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I mean the gray border around thumbnails in icon view. The file thumbnail_frame.png is not present in /usr/share/pixmaps/, not even a nautilus folder. I have Ubuntu Gnome 17.04.

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This is far from a good solution, but its the best I have found so far. Because the feature this uses is apparently supposed to only be for speeding up development, I would hope that there is a better way. But I haven't found anything else that works for me. (in Nautilus 3.20.4)

Based on https://developer.gnome.org/gio/stable/GResource.html , you can specify 'overlay' resourse directories which replace the default resources with the G_RESOURCE_OVERLAYS environment variable. With this you could provide a replacement thumbnail_frame.png that is completely transparent, effectively removing it.

Example:

SOME_ABSOLUTE_PATH could be something like /home/cristian/replacementIcons but that's up to you.

Create SOME_ABSOLUTE_PATH/thumbnail_frame.png as a 512x512 transparent image. (I'm not sure if the size matters, but that's what I tested.)

Then you can launch nautilus from the terminal with G_RESOURCE_OVERLAYS=/org/gnome/nautilus/icons=SOME_ABSOLUTE_PATH/icons nautilus

In order to be able to make this work with opening nautilus from anywhere, you can edit /etc/environment as root and add G_RESOURCE_OVERLAYS="/org/gnome/nautilus/icons=SOME_ABSOLUTE_PATH/icons" at the end of the file.

Then reboot and the thumbnail frames should have disappeared.

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