If you’re looking for a way to more efficient way copy files on Linux be sure to check out new GTK/libadwaita app Collector.

Collector functions as a temporary holding space on which you drag and drop files, paste clipboard contents and web links to images (e.g., Google Images), etc. You can take your time gathering content, and preview and edit your ‘stash’ as you go.

When ready, you just drag all items out with a single click to drop them elsewhere. You could drop them to a folder on your file system, on to an app (if it supports opening them), or on to a web page to upload them to e.g., cloud storage, social media, web chats, etc.

You can open multiple Collector windows simultaneously (though you do need need to create a custom shortcut to do this), and you can assign each window a coloured dot to help you tell which drop pad is which — nifty!

Collector drag and drop for Linux
A temporary stash pad for content

If you press Alt as you drag content out of the Collector window the stash is cleared, but a regular drag leaves content there so you can copy it again, elsewhere.

While there’s nothing inherently bad about switching in and out of folders to copy files individually, it can be become an effort as more and more file browser windows/tabs are opened. Being able to “stash” files in Collector to copy them at the same time is, for my needs, convenient!

An overview of Collector features:

  • Drag and drop files/folders to copy
  • Preview and edit dropped items
  • Drop clipboard content using Ctrl + V
  • Run multiple Collector windows
  • Group text drops into a single CSV file
  • Downloads images dropped from web browsers
  • Press Alt when dragging to clear files

In many ways Collector is a Linux alternative to Dropover for macOS, though it does lack the latter tool’s fancier flourishes like ‘shake to activate’ — some may argue that’s a plus!

A small set of options are available which allow you to adjust the way the utility works.

You’re able to enhance the experience further on GNOME 45 (~Ubuntu 23.10) using an official companion GNOME Shell extension. When this is enabled it allows the Collector window to ‘stay on top’ at all times, no need to focus it.

If you regularly need to work with, move, or copy an assortment of different files from different locations to a single end destination (be it a folder or even on to another app, then Collector is well worth checking out — it could save you time.

• Get Collector on Flathub

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