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Thread: How to: Xubuntu with Nautilus

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    This is my first attempt at a how to. I tried just about everything to get my Xubuntu running with as much functionality as I had in Gnome, I am running a lot of gnome as you will see.

    Incert the Ubuntu install CD into the CD-drive
    when the boot screen comes up type "server" and press enter
    after the server install is complete the fun begins

    open up the source-list with the nano editor

    "sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list"
    uncomment the universe repositories and save&exit (ctrl-x)

    "apt-get update"
    "apt-get dist-upgrade"
    "apt-get install Xubuntu-desktop gdm"

    installing gdm because a display manager makes logging in nicer

    next I wanted to use Nautilus because it has a lot of functionality that you just can't get from rox, thunar, and xffm. The only drawback I see using Nautilus is its slower, but I don't really see the difference on my system.

    Ok first you need to apt-get nautilus, another drawback is it brings a lot of gnome with it.

    open a terminal:

    "apt-get install nautilus"

    Once its installed to get it to not draw the desktop the best way I have found is a method psychicdragon mentioned in another post.

    open a terminal and enter:

    "gconftool-2 -s /apps/nautilus/preferences/show_desktop -t bool false"

    this stopped nautilus from drawing my desktop everytime I logged in. To change the file manager in the Xfce menu right click the Xfce menu button select properties and copy the menu file:


    open a terminal:

    "sudo mousepad /etc/xdg/xfce4/desktop/menu.xml"

    scroll down to <xfdesktop-menu> and change <app name="File Manager" cmd="rox" icon="file-manager"/> to <app name="File Manager" cmd="nautilus" icon="file-manager"/> here is what is should look like:


    <app name="Run Program..." cmd="xfrun4" icon="gnome-fs-executable"/>


    <app name="Terminal" cmd="xfterm4" tip="Terminal emulator" icon="gnome-terminal"/>
    <app name="File Manager" cmd="nautilus" icon="file-manager"/>
    <app name="Web Browser" cmd="sensible-browser" icon="gnome-globe"/>


    next you need to go into the file manager in the Xfce4-MenuEditor

    left click Xfce-menu go up to settings and select XFCE4-MenuEditor
    right click File Manager select edit and change command from rox to nautilus save and close

    next I used arniboy's Automatix to install most of the video and auto codec and a few other things like j2re-1.5, firefox pluggins, and acrobatreader

    Automatix will change you sources.list file

    to get Automatix to run in Xubuntu you need to install gnome-terminal

    open a terminal:

    "apt-get gnome-terminal"

    get Automatix from "" arnieboy is a genius, saved me hours of install time.
    With gnome-terminal installed just follow arnieboy's install instruction.

    to set up a network printer you will need gnome-cups-manager. The cups manager was disabled for some reason.

    "apt-get install gnome-cups-manager"

    This is the easiest way to get a printer working, at least for me.

    I used vnbuddy2002 How to (
    to set up samba and connect my two computers.

    I really didn't like using so much of gnome in XFCE, but I really wanted a more complete system. A hybrid system isn't that bad is it.

    Using Nautilus my usb drives automount without gnome-volume-manager. Just plug in the usb drive and open nautilus and click on the computer icon in the task bar.

    Hope this helps someone. Also if anyone has a better way of doing any of what I have done please let me know. I'm just a noob, only been using Ubuntu 6 months.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Newcastle NSW, Australia
    Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

    Re: How to: Xubuntu with Nautilus

    Thanks mate, works perfectly.

    Thunar is a great filemanager, but it lacks many of the features nautilus show cases, like network browsing.
    Links: OCAU ::.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

    Re: How to: Xubuntu with Nautilus

    Hi list,
    After working a while with Ubunut 6.06 (which crached a lot) I went for Xubuntu - and (knock on wood) the computer is still running without a crash.

    I am also a big fan of Nautilus, and therefor I am very grateful for this how to. Since I from time to time connect to a WinXP-machine, I needed Samba-extentions, and so I contribute with the apt-get you need to run in order to connect with smb://... in nautilus.

    sudo apt-get install smbfs libsmbclient libgnomevfs2-extra
    (thanks to this link I found that out:

    I still haven't found out how you make nautilus work as default filemanager since I would like to use it in all programs in Xubuntu. And I pretty much want to remove Thunar...



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