Chrome offers a menu for each downloaded item, in which one can Show in Folder the item. This menu-command automatically launches Nautilus at the desired location. Nice.

However, now my main desktop management is Fluxbox. So, when Nautilus wakes up, it just replaces my background, and kills all my fluxbox menus, (i am left with an almost empty gtk menus).

In such circumstance, I must use ~$ killall nautilus to get my fluxdesktop back to normal. This is really funny, but only a dozen of times.

I was wondering if I could parametrize Chromium in some way under linux so as to make Chromium not call Nautilus, but rather call Thunar or PcManFm which are the two file system management I use.

I use Ubuntu 12.04 for info.

2 Answers 2


Nautilus seems to be the default application to open a directory, more precisely to open a file of type inode/directory. Furthermore Nautilus has the bad habit to mess with the desktop as you have noticed. What you need to do is to tell the system what default application to use to open a directory and chromium will obey.

In this example I use midnight commander as file manager of choice, feel free to change it to your preferred one. First you need to ensure that there's a .desktop file which is required by the XDG specification. For GUI file managers the chance is good that there already is a suitable .desktop file, for terminal applications usually you have to create your own one. Check out the directory /usr/share/applications for existing files.

Create a file ~/.local/share/applications/midnight-commander.desktop with the following content:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Midnight Commander
Exec=mc %U

The next step is to register this application with the inode/directory MIME type:

xdg-mime default midnight-commander.desktop inode/directory

You can confirm a successful registration with

xdg-mime query default inode/directory

which should output midnight-commander.desktop. Now you can click on “Open in Folder” in chromium and a terminal should pop up with midnight commander opened in the directory. No need to even restart the desktop session or the browser.

If you want to use Nautilus just without having it to mess with your desktop, you need to copy and rename the corresponding .desktop file from /usr/share/applications and replace

nautilus %U


nautilus --no-desktop %U
  • 1
    just installed midnight commander because of you... Awsome for the server side, thanx ! Dec 1, 2012 at 13:26
  • Thank you very much for the answer
    – Dan Ortega
    Jun 14, 2019 at 16:06

You can directly modify ~/.local/share/applications/mimeapps.list







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