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I am curious what computer:// is, in terms of its implementation on the file system/in the nautilus executable/as a configuration provided to nautilus?

  1. Perhaps it is a configurable group (of paths) for nautilus, configurable on a user basis.

The reason I ask is because it is not accessible with root's nautilus. If #1 is correct, how does one create computer:// and/or how does one create such path groups?

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Your assumption is not correct. I mean the fact that this kind of special URI is not configurable on a user basis.

computer:// is a special URI like is recent://, trash://, burn://, ao.

The reason those URIs exist is because Nautilus uses a virtual file system called Gnome Virtual File System (gvfs) which is built on top of another virtual file system called FUSE. Specifically those URIs are configured in the /usr/lib/gvfs/ directory named gvfsd-*. These are binary files so don't try and edit them. - via Rothgar

You can get access to these special URIs as root by using dbus:

gksu dbus-launch nautilus computer://
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