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After the upgrade from Ubuntu 13.10 to 14.04 in Nautilus (3.10.1), in the toolbar it is missing the context-menu button (those with a gear icon) in the upper right corner, near the search icon.

To be clear the button highlighted in red here:

enter image description here

This was present in Nautilus in Ubuntu 13.10. Is it normal that now is it disappeared? Is there a way to add this button?

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I have 13.10, I installed nautilus 3.10.1 from gnome3 ppa. Mine has that gear button but missing title bar. – kenn May 10 '14 at 9:49
Thanks for your contribution, but I'm talking about Ubuntu 14.04 with Unity. – WoDoSc May 15 '14 at 7:20
up vote 10 down vote accepted

As far as I know... with nautilus 3.10 in Ubuntu 14.04 there is a new patch to the source named restore-traditional-menu-bar.patch to bring back the "File | Edit | View | Go | Bookmarks | Help" menus instead the new "View" & "Location" buttons.

In Nautilus 3.6, introduced in raring, the menu layout was changed from the traditional all-entries-in-one-menubar to: * an application menu called "Files" in the Unity menu bar * a view menu has moved to some toolbar buttons and a dropdown under an arrow in the upper right of a window * all other menu items have moved to a cog button dropdown in the upper right of a window

For Unity, we should probably switch back to the more traditional layout (and keep the new layout for GNOME). I'll assign an Ayatana task to get design guidance on what the layout should be.

------------------------ Desired resolution:

  • Remove the 'cog' icon from the top right of the Nautilus toolbar. Move the view and search buttons over to the right, so that the right most view button occupies the position which previously held the cog button.

In this way if you are using Unity you have the traditional menu, but if you are using gnome, gnome-session-flashback you have the new menu buttons.

Nautilus in Unity:

enter image description here

Nautilus in Gnome-Flashback:

enter image description here

If you want to have the traditional menu with the new buttons in Unity...You can try to edit the nautilus source code.

NOTE: I recommend you to do this in a Virtual Machine or in a Test Machine to see is everything is OK. In this example I'm running Ubuntu "14.04" with "nautilus 3.10.1".

1) Make sure you have enable the Source code repository

  • Open the Ubuntu Software Center
  • In the Menu Bar choose Edit -> Software Sources. Click to enable "Source code repository". Just in case I use the "Main Server" to Download.

enter image description here

Open a Terminal window Ctrl+Alt+T and type:

  • sudo apt-get update

2) In the Terminal type the following to install the necessary packages.

  • sudo apt-get install build-essential quilt

3) Install build dependencies.

  • sudo apt-get build-dep nautilus

4) Create a folder to download the source code.

  • mkdir ~/Downloads/src

  • cd ~/Downloads/src

5) Download the source code & Export variables.

  • apt-get source nautilus

  • export QUILT_PATCHES=debian/patches

  • export EDITOR=gedit

6) Create the patch and Edit the source code.

  • cd nautilus-3.10.1/

  • quilt new 99_restore_menu_buttons.patch

  • quilt edit src/nautilus-toolbar.c

Remove the lines... 550 and 572.

Remove the line 550

if (nautilus_toolbar_show_menu_buttons ()) {

Remove the line 572


Save the changes.


enter image description here


enter image description here

7) Compile and build the deb packages.

  • quilt refresh

  • fakeroot dpkg-buildpackage

8) Install the deb packages.

  • cd ..

  • sudo dpkg -i *deb

9) Finally you can logout & Login or Kill Nautilus and restart it or Reboot your machine to see the changes.


enter image description here


enter image description here

enter image description here

Hope this helps.

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For the moment I did not had time to apply your solution, but I accept and assign to you the bounty, since it is the only answer that can solve the problem by keeping Unity. Thanks! – WoDoSc May 15 '14 at 7:18
I followed up your answer, everything goes fine,,, but still missing "connect to server" option and others as well, as showing in your last screenshot. few options are only showing. – Anuj TBE Aug 15 '14 at 12:25

That button has been replaced by a standard menu, which will be (by default) the global menu at the top of the screen or (if changed) in the title bar. Not sure if the menu is laid out the same or not, but no functionality is removed with this change.

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+1, you are right, this is available on gnome, but not on unity. – i08in May 10 '14 at 11:34
If that so, maybe you can help me with my problem: how can I access the right-click menu of the current dir if there is now empty space to right-click to (in List View mode). I want to access the RabbitVCS menu items of the current dir. They were part of the gear menu, but I cannot find them in the new global menu. – kispaljr Jul 18 '14 at 14:21

Just a thought here I just installed mine and the gear icon exists so I figure since I have default options

if you launch dconf editor

and set defaults

to all tabs under gnome > nautilus


nautilus -q

and open nautilus

could it be related to this bug ??


it seems that they are working on it

did you tried nemo and things are missing there too ??

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What version of ubuntu and nautilus are you using? – i08in May 10 '14 at 9:27
GNOME nautilus 3.10.1 ubuntu 14.04 with gnome – billybadass May 10 '14 at 9:32
+1, you are right, this is available on gnome, but not on unity. – i08in May 10 '14 at 11:34

Combining NGRhodes and billybadass's answers, I can confirm that this is a Unity-only feature. Upstream GNOME nautilus still has this feature and this feature has specifically been changed for users using Unity. The gear icon has been removed in Unity to combine them in the menu bars- all features of the gear icon are in the respective menus.

I confirmed this with the nautilus mailing provide and will soon attach the respective mails(it seems like they are not in Google's index right now, so you won't get them googling). Posting a part of the mail here, for you reference, replied by Emmanuele Bassi, the Director at GNOME Foundation:

it(The gear icon)'s still there. I think Ubuntu is patching out some stuff related to header bars, but that's a Ubuntu-only thing, and upstream GNOME has nothing to do with it.

The easiest but the most undesirable way would be switch to GNOME(no one would do that for the gear icon, I believe). I'll update my answer as soon as I find a way, if possible, to get this gear icon back on Unity.

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