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Thread: Make Thunar handle the desktop in Unity

  1. #1
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    Make Thunar handle the desktop in Unity

    I am running Ubuntu 13.10 with nautilus handling the desktop icons and whatnot, however I would like to try to use Thunar to handle the desktop instead. Is there any way to make it do this while still running Unity?
    Last edited by Finalfantasykid; November 3rd, 2013 at 01:24 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Make Thunar handle the desktop

    Hello.

    Follow these steps to switch to Thunar:


    Start Synaptic, and search for and install the thunar and thunar-archive-plugin packages. After installation, you can run Thunar by typing thunar in a terminal window.
    To cause Thunar to open whenever you click an entry in the Places menu, you’ll need to edit a configuration file: open a terminal window, and type the following:
    Code:
    gksu gedit /usr/share/applications/nautilus-folder-handler.desktop

    Scroll to the bottom of the file, and look for the line that reads
    Code:
     Exec=nautilus --no-desktop %U
    Change it so it reads
    Code:
    Exec=thunar %U
    Then save the file, log out and back in again, and test the changes by selecting Places --> Home.

  3. #3
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    Re: Make Thunar handle the desktop

    That didn't seem to have any effect. Also I didn't have Exec=nautilus --no-desktop %U in the file, it said Exec=nautilus %U instead, not that probably makes any difference. Here are the full contents of the file:

    Code:
    [Desktop Entry]
    Name=Files
    Comment=Access and organize files
    Exec=nautilus %U
    Icon=system-file-manager
    Terminal=false
    NoDisplay=true
    Type=Application
    StartupNotify=true
    OnlyShowIn=GNOME;Unity;
    Categories=GNOME;GTK;Utility;Core;
    MimeType=inode/directory;application/x-gnome-saved-search;
    X-GNOME-Bugzilla-Bugzilla=GNOME
    X-GNOME-Bugzilla-Product=nautilus
    X-GNOME-Bugzilla-Component=general
    X-GNOME-Bugzilla-Version=3.2.1
    X-Ubuntu-Gettext-Domain=nautilus

  4. #4
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    Re: Make Thunar handle the desktop

    Try changing the 4th line to
    Code:
    Exec=thunar %U
    Make sure the file got saved, then kill nautilus and start thunar or try logging in and out.

  5. #5
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    Re: Make Thunar handle the desktop

    Nope, that still didn't do it. Are you sure that is the right file, or is there another one that I need to change?

    And this isn't to change what opens by default when clicking a menu (although I suppose I want that as well), but it is the file manager which handles the desktop icons.

  6. #6
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    Re: Make Thunar handle the desktop in Unity

    Quote Originally Posted by Finalfantasykid View Post
    I am running Ubuntu 13.10 with nautilus handling the desktop icons and whatnot, however I would like to try to use Thunar to handle the desktop instead. Is there any way to make it do this while still running Unity?
    Thunar doesn't manage the desktop, its simply a file manager. There is a plan to extend it so that it takes over the desktop management facilities that xfdesktop currently performs, but that has been post-poned to 4.12. In Xfce, xfdesktop manages the desktop.

  7. #7
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    Re: Make Thunar handle the desktop in Unity

    That is sort of what I was afraid of. And there ins't any hope to get xfdesktop running within Unity is there? I try to run it in the terminal, and it complains that there is already another desktop manager running.

  8. #8
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    Re: Make Thunar handle the desktop in Unity

    I honestly don't know if it will work, or if it will break stuff, or what may happen (think "end of the world"), but you can force xfdesktop to manage the desktop via:
    Code:
    xfdesktop --replace
    ...again, I have no idea what will happen if you try this on a system running unity. Perhaps best to try it on a test system or within a VM.

    May I ask, why do you want to replace the Unity desktop management facilities? Or why you don't just run Xfce (Xubuntu)?

  9. #9
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    Re: Make Thunar handle the desktop in Unity

    Whoa what the, I was sure I ran that earlier and it didn't work. I did it now and it did!

    Could I just add xfdesktop to the startup applications? And how would I stop nautilus from starting up?

    May I ask, why do you want to replace the Unity desktop management facilities? Or why you don't just run Xfce (Xubuntu)?
    I like XFCE, but I much prefer what Unity offers. Except nautilus pretty much sucks now and Thunar is getting more and more appealing, and I want to give it a go for a while.

  10. #10
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    Re: Make Thunar handle the desktop in Unity

    Could I just add xfdesktop to the startup applications? And how would I stop nautilus from starting up?
    I'm not exactly sure (uncharted territory) but it sounds right. I do believe that nautilus has a "--no-desktop" parameter that prevents it from managing the desktop. You might want to add this parameter to the Exec line of its .desktop file in /usr/share/applications.

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