Nautilus-actions configuration tool, which was needed in order to have context menu actions in Nautilus doesn't seem available in the Software center in 18.04 LTS.

(This seemed reported as a bug here - but confusingly specifying gedit instead of the correct package.)

This is not a Gnome-Nautilus feature, I think, as suggested in a comment, because I have seen the same Nautilus version 3.26.3 in Solus Linux, and there Nautilus Actions is available and usable. Solus provides also in its repo a different program called FileManager Configuration Tool, run with fma-config-tool, which excepting the name is identical and can be used only alternatively to the Nautilus actions usual tool. But none of them is available in Ubuntu, no matter the repos enabled in software sources settings.

How can Nautilus Actions tool (or its alternative) be installed in Ubuntu 18.04 in order to get the custom context menu actions?

Please do not answer by proposing other file managers.

I know that there are file managers that have custom actions - in fact all those used by the main Linux systems and by the main systems of the Ubuntu family have them: Caja, Nemo, PCManFM, Thunar, Dolphin, Pantheon-Files. But I am not asking about that here.

  • It seems that it is time to migrate to Caja, I'm seriously. GNOMErs will remove everything from Nautilus and whole desktop someday.
    – N0rbert
    May 2, 2018 at 10:55
  • 1
    @N0rbert - There is no problem for mu jumping from a file manager to another, only I tend to switch the desktop too on that occasion, and even the distro. While this is not really the place for Linux philosophy, I am tempted to put a few words here. I think the simplification trend is good, on the condition that the features I need are not removed or are at least accessible by choice. (I am not at all gnome-only or gtk-only: I like KDE/Plasma and I also like Dolphin, but I find that especially the latter needs cleaning and smoothing.)
    – user47206
    May 3, 2018 at 11:16
  • 2
    @N0rbert - But this is not a Gnome thing, but an Ubuntu-repo thing: I am using the same version of Nautilus in Solus and there - as said in the question, I have not one, but two "Nautilus-actions" tools. - Anyway, I agree with you on this: Gnome is a bad choice for Ubuntu; I would have picked Budgie :) - but, as said above, this is a repo-related thing.
    – user47206
    May 3, 2018 at 11:17
  • 4
    A second (more correctly filed) bug-report is present here.
    – aplaice
    May 3, 2018 at 20:32
  • @N0rbert - I cannot believe that I said Ubuntu should have selected Budgie (instead of Gnome)! - I meant KDE/Plasma of course: it is the most customizable, solid and (at least on my laptop) light desktop (not far from Xfce in this respect), considering especially that it is the richest (in not only what it does, but also in what it could do).
    – user47206
    May 9, 2018 at 17:09

4 Answers 4


Update 2021-04-23

For the latest Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (focal fossa) the below actions are not needed, the package filemanager-actions is located in universe pocket. See fresh answer.

Update 2018-05-31

Daniel Marynicz has created PPA for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with Nautilus, Caja and Nemo-enabled packages. You can install them as usual:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:daniel-marynicz/filemanager-actions

sudo apt-get install filemanager-actions-nautilus-extension # Nautilus
sudo apt-get install filemanager-actions-caja-extension # Caja
sudo apt-get install filemanager-actions-nemo-extension # Nemo

sudo apt-get install filemanager-actions* # simply all filemanagers

After installation you can launch fma-config-tool.

Initial consideration of the problem:

Modern version of Nautilus Actions (nautilus-actions package in trusty (14.04 LTS), xenial (16.04 LTS), artful (17.10)) are named as FileManager Actions (filemanager-actions package, it is not yet packaged in Debian and Ubuntu - see at repology.org).

If you do not want to compile packages by yourself - use links in the end of this answer.

So we can try to compile this package locally:

  1. Install dependencies

     sudo apt-get install build-essential gnome-doc-utils intltool \
     libnautilus-extension-dev uuid-dev libxml2-dev libgtop2-dev rarian-compat

    Note: if you need to support all three file-managers you should install two additional packages before compilation with sudo apt-get install libnemo-extension-dev libcaja-extension-dev.

  2. Download, extract, configure, make (otherwise, if you prefer the easy way: use the deb file from links at the end of answer)

     cd ~/Downloads
     wget https://download.gnome.org/sources/filemanager-actions/3.4/filemanager-actions-3.4.tar.xz
     tar -xf filemanager-actions-3.4.tar.xz
     cd filemanager-actions-3.4
     make -j5
  3. Install package

    • Here standard way is to use

         sudo make install

      but this will not create deb-package (but you can remove fma with sudo make uninstall);

    • so using checkinstall is better:

         sudo apt-get install checkinstall
         sudo checkinstall make install
         sudo apt-get install ./filemanager-actions_3.4-1_amd64.deb

After installation you will get new executable named fma-config-tool, its window is named FileManager-Actions Configuration Tool and looks like:

fma-config-tool on Bionic

Below is the link to compiled package:

