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Feature: Desktop Software

Expert tricks for Nautilus

By Shashank Sharma on September 17, 2007 (4:00:00 PM)

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Nautilus, the official file manager for the GNOME desktop, can help you perform tasks from browsing the filesystem to accessing Samba shares on your local network or FTP sites on the Internet -- and more. Here are a couple of tips and tools that will allow you to open a terminal window from Nautilus and resize and rotate images without opening any other program.

 Trick #1: Opening terminal from within Nautilus

To launch a terminal window from within Nautlius, Fedora and Ubuntu users can use yum or apt-get respectively to install the nautilus-open-terminal extension. You then need to restart the X server and log back in. Now, when you right-click within a Nautilus window or even gnome-desktop, you will see the Open in Terminal option. Why bother when it's so easy to open a terminal window in GNOME anyway? The advantage of using this extension is that if you choose to open the terminal while browsing your ~/.xchat2/ directory (for example), then the working directory in the terminal will be ~/.xchat2/.

Trick #2: Changing image resolution

To be able to change the resolution of an image without explicitly using another program, you need to install the nautilus-image-converter extension. It too is available for both Fedora and Ubuntu from their official software repositories. Like any other Nautilus extension, you need to restart X or log out and then log in again before you can use the extension. After you've done that, when you right-click on any image file, you will see two options: Resize Images and Rotate Images. That's right -- you can resize or rotate single or multiple images with a single click. The extension relies upon the ImageMagick command-line image manipulation suite of utilities to manipulate the images.

When rotating images, you can specify any custom angle of rotation, the default being 90 degrees. The newly created images will have the same filename as the original, but the extension allows you to append some text to the filename. By default the rotated files are named filename.rotated.jpg.

If you wish to resize images, right-click and select Resize Images. Pick a new resolution from the drop-down list, or you can specify a scale percentage or provide a custom width and height for the new image. Like the Rotate Images option, the new image files thus created are named filename.resized.jpg, but you can specify a custom text to append to the filename. If you wish to replace the original image with the new image, select the rotate or resize in place option.

Both these extensions help users by saving time. I especially like the nautilus-image-converter extension since it allows you to bulk convert images with only a few clicks of the mouse, saving you the time you'd otherwise have to spend on reading through the documentation of bulky programs to achieve such a trivial task.

Every Monday we highlight a different extension, plugin, or add-on. Write an article of less than 1,000 words telling us about one that you use and how it makes your work easier, along with tips for getting the most out of it. If we publish it, we'll pay you $100. (Send us a query first to be sure we haven't already published a story on your chosen topic recently or have one in hand.)

Shashank Sharma specializes in writing about free and open source software for new users and moderates the Linux.com forum boards. He is the coauthor of Beginning Fedora, published by Apress.

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Expert tricks for Nautilus

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 67.90.119.98] on September 17, 2007 06:19 PM
Perhaps not the best place to ask this question, but is there a way to display meta data for mp3s in Nautilus?

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Re: Expert tricks for Nautilus

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.78.74.220] on September 17, 2007 07:45 PM
I don't know of a way in nautilus, but in thunar you can with xfcegoodies plugin thunar-media-tags
http://goodies.xfce.org/releases/thunar-media-tags-plugin/

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Re: Expert tricks for Nautilus

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.253.238.38] on September 17, 2007 09:15 PM
That's easy. Right-click an MP3, choose Properties, then go to the Audio tab. The ID3 tags as well as some technical data about it will show up there.

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Expert tricks for Nautilus

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 80.221.0.201] on September 17, 2007 07:09 PM
A couple of notes.
You don't need to restart the X server. Just do
killall -s TERM nautilus
Gnome will make sure that nautilus restarts on Your desktop.
Last time I tried the nautilus open terminal extension, I noticed that it does not handle spaces or pluses or any other characters that nautilus uses %codes for. So I wrote my own open terminal nautilus script.
Get it from
http://www.cs.helsinki.fi/u/lagerspe/OpenTerminal
Right now it opens gnome-terminal in either the currently browsed dir (if nothing is selected) or in the selected directory, if a directory is selected. Put this into $HOME/.gnome2/nautilus-scripts/. and it will show up in a menu called "scripts" in the right-click menu in nautilus.
The script currently handles pluses and spaces in the path.

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Expert tricks for Nautilus

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.146.137.230] on September 18, 2007 08:30 PM
Another useful add-on for Nautilus is nautilus-gksu, which allows opening files with admin privileges. It's great for modifying configuration files without having to open another instance of Nautilus.

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Expert tricks for Nautilus

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 204.87.69.131] on September 21, 2007 02:02 PM
Expert tricks, huh?

Seems like there's barely enough to qualify for the plural. I expected this article to have 10-20 tricks in it.

hax! bot!

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Re: Expert tricks for Nautilus

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 213.143.81.224] on September 22, 2007 10:22 AM
neither are they expert, nor tricks :)

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Expert tricks for Nautilus

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 74.101.192.114] on September 23, 2007 03:52 AM
these expert tricks are just regular nautilus extra installs from the repositories.... i was expecting to see something new

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Miss multi-column file view

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 85.84.62.54] on November 30, 2007 11:07 PM
I really miss an multi-column view option in Nautilus. Saves a lot of desktop and window space, especially when handling multiple windows and files. Any chance this feature might be added sometime? Thanks!

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Expert tricks for Nautilus

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