regular file system browser.

This is where the fish KIO slave comes in. ‘fish’ is the KIO slave that provides an interface to a remote file system over the ssh protocol. So if you have an ssh account to your webserver, or other system that has a ssh server, you can use it to access the remote filesystem in your local file browser transparently . All fully encrypted, of course.

Great, now how do you use fish? Just open a Konqueror window and type fish://username@server.com into the address bar. Next, you’ll be asked for your password and if you would like KDE to remember it for you. Ssh keys can also be used but that’s for another post. You’re now connected your server using your ssh account and can start browsing and manipulating files just as if they were the on local file system. For example, say I want to edit a php files on my webserver. I just double click on the file, my KDE file associates recognize the file type, and opens the file in kate. You can use all your usual programs and editors on the local machine. It’s that easy.

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10 Responses to 'Introduction to KDE’s KIO Slaves – Using fish://'

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  1. KS said,


    That’s great and all, emacs is a powerful editor and everyone should learn how to use an editor that can be used in a shell. However, I’ve been trying some other editors lately, like kate, and I wasn’t about to play the download – edit – upload – edit – upload – download another file – edit – upload game over sftp. We’re not in 1998 anymore, WS_FTP. Sftp and ftp(bad idea) gui’s are just lame. You should be able to just use your regular file system browser.

    So why not an extension to have x/emacs use kioslaves? Sounds like the best of both worlds.


  2. […] or twin panel file manager Krusader which both support the secure file browser kio-plugin called fish. If you use a fish URL, you can connect the server via shared keys or via […]


  3. […] Introduction to KDE’s KIO Slaves using fish:// […]


  4. […] Introduction to KDE’s KIO Slaves using fish:// […]


  5. […] Introduction to KDE’s KIO Slaves using fish:// […]


  6. […] Introduction to KDE’s KIO Slaves using fish:// […]


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