I am having a hard time installing Marlin on Debian. PPA command doesn't seem to be working in Debian. Is there any other way I can get rid of Nautilus and install another alternative? Or better yet get Nautilus to not eat up CPU like cereals for breakfast.

  • Not that your question is misplaced, but this has high potential for some serious discussion bordering a flame war... ;)
    – erch
    Nov 25 '13 at 11:13
  • I haven't been able to test them out yet. Will make a decision when I've tested them. Thanks
    – Marin
    Nov 27 '13 at 18:29

Nemo is a nice alternative - it this file manager for Cinnamon, and is based on Nautilus - see here.

The problem is, in the latest versions, the cinnamon screensaver installed with it means that the screen is locked twice...

So eventually I gave up on Nemo, and just set Ctrl+Alt+N in keyboard shortcuts to run the command killall nautilus

You can also run tracker-control -k which will stop the tracker thing, sometimes causes Nautilus to crash (in the Gnome desktop atleast). (I set this as well as Ctrl+Alt+Shift+T in keyboard shortcuts).

Also, in when starting Gnome, Nautilus is started in the background, and can often shoot to 100%CPU - you can stop this by running gnome-session-properties and un-ticking it.

To remove nautilus on Debian, running sudo apt-get remove nautilus should work. BEWARE, it will may try and remove other things you want, e.g. Gnome Tweak Tool, some Media players, etc.

You could run sudo apt-get remove nautilus, and then run sudo apt-get install nautilus, as it is not always nautilus that cause the trouble. but some of the installed extensions (integrated terminal for instance). Running both of these commands would remove the extensions as dependencies, and then re-install nauilus on its own, so it may not cause so much trouble.

For installing marlin, it is not in the usual repositories, so this may help:


  • Hi wilf thank you for your answer. The problem with killall nautilus is that it always respawns ... I tried gnome-sesion-properties and I get this "No protocol specified ** (gnome-session-properties:13808): WARNING **: Unable to start: Cannot open display: "
    – Marin
    Nov 23 '13 at 19:13
  • killall -w nautilus is another alternative as well. The reason I assigned it as keyboard shortcut was because -the flipping thing kept re spawning. Then instead of opening a terminal etc, I just had to press the keyboard shortcut. Also, I have just added another option to my answer.
    – Wilf
    Nov 23 '13 at 22:28

Check out Thunar, it's really lightweight and should provide a nice experience while browsing.

Thunar Picture It is also possible to enable buttons, and is usable from an under-clocked Raspberry Pi to a super-computer - wilf

  • Hi and welcome to U&L. Could you expand this a bit and explain why? Though your answer may be correct it would be more useful if it included some actual details as to why. Screenshots, etc. might make this A more valuable to future visitors as well as the OP.
    – slm
    Nov 23 '13 at 23:51

There's a great alternative for nautilus -- SpaceFM. Check out the screen below:


SpaceFM is a multi-panel tabbed file and desktop manager for Linux with built-in VFS, udev- or HAL-based device manager, customizable menu system, and bash integration. SpaceFM is popular among novice and power users alike for its stability, speed, convenience and flexibility.


  • GTK+ v2 or v3 (2.18 thru 3.x supported)
  • udev or HAL
  • desktop-file-utils
  • shared-mime-info


  • udevil or udisks or pmount
  • startup-notification
  • custom terminal emulators
  • multiple su front-ends
  • plugins


See also the manual: http://ignorantguru.github.io/spacefm/spacefm-manual-en.html

SpaceFM is a pretty powerful tool. You can install it with aptitude.


I would suggest a look on this nice Comparison of File Managers (wikipedia) about what's available. Next thing I suggest looking up which File Browsers Lightweighted GNU/Linux Distributons use. Another great resource to look up the latter is Distro Watch, where I would look what lightweighted Distros use and give a look at their file managers.

As always, finding a well-balanced blend of hardware resources (what is possible) and functionality with an understandable dash of desire for convenience. Personally, I am highly satisfied with Thunar, as - for me (!!!) - it provides exactly what I want and need on a G. At the same time I know a lot of people what are not happy with it.

Also a personal note: Not that your question is misplaced, but this has high potential for some serious discussion bordering a flame war... ;)


Pcmanfm looks like Nautilus, so you may find it to be a great alternative.


I personally use dolphin, and recommend it if you want a more featureful FM. Of course, your mileage may vary.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.