The Nautilus File Manager

Nautilus is a primary part of the GNOME desktop. It gives you easy access to files, applications, the Internet, and more in one central place.

The Nautilus Start Here screen (Figure 2-2) opens automatically when you log in to GNOME. If you close the screen, you can open it again by clicking on one of the Start Here icons, located on the desktop and the panel, or by selecting Start Here from the GNOME main menu.

With Nautilus, you can:

Working in Nautilus is efficient and easy, and it lets you avoid the long, cluttered menus that are often found connected to the main menu button. The following sections explain how to use the various menu options and icons in Nautilus.

Figure 2-2. The Start Here Screen

The Start Here screen has a main menu, a toolbar, and, on the right side of the screen, a number of icons. On the left is the sidebar, which shows the file or webpage in which you are currently working, and beneath this there are five tabs. Each of these elements is explained below.

Main Menu

The Toolbar

The toolbar shows standard Back/Forward navigational buttons that move you back and forth between the pages you have viewed. Up moves you up one level in the file directory (see Chapter 11 for information on the file system).

Refresh reloads the current screen (can be helpful if a page appears fuzzy). Home displays the home directory by default. You can have this button display any file or website you want by clicking on Preferences and then Edit Preferences on the main menu and selecting Navigation on the screen that appears. Enter the file path or URL of your choice in the Home Location field.

Web Search opens a search engine in the Nautilus screen. This option also displays a list of Web browsers you can use to continue your search or display the page you choose after a search. This frees up the Nautilus screen for other tasks.

Stop interrupts the downloading or display of a page or file you have selected to view.

The Sidebar

On the left of the Nautilus screen is the sidebar. It displays the name of the directory or file you are working in or Web browser options when you view a webpage.

At the bottom of the sidebar are five tabs. Click on a tab to open it and click it again to close it.

The Start Here Window

The Start Here screen displays automatically by default. It contains four icons that access packages you have installed and one for storing favorites.

TipNotification Options

Once you select an application you want to launch, GNOME can display a screen that lets you know the application is loading and will be ready shortly. To activate this option, open Nautilus by clicking on the Start Here icon on the panel. In the screens that follow, click on Preferences, Desktop, and Launch Feedback respectively.

Select Display splashscreen or Display animated star in the Notification Options screen to have one or the other display when you launch an application. You can also add an hourglass to your cursor as an indicator that a file or application is launching.