I'm running an Arch Linux machine with the cinnamon-git desktop from the Arch User Repository.

The default filemanager is Nautilus, is there any way to change the default filemanager to thunar?

4 Answers 4


To change the default filemanager you can edit the file ~/.local/share/applications/mimeapps.list

Don't know how to specify thunar but to use nemo over nautilus I do this:

thomas@localhost ~> cat .local/share/applications/mimeapps.list 
[Added Associations]

Also if you are curious why the wrong filemanager is started if you click on a folder icon check the actual command the starter launches.

After resolving the issues (see comments) you also have to look in the file


there you can change the filemanager also:

  • This does not work on Fedora 17 "Beefy Miracle". Any idea what causes this?
    – aef
    Dec 17, 2012 at 4:12
  • @aef Do you have nemo installed, does the file exist?
    – Thomas
    Dec 17, 2012 at 8:51
  • Definitely yes.
    – aef
    Dec 17, 2012 at 16:46
  • 3
    Got some last ideas: update-alternatives, /usr/share/applications/mimeinfo.cache
    – Thomas
    Dec 17, 2012 at 17:13
  • 3
    /usr/share/applications/mimeinfo.cache did the trick. I changed the line inode/directory=nautilus.desktop to inode/directory=nemo.desktop and now Nemo is opened by default.
    – aef
    Dec 17, 2012 at 17:55

From the Gnome section of the Arch Linux Wiki:

You can trick GNOME into using another file browser by editing the Exec line in /usr/share/applications/nautilus.desktop. See the correct parameters in the .desktop file of the file manager of your choice, e.g.:


Exec=thunar %F
Exec=pcmanfm %U

The accepted answer did not work for me. I had to run:


On Utilities tab, there is a selection for File Manager.



find the exec line that tells it what file manager you want to use instead and change it.





for Thunar to be you default file manager for cinnamon desktop.

  • Would you mind explaining what to do with that file? Please keep in mind that answers on this site are expected to be as self-containing and self-explanatory as possible since we want them to benefit as wide an audience as possible, including those with limited U&L admin experience.
    – AdminBee
    Dec 15, 2020 at 8:08

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