All About Nautilus scripts

Nautilus is the default file manger of the Gnome desktop environment. Nautilus scripts can extend the behavior of the Gnome desktop and act as plugins to the Gnome desktop environment. Here are some of the general questions on Nautilus and Nautilus scripts:

What actually is Nautilus and what are Nautilus Scripts?

Nautilus is the default file manager of Gnome. A nautilus script is basically a shell script which we can place in a special nautilus directory. This gives added functionalities to our file manager.

I am new to Ubuntu. Are Nautilus Scripts for me?

Nautilus scripts are like plugins and addons. If you are new to Ubuntu or to Linux as a whole, you will miss some windows features like send to bluetooth device, open with command prompt etc. In that case, you can use nautilus scripts to make things easier. Nautilus scripts are for anyone and everyone who want to save those extra clicks and key-presses.

What do I do with the script to make it usable?

All you need to do is copy and paste the script into the scripts directory ~.gnome/nautilus-scripts. Then open a terminal, navigate to the script directory and make the script executable using:

chmod u+x "script_filename"
Some nautilus scripts are available as .deb installers. They can be directly installed by running the installer package.

How Do I call the script?

That depends on the script you want to call. If it is file manager specific like “Open terminal here”, you need to right-click on an empty space in the window and select the required script from the context menu. If it is a file operation, right click on the file and select the operation to be performed. When you call a script on a file, what basically happens is that the filename is passed as an argument to the script from the Nautilus file manager.

Will the changes I am making affect my installation?

Nautilus scripts are like plugins. They run independent of the system as a whole and only attach to the running instance of the application being used with and when called. They do not patch into the application.

Nautilus scripts are a great way of exploring the customizations of Ubuntu. Use of nautilus scripts is highly recommended.

Published by

Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.