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Developer: KDE

Reviewed version: 4.10.5

OS support *Nix systems, Windows, Mac

License: GPL

Konqueror is a versatile application that can function as a Web browser, a file manager and a universal file viewer. It was first released in 1996; since 2000, it has come bundled as a core component of the KDE software package.

It allows you to browse both local and networked files/folders (it supports protocols like FTP/SFTP, HTTP and IMAP) and lets you view files such as PDFs and spreadsheets.

Konqueror has a number of useful features, including a large display area and the ability to show split windows.

What's new

The latest version 4.10.5 contains fixes for a font rendering issue in sites that use Web fonts and a browser auto-save issue that spins up the hard disk even when idle. No new features have been added in this release.

What's good about it

One thing that impressed me right away was the large display area for Web pages. Konqueror displays a tab bar only when there is more than one active tab, so that you have the maximum viewing area while browsing a single website. The browser opens a new tab when you double-click on the tab bar -- a feature that I missed in most of the other browsers reviewed here. Also, tabs have flexible widths that adjust automatically to the title of the page.

The welcome screen contains links that let you go to your home folder, trash, network folders or bookmarks. Two or more files can be easily compared by splitting windows either horizontally or vertically.

Konqueror also provides useful features like an ad-block filter, plug-in/extension support and VNC viewer support. It can also be used as a text/PDF/spreadsheet viewer.

One of the highlights of Konqueror is that it is also a fully-fledged file manager. It supports all the standard file management operations like cut, copy, rename, open-with, etc. and also provides some interesting features such as hierarchical display of files and folders, keyboard shortcuts to open a terminal or execute a command, and a horizontal/vertical split window.

It doesn't have everything one could wish -- for example, I missed having compress, share and send-to options in the right-click menu.

Other considerations

There isn't any Internet search bar in the browser window, a major inconvenience. Also, you can't type a search query in the location bar, which most major browsers now support. I was really surprised when Konqueror crashed for the very first website -- YouTube -- that I tried to open. (It only crashed there once, but others have encountered similar problems.)

However, that wasn't the only problem -- it turned out that there were many more surprises to come.

For example, Gmail refused to show up in its usual feature-rich display. It popped up a notification bar that reported that some important features may not work with Konqueror and so I was redirected to a more basic HTML interface.

The chat window within my Facebook account was always disconnected in Konqueror, while it worked fine in other browsers like Firefox and Midori.

I couldn't open Google Drive at all -- I just kept getting a "File does not exist" error. A closer look at the URL -- https://drive.google.com/DocAction?action=unsupported browser# -- clearly indicated that Google Drive does not support Konqueror.

Apart from these, there were other small issues that I noticed. For example, its use of keyboard commands is inconsistent. Ctrl+T opens a new tab, but Shift+Ctrl+T, instead of reopening the last closed tab as one might expect, opens the current tab again in horizontal split window mode. It's Ctrl+Z that reopens the last closed tab. Also, there isn't any private browsing mode.

Konqueror is also a fully-fledged file manager that supports all the standard file management operations such as cut, copy, rename, etc. Apart from these standard features, Konqueror also provides some interesting features, such as hierarchical display of files and folders, keyboard short-cuts to execute a command and split windows.

However, Konquerer doesn't include the ability to compress, share or send-to using the right-click menu. I use compress and send-to options a lot and just cannot imagine file management without these options.

Bottom line

Konquerer is an adequate, if limited, file manager, but I was definitely not much impressed with its Web browsing capabilities. It has stability problems, and many of the websites that I use on daily basis had compatibility issues with Konqueror.

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