Using Nautilus

Nautilus is the file manager for the GNOME desktop. Nautilus was designed, however, to be much more than a simple file manager. Nautilus allows you to configure your GNOME desktop, configure your Red Hat Linux system, play your mp3s, browse your photo collection, access your SMB network, surf the Web, and more all from the same interface. In essence, Nautilus becomes a "shell" for your entire desktop experience.

Working in Nautilus is efficient and easy, and it provides an alternative to searching through the various sub-menus connected to the Main Menu. The following sections explain how to use the Nautilus to make your desktop experience easier.

To start Nautilus as a file manager, double-click on your home directory icon:

Once you have Nautilus, you can navigate through your home directory or the rest of the file system. To return to your home directory, click the Home button.

When you are navigating through your file system, you will always be able to see where you are by looking at the frame on the left hand side of Nautilus which shows you the current directory.

The main frame contains folders and files which you can drag with your mouse to move and copy them into new locations. If you prefer, you may click on the Tree tab on the bottom left to display a hierarchical view of your complete file system which may make moving and copying easier for you.

If you do not want to use the tree view, you can always open another Nautilus window by selecting File => New Window. Once you have another Nautilus window, dragging files to different directories is easy to accomplish. By default, dragging a file from one directory to another will move the file. If you wish to copy the file to another directory, press the [Ctrl] key while dragging and dropping the file.

By default, text-based files and images in your home directory will be seen as thumbnails. For text files, this means you will see the beginning of the actual text in the icon. For images you will see a scaled-down version of the image. To turn off this feature, select Preference => Edit Preferences. Select Speed Tradeoffs from the menu on the left. Select Never for the visual enhancements that you want to disable. Disabling these features will increase the speed of Nautilus.