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According to post #15 of this Ubuntu Forums thread about Nautilus being slow, turning off global menu speeds Nautilus up significantly. This is certainly true for me, as running Nautilus as root makes it a few times (!) faster (with no gnome-scripts installed, cache cleared, Dropbox turned off).

Now, I like the global menu--but I also want Nautilus to be fast! Is there a way to turn off the global menu only for Nautilus?

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You can try this:

  • Create a litte script in (/usr/bin), go to the terminal and type:

    cd /usr/bin

    sudo gedit

  • In the script add these lines:

    #! /bin/bash
    nautilus -n

  • Change the permissions to 775:

    sudo chmod 755 /usr/bin/

  • Edit the nautilus desktop file in /etc/xdg/autostart/ folder. First make a backup of the .desktop,in the terminal type:

    cd /etc/xdg/autostart

    sudo cp nautilus-autostart.desktop nautilus-autostart.desktop.bak

    sudo gedit nautilus-autostart.desktop

    Find the line "Exec=nautilus -n" and change it to "Exec=/usr/bin/"

enter image description here

  • Finally log out and log in to see the changes.

If anything goes wrong remember you have a backup of the nautilus-autostart.desktop file, or just edit the line "Exec=/usr/bin/" to "Exec=nautilus -n" from any TTY.

Hope this will solve your problem.


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You can disable the global menu in Nautilus.

  1. Open a terminal and type gksudo gedit /usr/share/applications/nautilus.desktop
  2. Find the line Exec=nautilus %U and change it to Exec=UBUNTU_MENUPROXY=0 nautilus %U
  3. Save and exit
  4. Kill Nautilus by opening Nautilus, press Alt + F2, type xkill, click the Nautilus window.
  5. Launch Nautilus again. No more global menu.

Now launching nautilus should have the global menu disabled.


I just realised that this method works with other programs but not with Nautilus bacause Nautilus is launched at startup. This is not a direct answer to your question but if you want a faster file manager, you might consider installing Thunar.

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Doesn't work for me. The icon just keeps pulsing and nautilus won't open... – MarkovCh1 Dec 15 '12 at 4:56

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