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I have a big amount of files on my laptop, and just the names are not enough for me to remember what each one does.

Basically, is there any way to add a description to each file without having to open them one by one? I have one or two source codes being added up daily, so this would be extremely helpful.

EDIT I made a mistake by not being explicit enough, I will try to clear it up:

I have multiple code files each for a different problem, and usually in different languages and in multiple versions. My folders hierarchy is pretty neat, but it is a hassle for the CLI.

A tagging method, with a search capability would be very helpful.

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Which Ubuntu release are you running? – Mitch Jul 17 '12 at 6:43
11.10 with openbox installed. – cameleon Jul 17 '12 at 19:16
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Emblems in Nautilus

Right click a file/folder and go to its properties. You can add remove emblems and even change the icon itself. That should help you differentiate between files and give you a way to tag files.

A better alternative, which I found via one thing well is tmsu :


tmsu is an application that allows you to organise your files by associating them with tags. It provides a tool for managing these tags and a virtual file- system to allow tag based access to your files.


tmsu tag summer.mp3 music big-jazz mp3 #tmsu [files] [tag]
tmsu tag --tags "music mp3" *.mp3 #filenames at last
tmsu merge umsic music #merge two tags


tmsu tags #lists tags
tmsu files mp3 -classical -rock #remove some tags

tmsu also creates a virtual file system, which uses symlinks to files. Directories inside this mount will refer to the tags themselves.


Download the latest version from bitbucket and extract it somewhere. Copy the bin/tmsu file to a folder that is in your path (such as /bin/ or ~/bin).

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I have tried this before, but I mostly use the command-line to navigate through files and folders. And usually the description is long enough to be covered by an emblem. – cameleon Jul 17 '12 at 19:14
@cameleon I've updated my answer to include tmsu, please try it out. – Abhay Rana Jul 21 '12 at 16:08
Thanks a lot, I've been trying different tag-based file-systems, but this virtual one is doing the trick. Sorry for the long delay though – cameleon Oct 8 '12 at 22:16

Folders and Symlinks.

/photos/by-date/2012/01/31/picture1234.jpeg -> /photos/all/picture1234.jpeg
/photos/by-person/mom/picture1234.jpeg -> /photos/all/picture1234.jpeg
/photos/by-event/birthdays/by-person/mom/picture1234.jpeg -> /photos/all/picture1234.jpeg

This is a commonly used paradigm. One that comes to mind is /dev/disk/*

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You can use alt+drag in the file browser to create sym-links. – Abhay Rana Jul 17 '12 at 7:45

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