Gigolo – it mounts what it’s told to.

Okay, before we go any further I need to make it clear that we’re not talking about the latest adult video release, but rather a networking utility for Linux. Sorry. That cheeky tagline comes straight from the author. And it’s true!

Anyone using the GNOME desktop environment with their Linux distribution will probably be using Nautilus as a file manager as well. Among other handy features — like tabbed windows, for example — Nautilus has support for mounting Samba shares (like my NAS) built-in.

As I’ve chosen the more lightweight Xfce for my netbook the default file manager isn’t Nautilus but Thunar — a very capable app in its own right, but without any Samba support.

Fortunately, the latest release of Xubuntu also comes bundled with Gigolo. Let’s check it out…

Gigolo Network Browser

Here’s Gigolo’s interface. Note that my router (also with media server support) and NAS are automagically mounted, and that I’ve already connected to a Samba share. You can save any shared folder as a bookmark for a quick and easy reconnection. Handy.

Gigolo Connect to Server

And Samba is just one of the file sharing protocols supported, as you can see above.

Gigolo in Action

So how does Gigolo integrate with your file manager? Quite easily, as it turns out… Just click on a connected folder and it will open up in whatever you’ve got on board.

In the desktop grab above you can see:

  • Gigolo connected to my NAS in the top-left corner;
  • The shared folder open in Thunar at the bottom-left;
  • An awesome free download streaming in Totem to the right.

Okay, it’s actually paused but trust me, it works…

And yes, there were a couple of additional steps I had to perform to get my file manager/Gigolo connection working properly — but it’s as easy as downloading the five packages listed here then copying and pasting the highlighted terminal commands here. Once that’s done you’ve got yourself a rock-solid LAN sharing app with more functionality than even the mighty Nautilus on its own.

Gigolo was designed for Xfce but according to the author it can be used in any desktop environment, so long as GTK v2.12 or newer is also present.