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When I right click on 'file manager' in the launcher I can select 'home folder', but it takes an open nautilus window and displays the home folder in that window, often shunting me back to a different workspace.

How can I open a new nautilus window from the launcher?

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You want to make it so you can select "new window" and NOT have it move to another workspace right? – Jorge Castro Nov 13 '11 at 0:06
Or, to open a new window on current workspace .. instead of jumping to open instance elsewhere? – david6 Nov 20 '11 at 8:51
This functionality will be present by default in 12.04 LTS once it releases, and has already been added:… – Christopher Kyle Horton Jan 24 '12 at 9:17
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can use the middle mouse button to click the Home Folder. This will launch a new window of Nautilus.

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