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hopper − Graphically manage and transfer files


hopper [-beta] [-debug] [-help] [directory]


Hopper is an interactive cross-platform tool that allows users to transfer and manipulate files and directories by means of a graphical user interface. Users can connect to and manage resources using most of the major file transfer protocols, including FTP, SFTP, SSH, NFT, and HTAR.



Run the most recent beta version of Hopper. This will have the latest well-tested features, but still may contain bugs.


Turn on the debug property, causing additional information to be printed to the console.


Prints a brief help message.


The following operand is supported:


Specifies the initial directory to be viewed within Hopper. If none is provided, the current directory is used.


To start hopper and view your current directory:

To start hopper and initially view the /tmp directory:
hopper /tmp


Connecting and Transferring

Upon start up, hopper will show a directory listing for the current directory on the machine on which hopper is running. To connect to "storage" use the "Connect" menu and choose "Connect to Storage (HPSS)". This will bring up a listing of your home directory on storage. Hopper can also connect to any other machines available via SSH and FTP. These options are also accessed from the "Connect" menu.

Hopper has an easy-to-use drag-and-drop mode which makes it simple to graphically perform data operations. After selecting entries and dragging to the desired destination, a menu will pop-up from which you can choose an operation to perform -- copy, move, create htar file, create tar file, synchronize, and so on.

Files can be transferred by dragging and dropping the file/directory icons from one window to another. The cursor icon will change to a "smiley face" when it is over an allowed drop position.

Selecting Entries

Multiple files can be selected by dragging with the left mouse button held down. A selection can be extended by first clicking on one item and then shift clicking on another. Additional items can be selected by clicking on an item with the control key held down. (Use the command key on a Mac.) Also, typing the first few characters of a file's name will cause that file to be selected.

File Operations

Hopper can perform a number of operations on individual files or groups of files. These operations are invoked via the right mouse menu -- click the right mouse button over a file or directory, and you’ll see a set of operations you can perform on that item. If you have a one-button mouse, this menu can be activated by clicking while holding down the Control or Command button. The operations include:

Check Access -- This reports the users and groups that can access a given file. This is useful for checking if a particular person or group has access to one of your files. It takes into consideration the permissions of all enclosing directories. It is selected by performing a "right click" on the file of interest and choosing "Check Access" from the resultant pop-up menu.

Change Permissions -- This brings up a dialog box that can be used to change permissions on selected items. It is selected by performing a "right click" on the file(s) of interest and choosing "Change Permissions" from the resultant pop-up menu. There is a "recursive" check box, that when selected, will case the permissions to be changed recursively for all files contained in any selected directories.

Change Owner/Group -- This brings up a dialog that can be used to change owner and group information on selected items. It is selected by performing a "right click" on the file(s) of interest and choosing "Change Owner/Group" from the resultant pop-up menu.

Delete -- You can delete files by either (1) selecting the files to delete and then clicking on the trash can icon in the toolbar, or (2) select the files and then choose Delete from the right mouse menu. By default you will be prompted for confirmation before any files are removed.

Make Directory -- To create a new directory or folder click the "New Folder" icon in the toolbar. After you supply the name the new directory will be created in the current directory.

Rename -- This highlights the selected file or entry’s name, allowing you to rename it. Press Return to complete the rename, or Escape to cancel out of it. It is selected by performing a "right click" on the file(s) of interest and choosing "Rename" from the resultant pop-up menu.

Search -- This brings up a dialog that can be used for locating files by name or content. It is selected by choosing "Search" from the Ops menu. The simple search mode searches a directory for filenames which contain a string and optional Unix-style wildcards. The expert search mode provides access to a variety of search styles, including literal (no wildcard expansion), glob (Unix-style wildcards: *,?,[]), and regular expression (Perl-style regexps). In addition to searching by name or attribute, on Unix systems one can also search on the contents of files. The File Content Search field accepts grep-style search strings, which can be simple strings like "function1" or more complex strings like "^int function[12]".

