Elementary Spears a Marlin, ‘Files’ Is Born


So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish

Marlin, the expected file manager for the Pantheon desktop environment, has been abandoned by its developer, Am Monkey.  Abandoned may be a harsh term.  Marlin’s homepage on Launchpad shows that he simply “lost interest”.  It seems that not all is lost for the Elementary project as they have picked up where Am Monkey left off, rebadging the software to. simply, Files.

From the Elementary blog:

Rather than abandoning the hard work gone into developing the first-class file manager, elementary has decided to take the existing code, refine it, patch up some papercuts, and continue its maintenance. With elementary developing the app, it allows us to more easily fix a lot of long-standing UI issues and inconsistencies. And of course we’ll continue cracking down with the HIG as we do with our other apps.

“No good fish goes anywhere without a porpoise” — Lewis Carroll

It seems to be a recurring theme on the Linux desktop to relate the file manager to ocean themed aliases.  If you use Ubuntu or Gnome in general, you may already be familiar with Nautilus, Gnome’s default file manager.  KDE users have DolphinMarlin itself was a pun on this theme.

The name “Marlin” was a clever pun, suggesting it was “the fastest fish in the sea of file managers” and referencing the fact that both Nautilus and Dolphin carry names related to the sea. However, this pun is lost on most users

While the Elementary project has not seen as much of the limelight as others, it is important to note that this project goes far and above the call of duty of your run-of-the-mill Linux distro.  Elementary is an aggressive effort to create not only a distro, but a unique suite of tools, Files not withstanding.  Elementary develops the up-and-coming Beatbox audio player, in addition to the recently renamed Geary simplified mail client.  Elementary also develops and maintain a swath of other Gnome 3 replacements to compliment their new environment/distro.

Best of luck Elementary!  And sorry for capitalizing Elementary.  My OCD can’t cope with it otherwise.



About Dean Howell

Aside from being a huge Sega fan, Dean is an LPIC certified Linux professional with over a decade experience. In addition to spending his free time burning through the classics from Sega and evangelizing open source, he's also the editor-in-cheif of The Powerbase.