One feature that I really like of GNOME Shell is the possibility to just type the name of a file in the Activities window and have a list of matching files shown, so that you can open them.

However, only the file name is displayed, and not the path.


  1. Is there any way (setting, external plugin etc.) to also show the path?
  2. If there is not, how would I go to write one? What components need to be edited? Would a GNOME Shell plugin be able to modify the activities window?
  • The behaviour in the more recent gnome-shell version is the one you want (the file name is listed and also the full path is listed underneath). This assumes the directories are indexed by tracker. Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 1:51

1 Answer 1


I think you may be confusing Unity with Gnome-Shell. Gnome-Shell does not provide any file search capabilities by default and there isn't any extension that does it either, as far as I know. The only thing it does do is search in nautilus bookmarks such as Downloads, Documents, etc and there isn't much to know about them as long as you don't have a ridiculous amount of them.

  • 1
    hmmm no, I can assure you I have Gnome-Shell (FC16) and yes, I have a lot of files in there so it would be very useful to know info about it (plus it would be fun to code a plugin :P)
    – nico
    Commented May 13, 2012 at 13:06
  • Debian testing here, a few versions back, so I didn't know. :D
    – nikitautiu
    Commented May 13, 2012 at 14:05
  • my bad... actually, it looks like it's pulling them out of recent items. The need comes from the fact that I have several files with same name in different paths and knowing where they are would help a lot
    – nico
    Commented May 13, 2012 at 16:22
  • Just as an additional info: there is a nice extension for tracker integration into GNOME Shell here. Works very well.
    – nico
    Commented Jun 11, 2012 at 20:53

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