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Nine Things You Should Know About Nautilus 257

Posted by Hemos
from the use-your-system-better dept.
lessthan0 writes "The Nautilus program in GNOME is not only the default file manager, it creates and manages the desktop. While it looks simple on the surface, there is a lot of hidden power under the shell. The latest version of Nautilus is 2.14.0, which is included in Fedora Core 5. article covers a few non-obvious things about how Nautilus works."
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Nine Things You Should Know About Nautilus

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  • The most useful feature of Nautilus is the scripts functionality, so simple & elegant.

    I have a lot of iso cdrom images, that I use occasionally - I popped the iso mount script [wordpress.com] in my ~/.gnome/nautilus-scripts & off I went, merilly mounting & using iso files.

    I looked for equivilant functionality under windows recently & just couldn't find it - this microsoft app [softwarepatch.com] wouldn't mount (map, whatever you whacky windows guys call it) lots of my isos, rar was nagware (and required you to extract, rather then giving you a virtual drive), nero's expensive, etc etc.

    Anyway, back on topic - go download Nautilus scripts from g-script [sourceforge.net] they've got loads of scripts, which solve a lot of problems in a very unixy way. All in all, handy.
  • by D4rk Fx (862399) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @11:12AM (#15301123) Homepage
    Daemon Tools [daemon-tools.cc] is what you're looking for, for mounting ISOs in windows.
  • by Lovepump (58591) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @11:34AM (#15301299)
    1. It doesn't - at least the last version I installed (3 months ago, I guess) doesn't.
    2. It uninstalls in exactly the same way as every other Windows application - via Add/Remove programs.
    3. It creates a virtual CD-drive and mounts the image under each one. You can have up to 4.
    4. I've never heard of these rumours, so I can't really comment. I do know I've been using it for the last 4 or 5 years without any spyware, adware, trojans, etc.

    I suspect that the rumours of spyware and ad-ware comes from the people who are using it to mount ISO's of games which have had little 'surprises' installed by some distribution site before it's released to the masses clamouring for a pirated copy of Doom4 or some other such shite.

  • OS X can mount ISO's out of the box. Perhaps Nautilus should include the ISO mounting script with their distro.

    1) Nautilus is not a distro.
    2) All linux distros can mount ISOs out of the box
    3) The Nautilus script is a pretty front end to mount, just like OS X (presumably) has a pretty front end to hdiutil (I'm not near a mac machine so I can't check)
    4) Thanks for piping up about OS X in a discussion comparing linux to windows! Perhaps you deserve my username [googlepages.com] more then I do?
  • by Neoprofin (871029) <`neoprofin' `at' `hotmail.com'> on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @11:42AM (#15301370)
    The adware in deamon tools is opt-in volountary last I had seen it.

    They also have one of the most active support forums I've ever seen.
  • by NSIM (953498) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @11:43AM (#15301375)
    > I looked for equivilant functionality under windows recently & just couldn't find it Check out http://www.gratis-webserver.de/ClonyPage/2.html [gratis-webserver.de] seems to work pretty well.
  • Nautilus Actions (Score:4, Informative)

    by tjwhaynes (114792) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @11:48AM (#15301423)
    The most useful feature of Nautilus is the scripts functionality, so simple & elegant.

    I used to think so but then I discovered Nautilus Actions [grumz.net] and things have been a lot better since then. But don't throw away your Nautilus scripts - you can use them with Actions. The beauty of Actions is that it is sensitive to the current selected file/files/directory/directories/mix so that only Actions that are appropriate are visible.

    For example, if you have a script to make a thumbnail of one or more JPEGs, then you can set the criteria for Actions to only show you that action for selections of just JPEGs.

    Give it a try - it's a really nice feature. Hopefully it will be part of GNOME 2.16.

    Cheers,
    Toby Haynes

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @11:49AM (#15301435)
    Well, not sure if its for you, but as far as file managers go, i think the best are: emelfm, rox, and worker.

    emelfm (or emelfm2 if you use gtk2) is fast and speedy, contains a builtin console (but you have to use the line input widget to tell it things, i only used it to see whet mplayer crashed), good if you want to use your shell scripts as buttons.

    rox, well, thats face it, its another desktop file manager, but at least its not a windows/mac wannabe. Its actual fast, unlike konquer/natilus. The screen layout is also nice, unlike emelfm and worker, its not for command line users to much, but it is fast and simple to use for people that need a simple gui file manager.

    worker, thats face it, its the uglyest thing youll ever see. But, once you get around its limited themeability, and strange widget set, youll see its quite fast, and configurable, and, best of all, unlike every other gui file manager for linux i seen, its the only one that can run a file based on its type, and not its name/extention (altho it can also use its name, if you like). I use worker myself, as it gets the job done, and i have LOTS of files that dont have extentions, so the other file managers just cant cut it for me.

