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Missing file directory and manager on Ubuntu? Install Nautilus!

You are here probably for one of the following reasons:

  1. You had a file manager installed on your Ubuntu OS but now you can’t seem to find it on the dock
  2. You are using an older version of Ubuntu that did not come with Nautilus pre-installed
  3. You screwed up and deleted Nautilus and now can only access directories and files via the command terminal

Nautilus in a Nutshell

  • It’s the Ubuntu version of a File Explorer in Windows
  • It basically works on all Linux Operating Systems that have a GNOME desktop environment.
  • It gives you a Graphical User Interface (GUI) to interact with the Linux Directories and Files (Read up more on the Linux File System here)
  • It gives you some additional features that allow you to manage your files and directories (We call folders directories in Linux).
  • Apart from file management, Nautilus has a bunch of extensions that can incorporate features like:
    • Mass image size conversion. Very handy if you deal with photographs. (sudo apt-get install nautilus-image-converter)
    • Set as wallpaper option on right clicking image. Windows users might know this one as a default one. (sudo apt-get install nautilus-wallpaper)
    • Fetch subtitles for a video. This can be added as an option to the dropdown menu of a file. (sudo add-apt-repository ppa:patrick-dessalle/ppa && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install periscope-gnome).

How do I install Nautilus?

  • It’s simple.
  • Open up your command line interface (Use Ctrl+Alt+T)
  • Enter the command sudo apt-get update because why the hell not. It’s always good to have your packages updated to the latest version. And maybe an update might restore a broken Nautilus installation in which case you can just shut this window without having to read further.
    • sudo gives root privilege to your command. Might require you to enter your password.
  • Next will be the actual step to install Nautilus. Just enter sudo apt-get install -y nautilus.
    • the -y flag will just automatically enter “yes” to any further requests that the installation requires. Do this only if you are installing an official package like Nautilus. This just speeds things up. You don’t really need to type it.

That should do the trick. Enjoy browsing your files and folders with the Nautilus graphical file manager for Ubuntu.

Nautilus Alternatives

Though Nautilus comes pre-packaged with Ubuntu, you might want to choose better File Managers. Here are some alternatives:

  • Dolphin
  • Nemo (This is basically a much better version of Nautilus)
  • Thunar
  • Krusader

This was all about getting a File Manager (Nautilus in this case). It’s not too bad for basic file/directory management. You can move to other alternatives once you start feeling that you need additional features. Remember to check out other nifty tutorials in our free Operating Systems course!

Related courses for this will be up soon!

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