The KDE desktop has a very interesting Kioslave protocol handler called Fish that allows users to access remote filesystems over SSH securely—all within the confines of the Konqueror file browser. Making use of this functionality is extremely easy; open Konqueror and in the Location bar type:
This allows you to connect to the remote system "host" as user "user." KDE will pop up a password-entry dialog box to provide your ssh password to the remote host if you are not using ssh keys to access it. You can even have KDE remember it in the KWallet program so you can make subsequent connections without providing a password.
Once you've connected to the remote host, you can manipulate files in Konqueror the same as you would on the local filesystem by viewing graphics, listening to music files, editing text files, and so on.
To enable previewing of remote files, select Settings, then Configure Konqueror from the task bar. In the pop-up window, select Previews & Meta-Data from the sidebar, and select the box next to Fish Internet Protocol. Adjust the maximum file size from which Konqueror will make previews and click Apply.
One use for the fish Kioslave is to edit remote Web data. This is easier than connecting to the remote system via ssh and using a text editor to change files; it may also be easier than using scp to download a file, edit it locally with your favorite text editor, then re-upload the changed file. With Konqueror, you can simply drag and drop files from the local filesystem to the remote one.
And because Kioslaves can be used by more than just Konqueror, you can open files remotely with other KDE applications by providing the fish:// URL. For instance, to edit a remote file with Kate, use the Open File dialog and in the Location bar, type fish://user@host/home/user and hit enter. After providing a password, if necessary, you'll be presented with a list of files on the remote filesystem. Select the file you wish to open and edit it.
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Vincent Danen works on the Red Hat Security Response Team and lives in Canada. He has been writing about and developing on Linux for over 10 years and is a veteran Mac user.