    All in all, those are the three best gui file managers i used, all are speedy and light.
  • Hiding the desktop (Score:3, Informative)

    by xav12 (602450) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @11:50AM (#15301439)
    The most useful tip I know for Nautilus is how to stop it drawing the desktop:

    Launch GConf (gconf-editor on the Dapper command line), navigate to /apps/nautilus/preferences and uncheck the "show_desktop" option.

    This is especially useful if you connect to a Linux box using XDMCP from a machine using a rootless X server. I use Cygwin/X in rootless mode, and this switch means that bringing a Linux application to the top doesn't cause the root window (i.e. the Linux desktop) to be drawn, obscuring the Windows applications behind.
  • by fader (107759) <{moc.poptoh} {ta} {redaf}> on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @12:10PM (#15301603) Homepage
    My apologies if this is incorrect, but I believe nautilus is responsible for the disgustingly *bad* interface that pops up when you run firefox under gnome and want to choose an application to open something with. I can't just type in a command and hit enter... that would be too easy.

    Yup, you're incorrect. That's the GTK2 file dialog, not Nautilus. They look similar because they're both GNOMEish, but the file dialog isn't actually a part of Nautilus. Oh, and you *can* type in a path... did you try to just start typing? As soon as you hit that first /, a textbox will appear. It even automagically completes as you type. It's extremely slick and fast if you already know the path you want.
  • by Harold of the Rocks (82404) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @12:11PM (#15301619)
    I once worked at an unnamed institution which had a large Windoze network and some smaller "research" Linux labs. Just like everyone else's story for the most part the IT guys didn't have a clue about the Linux side of things. For some reason, which I could never figure out, trying to connect to people's Windoze home directories through SAMBA (smbmount) would never work properly--we'd always get some weird auth error or something. Just for kicks I tried to smb://hostname/share one day with Nautilus and it worked without complalint. Don't ask, don't tell I guess, but it sure saved some hassle transfering large files from host to host.
  • Nautilus, especially in its latest incarnations is extremely fast at file browsing.

    Lies. All Lies.

    I've used Nautilus for about two years now. I can safely say it is slow. Not as slow as explorer, but slow. If takes its sweet time loading up previews of media files, or even listing a large directory. I can't count the number of times it has taken about 30 seconds to relist my home directory for no apparent reason.

    All the while you're left with a lurching and wheeling file list as newly done previews, files or directories are thrown into the list, juddering your view and selections. Basically you just have to wait until Nautilus is finished, and sometimes, that takes quite a while.
  • by ookaze (227977) <ookaze@mail.ookaze.OPENBSDfr minus bsd> on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @12:40PM (#15301870) Homepage
    I'd like to see you select the correct jpeg out of a directory of 500 without an icon preview.
    Using a GUI also takes less learning and less mental effort. I'd be intersted to see actual timed comparisons of the two as well, I've read that command line users often think they are being quicker than GUI users, but acutally aren't because of the way the brain senses time


    I hope you don't really believe such BS.
    Because you chose one specific application that is faster with a GUI does not mean what you say after that is true.
    Try renaming these 500 same jpegs to a formatted pattern, and I can assure you that's not your brain that distorts the time then, when making your script in 30 seconds, and the script executing for 10. Doing the same with a GUI would take hours.
    I used to do this for MP3 files, I've just done sth similar yesterday, transforming some sequences in a lot of (more than 1500) XML files with a sed.
    Between doing it by hand (which is error prone) and making the script, it was a no brainer.
    Just because the GP says BS, does not mean the opposite BS is true.
  • by tjwhaynes (114792) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @01:37PM (#15302381)
    1 The whole Spatial browsing idea. Yes you can turn it off

    So turn it off!

    2 Poor keyboard support. My main gripe with Nautilus is that you can't navigate by pressing a key to "walk round objects whose name starts with a letter" as you can in Konqueror, Windows Explorer etc. etc.

    Umm - it works for me with GNOME 2.14. Pretty much everywhere too. If the backdrop has the focus, then I can choose items on the backdrop. If a filer window has the focus - yep - works there too. If I want to switch from window to window - Alt-Tab. If I want to switch from window to desktop, Ctl-Alt-Tab. If I'm in a loading dialogue, yes. If I'm in a save dialogue - it still works there too. Completion works too in those load/save scenarios - just hit Tab. I rarely take my hands off the keyboard - it's an essential feature for me.

