I think it would be convenient to be able to quickly bring up a list of my most recently accessed files. This could be done by opening nautilus and then clicking on recent in the left panel, but I would like a faster way of doing it. One improvement would be to pass an argument to nautilus to have it show you the recent files when it starts up, analogous to how nautilus ~ opens nautilus in the home directory.

But the solution to my problem doesn't even have to be a file manager. I think the optimal thing for me would just be a desklet that when I click it, a little menu showing all my recent files shows up. Is there a way to do this?

I have linux mint 17.1 xfce. I don't see a way to do it on the whisker menu. I tried some called cairo dock, which does an applet called "shortcuts", which you can right click on and a menu comes up, and one choice from this menu is to open nemo to show a list of recent files.

Is there any easier way to do this without the extra clicks? Again I think the easiest thing would be to create a launcher to a file manager with a command line argument to get it to show recent files, but I am open to any ideas.


The command is:

nautilus recent:///

so if you create a launcher called recent-files.desktop:

#!/usr/bin/env xdg-open
[Desktop Entry]
Name=Recent files
Comment=Show recent files in Nautilus
Exec=nautilus recent:///

in ~/.local/share/applications, you will be able to show recent files with just one click instead of two clicks.
Alternatively, you could use:

gvfs-open recent:///

to open recent items with your default file manager (Dolphin, Thunar etc). I only have Nautilus installed so I can't test it with other file managers.

  • This pretty much does what I want. But it seems to only work with gnome applications. For example, if I do nautilus recent:/// then, in the resulting nautilus I can open a .txt with either gedit or kate (by right clicking the file and selecting Open with...). However, if I do thunar recent:///, then I can only open text files with gedit; if I try to use kate I get an error message "Could not start process Unable to create io-slave: klauncher said: Unknown protocol 'recent'. Meanwhile conqueror can't even dispaly the recent files: it gives me an improperly formatted URL error. – Brian Moths May 2 '15 at 22:19
  • @NowIGetToLearnWhatAHeadIs - well, recent :/// is a gvfs URI so obviously, it is gnome-specific. Non-gnome apps might not work properly (but thunar should work natively with Gio/gvfs). I have no idea whether it is a inter-process communication issue or those KDE apps don't fully support/understand gvfs. The only desktop I'm familiar with is Gnome so I don't know what to say... – don_crissti May 3 '15 at 3:18

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