View -- To view a local or remote file, double click on the file. For remote files, this will transfer the file to a temporary directory on the local host for viewing. For local files, viewing is done in place. Several types of files can be viewed using Hopper's built-in viewer; this includes jpeg, gif, and png image files, plus text and raw binary files. The viewer is chosen based on the file suffix (e.g, ".jpg"). Alternate viewers can be assigned via the preferences: Preferences/Operations/File Viewer. Files can also be viewed by performing a "right click" on the file of interest and choosing "View With" from the pop-up menu.

Reading and Creating HTAR and TAR Files

Hopper can open and create htar and tar archives. In directory listings, htar archives will be shown with an "H in a circle" icon. You can double click on one of these icons to show the directory listing for the htar archive. Files can be copied out of an htar directory just like any other directory. Files cannot be copied into an htar directory, however, as htar archives are read-only. Tar archives appear with a "T in a circle" icon and are operated on in the same fashion as htar archives.

Htar and tar files can be easily created using the drag-and-drop interface. To create an htar file, just select the files you want to make an archive from, and drag them to a storage or production host window. Choose "Make HTAR Archive Here" from the menu to complete the operation.

Directory Synchronization

Hopper can now perform rsync-style directory synchronization operations. For example, suppose we want to synchronize from directory DirA on host HostA to directory DirB on host HostB. There are several ways to do this, but for clarity we will show you the most straightforward way. First, open directory windows for both HostA and HostB. Select DirA on HostA and drag it atop the directory icon or name for DirB on HostB. From the resulting pop-up menu, choose "Synchronize this Directory".

Before a synchronization operation is actually invoked, a tabbed dialog is displayed that describes the operation and allows you to set various options. Take a look at the Function tab, which is of particular interest. Note that you can perform a dry run.

Once a synchronization operation is underway, it is run in the background as a file transfer job. Use the Transfer Manager window to keep track of the synchronization job. As with any file transfer job, the Transfer Manager allows you to display a file transfer monitor window so you can view details of the transfer (and this is where you can view results of dry runs). A couple of points worth noting:

When syncing to HPSS, only the size and timestamp of a file will be used to determine if it needs updating -- the actual content of the file is not examined.

The "create an exact mirror" option can cause files on the sink to be deleted, which can be a disaster if the sink directory is chosen incorrectly. There are "dry run" and "backup" options available that can reduce this risk.

Clipboard Operations

Hopper now has a clipboard mechanism that can be used to initiate various file operations. The clipboard is accessed via (1) the Clipboard menu in the main menu bar, and (2) items in an entry´s pop-up menu (use the right mouse button over an entry to pop up this menu). Clipboard-based operations are initiated in two steps. First, source items are put into the clipboard. Second, an operation is selected in the context of a destination directory. Note that there are menu items for viewing and clearing the contents of the clipboard.

Dragless Copies

The Hopper clipboard mechanism and associated keyboard shortcuts make it possible to do "dragless" copies. Select the files you wish to copy, and put them on the clipboard by typing Control-C (there are also menu options for adding files to the clipboard.) Pressing Control-V in the destination window will "paste" the files from the clipbard, thus initiating the copy operation. (Note that on the Mac one uses the Command (Apple) key, rather than Control.)


General Issues

Password handling is a strong point of hopper. It contains logic to reduce the total number of passwod prompts you receive. However, there are circumstances where you may be asked to enter a password for a given host more than once. This is due to the fact that transfer operations occur in separate threads, and each thread requires its own connection.

When connected to FIS with ftp, dot files do not show up.

Color preview area does not show up under JDK1.4.2. (Okay with JDK 1.4.1).

SCP transfer of several thousand or more files fails. (SFTP okay.)

Trouble doing gets with OpenSSH sftp 3.7p1. Okay with 3.8.1 and 3.6.

Mac OS X Issues

Pre-Panther only -- ssh connections sometimes hang up.

When connecting to a Mac with FTP, listing "/" fails.

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