    3 Poor right mouse button support. Select some files and try to right click so you can select the "copy" option from the context menu. You can't.

    Right click applies to the object you click on. So if you select a group of files and right-click on something else, you get the Context menu for that object. If however you select a group of files and right-click on *any* member of that group, you get the Context menu for that group. It's not that hard.

    4 Similarly when you've got several files/directories on the clipboard and you want to paste them into a folder with a mouse click you can't. The right click once again selects an item etc. etc.

    I thought you wanted to use the keyboard? Try select the group of files, Ctl-C, open the directory you want to paste things into, Ctl-V. Easy. Or you could have selected the group of files, right-click and choose cut or copy. Open the new location and right-click->Paste.

    I used to be a hardened command line user. These days, using GNOME, I find myself using the Nautilus interface more and more. Along with Nautilus Actions, it allows me to get what I need done, quickly and easily.

    Cheers,
    Toby Haynes

  • by baadger (764884) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @02:00PM (#15302562)
    Other things to note about thunar:

    1) It's nowhere near as functional or customiseable as nautilus...yet
    2) It's in quite early development and only ships with XFCE 4.4 beta at the moment, so isn't really the official current file manager :)
    3) It's very promising.

    I'm currently using Xfce 4.2.x (the current release xfce) after having a bad experience with the 4.4 beta but I have the Gnome suite installed and using Nautilus for my desktop and file manager.

    Nautilus is quite heavy and uses a hefty volume of RAM, but no more so than Explorer does on Windows, as for response time it's certainly slower than other file managers but if you've got a spiffy CPU it's not an issue.
  • by Nosklo (815041) <WPARHFOBFDOTNO@SPAMspammotel.com> on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @03:34PM (#15303372)

    I guess you must be using some strange ancient version or something. I have tried some of the stuff you said and the results where not quite like what you described:

    1 The whole Spatial browsing idea. Yes you can turn it off (The is the first thing I do when I come across it) but it's a rotten idea.

    So what? You can turn it off, period. Some people like it.

    2 Poor keyboard support. My main gripe with Nautilus is that you can't navigate by pressing a key to "walk round objects whose name starts with a letter"

    I type some letter and it goes to the file with that letter. If I know the name of the file, I keep typing more from the file name until that single file gets selected by elimination. It works wonders to find files. If I want to find a file named "nautilus" on a directory full of files starting with n, I can type "nau" and the file is selected. I don't keep typing n n n n n all over. It is just plain stupid.

    3 Poor right mouse button support. Select some files and try to right click so you can select the "copy" option from the context menu. You can't.

    You must right-click on the selection itself. Right clicking on an unselected item obviously changes selection to that item before opening context menu, since the "context" in that case is the unselected file. Unless, of course, you right click holding "control", which adds unselected item to the selection before popping up the menu. Behavior seems correct to me.

    4 Similarly when you've got several files/directories on the clipboard and you want to paste them into a folder with a mouse click you can't. The right click once again selects an item etc. etc.

    Similarly you must choose where you are "right-clicking". If you right click on a folder, the menu says "Paste Into Folder". If you right-click on an empty space on the folder you are currently on, the plain "paste" option shows up, but no "copy" or "cut" options. Of course, you can always select paste from the edit menu or use the universally known "CTRL-V" keystroke.

    Just because it is not "just like windows" doesn't mean it is unusable. In fact, it is pretty good once you learn how to use it. Good luck writing your own file manager thought. Being in C#/Mono, I bet it will be blinding fast.[/sarcasm]

  • by Coryoth (254751) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @03:49PM (#15303499) Homepage Journal
    3. What version of Nautilus do you use? I use 2.10 and when I rightclick on a bunch of selected items, the selection doesn't disappear AND the Copy item is enabled. This has been the case since Nautilus 2.0.

    4. What are you talking about? It works fine here.


    I did some experimenting and it seems that his problem is that he's extremely inaccurate with his mouse. If you select a group of files and then right click on some other file not in the selected group then it cancels the selection, selects the file you right clicked on, and brings up the appropriate menu. Similarly, if you right click on the background of the window paste indeed does work fine. If, for some reason you manage to hold your mouse over an icon instead then yes naturally it selects that file and brings up the right click menu for it which doesn't have a paste option. In other words, if you wave your mouse wildly while right clicking then yes, you can experience the described behaviour.

    Jedidiah.
  • by horza (87255) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @05:10PM (#15304148) Homepage
    Personally I find Nautilus to be the single biggest impediment to me using Linux as my primary O/S.

    Install ROX [sourceforge.net]: intuitive, lightweight, and lightening fast. It works under any window manager.

    Phillip.

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