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I would like to set my Nautilus "Default view" to List globally on my PC.

Is this possible, if so, how do I achieve this?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 25 down vote accepted

First, reset all previous folder view preferences by deleting ~/.local/share/gvfs-metadata (source)

Next, open Nautilus and select Edit -> Preferences -> Views (tab) -> View new folders using , and change to List View:

Nautilus prefs dialogue

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Note that the original question asked about Globally changing the view, and the answer here changes it for the active user. I think that's what they meant anyway. –  Tom Brossman Oct 8 '12 at 13:06
In 12.04 I skipped the deleting metadata part because, seriously, why use gui and also manually do bizarre non-gui things. After that simply clicking away and back to the displayed folder updated it to List View. –  Dirk Bester Feb 20 at 4:33

For Gnome 2, the following should be enough:

sudo gconftool-2 --direct --config-source xml:readwrite:/etc/gconf/gconf.xml.defaults --type string --set /apps/nautilus/preferences/default_folder_viewer list_view

Other possible values are icon_view and compact_view

For Ubuntu 12.04 and similar Unity-based UI, edit /usr/share/glib-2.0/schemas/org.gnome.nautilus.gschema.xml file: find the default-folder-viewer key and replace its <default> tag value by 'list-view'

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