I'd like to use Nautilus as default in XFCE instead of Thunar, but how can I remove full Thunar? I have already typed

sudo apt-get remove thunar gvfs-backends

But I still have problems because if I click on a folder in the desktop Thunar starts. Can someone help me?

Thank you.


Try to look at this similar question of turning your default file-manager into Nautilus:


You should be able to remove Thunar completely by running following command:

 sudo apt-get purge thunar*
  1. Try running exo-preferred-applications from the terminal(Ctrl+Alt+t ). You should see an option to change your file manager on the 2nd tab named "Utilities".

    Change the File Manager option to "Nautilus".

  2. Using xdg-mime, You could also run the following command to determine your current default file manager:

    • xdg-mime query default inode/directory

    • In your case, this should return thunar.desktop as a result.

    • In order to change this, run:

    • xdg-mime default nautilus.desktop inode/directory application

  3. You can edit the file ~/.local/share/applications/mimeapps.list
    • look for the line containing inode/directory=thunar.desktop;
    • change it to read inode/directory=nautilus.desktop;
  • 1
    1) worked very well for me. i did no t need to use 2) or 3) – Dee Apr 3 '13 at 9:22
  • It is possible that you also will need to perform a similar edit of /usr/share/applications/mimeinfo.cache under administrative rights. There remains one caveat. Links on the desktop will continue to open with Thunar. (Thunar cannot be uninstalled because of other dependant packages.) It seems that this behaviour for opening desktop links is hard-wired in XFCE 4.8. – Serge Stroobandt Aug 3 '13 at 11:24
  • @Serge - No problem here (4.10), this answer works perfectly. However, I created a custom launcher using nautilus --no-desktop, as I don't want Nautilus to manage the desktop, so it still uses the default desktop and works fine. – Wilf Nov 11 '14 at 23:23
  • 1.+2. worked for me for PCmanFM in ubuntu/XFCE, using cmanfm.desktop in the command you gave in 2. – Jonatan Öström Jul 22 '17 at 21:11
  • Thunar still has the desktop. How to let Nautilus have it? – user32012 Nov 29 '17 at 13:46

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