Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

By default, Nautilus use/show the path bar:

Nautilus path bar

Using Ubuntu Tweak I managed to set by default the address bar:

Nautilus address bar

Is it possible to set both of them as default (show both: the buttons and the text input)?

Note: I know that I can use Ctrl+L to switch between them, so I'm not interested about this.

share|improve this question
What do you mean? Show both the buttons and the text input? – Oli Jan 24 '14 at 11:52
@oli Exactly. But I think that the only way is to modify the source code of Nautilus. I tried before, but without success... – Radu Rădeanu Jan 26 '14 at 8:25
I still don't understand. Would you have both bars on screen one above the other? – Programster Jan 26 '14 at 10:10
Can you use Nemo instead of Nautilus? – Huseyin Jan 26 '14 at 20:20
+1 for the Ctrl+L shortcut – faizal Jul 7 '14 at 18:00
up vote 13 down vote accepted

No, it is not possible to do so.

The reasoning of "is it really not possible to do so" might be uninteresting, but I can say something about why it isn't, and probably shouldn't be, possible.

Fair warning: the answer is wordy. Its lengthy, but I believe its sensible. While I highly recommend that you do read on, feel free to not read on.

  • The design of nautilus: Having an option to display both would require disproportionate vertical widening of the icons area, as now there would be two lines required to display the pathbar as well as address bar. But then other buttons on the right would have slack space above and below them, unless they readjust themselves, which is again a big design question by itself.

  • The aesthetics of nautilus: Having both pathbar and address bar would be awfully ugly to see.

  • Most people, and I mean barring a handful of exceptions like you and me, people have preference for either. Its a clear choice for them. Having an option to "tweak" this would mean cluttering the preferences section of nautilus, again to no avail. In fact, in the recent version, you can see that a lot of configuration and menu options have been removed, or hidden to make the overall experience of the nautilus very very simple.

  • Wastage of screen real-estate: You would require only either of them at any point. This is true even if you are a person who use both of them multiple times throughout the day. You would want just either of them at any time, and it just makes sense, even from your point of view, to actually press Ctrl + L when you want the access to the other thing. Seeing the unrequired alternative on the screen would clutter the thinking process too.

share|improve this answer

Whilst I don't know if at all possible in Nautilus, I beleive Thunar may serve your wishes. It shows the button bar by default, but pressing Ctrl+L will result in the text bar popping out as shown below, allowing you to copy/paste or change directory by typing. When you press enter it goes away and you have the button bar. You have the best of both worlds.

enter image description here

In my opinion Thunar is "quicker" than nautilus but have no figures to back this up. It has an incredibly simple look and interface which I prefer.

share|improve this answer

I don't think it's possible to have both buttons and path at the same time.

On a side note, another way to permanently enable the path instead of buttons is to use dconf, a "low-level key/value database designed for storing desktop environment settings". Install dconf-tools and launch dconf-editor:

$ sudo apt-get install --yes dconf-tools
$ dconf-editor

Then navigate to org > gnome > nautilus > preferences and check always-use-location-entry.

share|improve this answer

I am not sure whether you prefer only nautilus, but I am writing in a hope that you would like this. You have helped me many times hope I'll return the same at least once.

XFE can display the path bar and address bar in much better way. Here are some images:



I found this file manager so useful and currently I'm sticking to it :)

To install in Ubuntu just execute this command:

sudo apt-get install xfe
share|improve this answer
These images are no longer available. – Josiah Nov 12 '15 at 15:10

If you are here just to know about "how to navigate to a path inside Ubuntu", then the shortcut to show the address bar in the default file browser(nautilus) is Ctrl+L.

Also you might want to start nautilus with sudo root privilege if you plan to navigate to some restricted directory.

share|improve this answer
The OP said he wasn't interested in [Ctrl][L]... – Fabby Jan 18 at 17:42

A possible solution would be to install nautilus-terminal, which embed a terminal in the nautilus window, so you could enter the desired path with cd.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:flozz/flozz
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nautilus-terminal
share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.