It is still unsupported by Nautilus itself, however you can use a script that admits several parameters to reuse or open a new instance of Nautilus if not running.
In order to use this solution you'll need to install pachages
xclip. You can do it installing wmctrl and xclip using the Software Center (click on the links) or via Terminal with
sudo apt-get install wmctrl xclip.
Create a new file
nautab.sh and add the following code:
# Nautilus opens folders in new tabs
# Dependencies: sudo apt-get install wmctrl xclip
# Pass directories as parameters, i.e. nautab /opt /var/log /usr/local/etc
# Wrong parameters will be shown as invalid directories
if [ "$(wmctrl -xl | grep "nautilus\.Nautilus")" == "" ]; then
# wmctrl reports Nautilus not running
if [[ -d $1 ]]; then
nautilus "$1" &
>&2 echo Not a directory: $1
# Nautilus takes some time to become responsive to automation
#Save old clipboard value
oldclip="$(xclip -o -sel clip)"
for folder in "$@"
if [ -d "$folder" ]; then
echo -n $folder | xclip -i -sel clip
wmctrl -xF -R nautilus.Nautilus && xdotool key --delay 120 ctrl+t ctrl+l ctrl+v Return
# Use this if you suspect funny clipboard behaviour
#xclip -verbose -o -sel clip
#Leave some time before opening a new tab
>&2 echo Not a directory: $folder
#Restore old clipboard value
echo -n "$oldclip" | xclip -i -sel clip
This code is based is based on an answer to other question:
nautab [directory]... and new tabs will open on it. Note that there will be some delay; this is in order to wait for Nautilus to be responsive. Feel free to play with numbers.