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I'm running i3-wm under a gnome session in 12.04.

Nautilus is not normally running.

I regularly loop-mount ISO and other filesystem image files, and every time I do this nautilus pops up both a desktop window and a window opened at the new mount point.

Uninstalling nautilus is not an option -- I tried this, but apt reports that dozens of packages depend on it (directly and indirectly).

This question is similar, but only talks about preventing launching on USB stick insertion. I don't want nautilus to run, ever -- removal would be ok with me if it didn't require uninstalling the world.

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Run in terminal :

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background show-desktop-icons false

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+1 This is the answer as it prevents the desktop from launch in other apps that call on nautilus (e.g. Sublime). – eduncan911 Mar 2 '15 at 17:56

You can disable the permission to execute nautilus like this in terminal:

sudo chmod a-x /usr/bin/nautilus
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What I did was creating an executable script to open Nautilus for me:

sudo nano /usr/bin/nfm

Copy and paste this in:

nautilus  --browser --no-desktop &

Finally make it executable:

sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/nfm

In your i3 config file, wherever you put it, make sure you run this:

# nautilus as a daemon!
nautilus --no-default-window --no-desktop &
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How does this prevent nautilus from being run? Did you even read the question? – Benubird Dec 11 '12 at 9:17

Try to disable automount with the dconf editor. You can find a good tutorial right here.

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