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So the following is happening in Files whenever the width of the window is somewhat smaller than all the content of the list:

What it looks like

In list view the name column is cropped unto a point where no name is visible at all! And it is even not possible to change the column size manually. Funnily, in some situations it quickly flickers from a larger column width to the small one back and forth before settling on the small size.

Unnecessarily to say, it is extremely annoying.

Is there a way around this or is this just "bad design"?

Oh yeah, Ubuntu 13.04 & 13.10, Files version 3.8.2.

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0 down vote It is a very annoying bug, already reported in Ubuntu-bug (bug number 1243806), at the address bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/nautilus/+bug/1243806. I hope that more people will write their disappointment at the URL above, more quickly it will be corrected. mario –  user136071 Nov 1 '13 at 9:44
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5 Answers 5

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Since the default file manager does not seem to support what I want, I looked into alternative file managers and installed Nemo (note that this is more difficult at the moment, see below). It is similar enough while having many more features and not displaying the above mentioned annoying issue (at least for version 1.x, see below).

Alternatively, PCManFM seems to actually not have this issue. The name column won't get truncated by default, while allowing manual resizing. It does not have an as beautiful the UI though (but still good enough).


Installing Nemo on Ubuntu 13.10 is not as easy. There exists a PPA which provides a seemingly compatible version of Nemo 2.0 for Saucy Salamander (ppa:gwendal-lebihan-dev/cinnamon-stable). It worked fine at first, being more useful than the default Nautilus, although still having this issue but only with even narrower windows. However, this will also install Cinnamon 2.0. And this currently breaks Unity in 13.10. I experienced that after a restart, where I was not able to login before removing all cinnamon/nemo packages first. So beware!

The otherwise official repo at https://launchpad.net/~noobslab/+archive/nemo provides Nemo (version 1.x, currently 1.7.4) for Ubuntu. As of now there is no version for saucy, however. But I was able to install the version for raring by downloading the deb packages for:

  • gir1.2-nemo-3.0
  • libnemo-extension1
  • nemo-data
  • nemo

All but the actual nemo package installs fine. Nemo has a dependency on libgnome-desktop-3-4 but Ubuntu 13.10 has libgnome-desktop-3-7. So what I did was extract the deb package, modify the DEBIAN/control file, repackage it and install it. As a last step I had to link the dynamic library for 3-7 to 3-4 because Nemo expects this library.

# extract the raring package
mkdir nemo
cd nemo
dpkg-deb -x ../nemo.deb .
dpkg-deb -e ../nemo.deb

nano DEBIAN/control
# modify libgnome-desktop dependency from 3-4 to 3-7
# repackage
dpkg-deb -b . ../nemo~saucy.deb

# link the libraries
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/libgnome-desktop-3.so.7 /usr/lib/libgnome-desktop-3.so.4

# install nemo~saucy.deb
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Collapse the sidebar on the left, or drag the name column to be leftmost, or both.

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I don't seem to be able to drag any columns, how do you do it? Collapsing the sidebar might be the easiest workaround for now, though not really solving the problem. –  Luksurious Oct 18 '13 at 22:37
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When the file manager is your active window. Go to Files > Preferences. Here you will find a "List Columns" and you can check or uncheck the columns that you actually need. In this way you can make a workaround of your problem.

For your specific problem: An idea would be to uncheck the owner (as in your screenshot you are the owner of all the files anyway, so whats the point of displayed this) and maybe also the MIME-type (this information is usually represented by the icon anyway)

Yes, one might consider it bad design that you can't set a specific width for some of the columns.

As a sidenote. Instead of going to Files > Preferences. While being in List-view you can also just click the "down arrow" next to the list/grid-icons inside the file manager and choose "Visible columns".

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I suspected that... However, the columns are there by choice, in fact I only noticed that problem after activating the mime type column (which I needed since the default types does not differentiate between different image types). –  Luksurious Oct 18 '13 at 22:35
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I have found a way to install easily nemo, without dependency, at this URL: http://www.lffl.org/2013/10/nemo-file-manager-ubuntu-linux-dipendenze-cinnamon.html. It is written in italian, the heart of the process is:

To install Nemo in Ubuntu 14.04, 13.10, 13.04, 12.10 e 12.04 you can write in a terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/nemo
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nemo nemo-fileroller dconf-tools**

for setting Nemo as default file manager in Ubuntu you have to write:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background show-desktop-icons false

to have the same icons and links as Nautilus it is enough write:

gsettings set org.nemo.desktop show-desktop-icons false
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background show-desktop-icons true
xdg-mime default nemo.desktop inode/directory application/x-gnome-saved-search**

if you need more info, ask me

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on menu bar go to view then visible columns. try to uncheck some column that are not very useful like MIME-type, and you can leave name,size and type only. this problem i think is caused by long display name(you can see on your MIME-type column). But hope they will fix this problem of not be able to resize columns or moving

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