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Nautilus 3.4 allows you to both set a default view mode but also remembers your custom view settings for specific folders.

What I would love to be able do is to define a view mode for all directories and subdirectories in a specific directory tree. Going through each and every folder to change the view mode manually would take too long.

Is there any way I can do this? Maybe through a Nautilus script that modifies gvfs-metadata?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 9 down vote accepted
+100

Overview

To find the metadata for a folder you need to use the command gvfs-info foldername

for example gvfs-info /home/homefolder/Desktop

In the list that returns you will see the attribute metadata::nautilus-default-view which describes the default view.

You can change this attribute using the command gvfs-set_attribute foldername attribute newvalue

for example:

gvfs-set-attribute /home/homefolder/Desktop "metadata::nautilus-default-view" "OAFIID:Nautilus_File_Manager_Icon_View"

Script

Now I have to admit my bash scripting skills aren't the best, but here you go - my script below will allow you to reset all the views below the folder-name given.

Syntax:

folderreset [OPTION] full_base_directory_name

for example this will reset to compact view all folders below /home/homefolder/Desktop

folderreset -c /home/homefolder/Desktop

use folderreset -h for the syntax.

Feel free to tinker and amend.


#!/bin/bash

#Licensed under the standard MIT license:
#Copyright 2013 fossfreedom.
#Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:
#The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
#THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE

################################ USAGE #######################################

usage=$(
cat <<EOF
Usage:
$0 [OPTION] base_full_directory_name 

 -h, --help     display this help
 -l, --list     set to list view
 -i, --icon     set to icon view
 -c, --compact  set to compact view

for example

$0 -i /home/myhome/Desktop

This will reset all directories BELOW /home/myhome/Desktop

EOF
)

########################### OPTIONS PARSING #################################

#parse options
TMP=`getopt --name=$0 -a --longoptions=list,icon,compact,help -o l,i,c,h -- $@`

if [[ $? == 1 ]]
then
    echo
    echo "$usage"
    exit
fi

eval set -- $TMP

#default values
META=OAFIID:Nautilus_File_Manager_List_View

until [[ $1 == -- ]]; do
    case $1 in
        -l|--list)
            META=OAFIID:Nautilus_File_Manager_List_View
            ;;
        -i|--icon)
            META=OAFIID:Nautilus_File_Manager_Icon_View
            ;;
        -c|--compact)
            META=OAFIID:Nautilus_File_Manager_Compact_View
            ;;
        -h|--help)
            echo "$usage"
            exit
            ;;
    esac
    shift # move the arg list to the next option or '--'
done
shift # remove the '--', now $1 positioned at first argument if any

if [ ! -d "$1" ]
then
        echo "Directory does not exist!"
        exit 4
fi

find "$1"/* -type d | while read "D"; do gvfs-set-attribute "$D" "metadata::nautilus-default-view" "$META" &>/dev/null; done

GUI wrapper

Here is a simple GUI wrapper script that could be used to set the view mode right from the Nautilus scripts context menu:

#!/bin/bash

# Licensed under the standard MIT license
# (c) 2013 Glutanimate (http://askubuntu.com/users/81372/)

FOLDERRESET="./folderreset.sh"
WMICON=nautilus
THUMBICON=nautilus
WMCLASS="folderviewsetter"
TITLE="Set folder view"

DIR="$1"

checkifdir(){
if [[ -d "$DIR" ]] 
  then
      echo "$DIR is a directory"
  else
      yad --title="$TITLE" \
          --image=dialog-error \
          --window-icon=dialog-error \
          --class="$WMCLASS" \
          --text="Error: no directory selected." \
          --button="Ok":0
      exit
fi
}

setviewtype (){
VIEWTYPE=$(yad \
    --width 300 --entry --title "$TITLE" \
    --image=nautilus \
    --button="ok:2" --button="cancel" \
    --text "Select view mode:" \
    --entry-text \
    "list" "icon" "compact")

 if [ -z "$VIEWTYPE" ]
   then
       exit
 fi

}  


checkifdir
setviewtype

"$FOLDERRESET" --"$VIEWTYPE" "$DIR"

The script depends on the zenity fork yad which can be installed from this PPA. Make sure to point FOLDERRESET= to the location of the folderreset script on your system.

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This script works fantastically. I just modified the last segment to be whitespace compatible. Thanks again for taking the time to do this. You deserve every single point of the bounty and more. If you don't mind I'll just leave it up just a bit longer so other people can see your beautiful solution as well. –  Glutanimate Aug 25 '13 at 14:03
    
I use Nautilus 3.6.3 (Ubuntu 13.04) and there is no such an attribute metadata::nautilus-default-view :( –  Radu Rădeanu Aug 26 '13 at 8:27
1  
@RaduRădeanu - yep Gnome-Devs ripped a whole lot of stuff out of nautilus in v3.6 :/ –  fossfreedom Aug 26 '13 at 8:43
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