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From time to time I come up with ideas of actions I'd like to have available in the context menu of Nautilus. How do I add them there? Is there something like a Thunar UCA plugin for Nautilus?

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up vote 16 down vote accepted

Context menus of Nautilus used to be customizable by Nautilus extensions. Be warned that this link leads to archived doc; Gnome devs removed that documentation and no longer support that kind of customization. It may still work though.

You can also place plain shell scripts under the ~/.local/share/nautilus/scripts (~/.gnome2/nautilus-scripts in early releases) directory, and they will appear in file context menu under Scripts submenu.

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Please note that as said in… if you are on ubuntu 13.04 which uses a newer version of Nautilus, you are supposed to use ~/.local/share/nautilus/scripts folder to put your scripts in. And even then it will only show up scripts when you right click on a file or folder and not empty space. – Logan Jul 3 '13 at 14:59

Nautilus Actions

We may define our own right-click context menu items with nautilus-actions Install nautilus-actions.

  • Run the Nautilus-Actions Configuration Tool either from the Dash, or from a terminal with


enter image description here

  • In the Action tab give your action a sensible label, e.g. "Open in Terminator" and choose to display this in the selection or the context menu.

  • Next open the Command tab to enter the commands to run

enter image description here

  • Give in the full path to your command (/usr/bin/command_to_run) and program options.

  • After logging out and in again the right click context menu below will be displayed:

enter image description here

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Is this still up to date? – RolandiXor Feb 17 '12 at 14:38
Nautilus Actions perform as expected in 12.04 – Takkat Feb 21 '12 at 20:44

One can Use python-nautilus extension as an alternative to nautilus-actions.

To install:

sudo apt-get install python-nautilus

A simple example:

import os

from gi.repository import Nautilus, GObject

class ColumnExtension(GObject.GObject, Nautilus.MenuProvider):
    def __init__(self):
    def menu_activate_cb(self, menu, file):
         os.system("write here your simple bash command & pid=$!")

    def get_background_items(self, window, file):
        item = Nautilus.MenuItem(name='ExampleMenuProvider::Foo2', 
                                         label='Name of your item', 
        item.connect('activate', self.menu_activate_cb, file)
        return item,

Copy this python script under ~/.local/share/nautilus-python/extensions and restart nautilus. When you right click on the desktop and select your item, your simple bash command will be executed :)

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you may need to create nautilus-python and extensions folders if they are not there. – souravc Jun 11 '14 at 14:38

If you want to be able to do something at any time, do like ulidtko says and use ~/.gnome2/nautilus-scripts.

If you want to be able to customize when you see it, install the nautilus-actions package, then go to System->Preferences->Nautilus Actions Configuration.

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