  • 2
    By default it puts everything in some awful sub-menu. Is there a way to override or bypass that
    – MrMesees
    Sep 30, 2018 at 10:20
  • I'm on 18.04 and followed the instructions in the 18.04 section of your post - this does not seem to work. I can launch the program and add (and save) an item, but even after rebooting, nothing's showing up in my context menu.
    – Jack M
    Dec 26, 2018 at 11:03
  • 2
    @MrMesees Yes, just go on Edit > Preferences and disable Create a root 'Nautilus-Actions' menu
    – Tropilio
    Feb 10, 2019 at 13:46
  • @FrancescoBoccardo I've done that via GUI. I want thinking more of having it done for me. TBH I'll probably git init my home folder and have it track changes, see if there is something SED / FS-level in my own home folder to manage.
    – MrMesees
    Feb 11, 2019 at 15:02
  • 1
    If you are using ubuntu >= 18, then use filemanager actions. Refer this link for more details, ubuntu-nautilus-actions
    – Cloverr
    Dec 11, 2019 at 17:55

I've just upgraded from Ubuntu 16.04LTS to 18.04LTS, and find myself missing nautilus-actions as well. I tried installing caja-actions (as it doesn't depend on caja) on the off-chance it'd automatically work with nautilus, but unfortunately it does not.

According to the github page for nautilus-actions, it's been deprecated and renamed FileManager-Actions. I can't find a filemanager-actions package in Ubuntu 18.04, although there are source packages available at that 2nd link.

So our best shot might be to wait until we can't stand living without it any longer, then compile/tinker, depending on what state it's in.


I've just compiled/installed filemanager-actions 3.4 from source and it seems to be working fine with the stock Nautilus in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS :)

To compile it, I had to install the following extra packages:


libgtk-3-dev in particular will bring with it a lot of additional packages. You might want to use apt-get's --simulate option to keep track of exactly what's going to be installed before you go ahead with it - e.g.:

$ apt-get install --simulate intltool gnome-doc-utils libgtk-3-dev libxml2-dev uuid-dev libgtop2-dev libnautilus-extension-dev > cruft

I already had some development tools installed (gcc, make, etc). Installing the 'build-essential' package should get you everything you need.

Steps to compile and install filemanager-actions, after unpacking and cd'ing into the source directory, were:

$ ./configure --with-nautilus --disable-scrollkeeper
$ make
$ sudo make install-strip

After that I had to log out of GNOME, then back in, before filemanager-actions items appeared in the Nautilus right-click menu.

  • I have already mentioned FileManager-Actions in my question, which is present for other distros as an alternative to the old tool.
    – user47206
    May 3, 2018 at 12:43
  • caja-actions depends on Caja: it will not provide you with custom actions in Nautilus or other file manager, only in Caja.
    – user47206
    May 3, 2018 at 12:45
  • 1
    Ah, sorry - by 'depend', I just meant in terms of package dependencies. Since the caja-actions package doesn't depend on the caja package, I figured I might as well try the experiment - though without great expectations :) May 3, 2018 at 13:05
  • 1
    @N0rbert, thanks :) It looks like filemaneger-actions supports multiple file managers, incl. both caja and nautilus, but accidentally(?) slipped through the cracks and hasn't been picked up by debian/ubuntu. Here's the official GNOME filemanager-actions source, which should be easy enough to compile... May 4, 2018 at 7:10
  • 1
    @N0rbert, nice, thanks! :) BTW, I somehow managed to miss your update and did something similar - sorry for reinventing the wheel :) May 31, 2018 at 9:32

forget nautilus-actions, try nautilus-python, you can find examples inside usr/share/doc/python-nautilus/examples/.

or , you can try my script: https://github.com/dwSun/utils/blob/master/Linux/open-terminator.py


Update 2023-04, Actions For Nautilus

For Ubuntu 22.04 and higher, a new alternative has shown up on Github, and it seems to be actively maintained.

An extension to the Gnome Files file manager (otherwise known as Nautilus) that allows you to add arbitrary actions to the Gnome Files selection context menu. This extension is a "replacement" for the now-defunct Nautilus file manager functionality of the filemanager/nautilus-actions project.

There is a .deb file and a wiki with an interesting topic:
"A less annoying New Document action".
Download the config.json file and put it in dir ~/.local/share/actions-for-nautilus

On Ubuntu 20.04: installing the .deb file, won't work:

 actions-for-nautilus depends on python3 (>= 3.10.0); however:
 Version of python3 on system is 3.8.2-0ubuntu2.
 actions-for-nautilus depends on libjs-jquery (>= 3.5.0); however:
 Version of libjs-jquery on system is 3.3.1~dfsg-3

I am not sure - "actions for nautilus" might mess up your apt update workflows. At the next softwareupdate, nautilus packages might be marked as unclean. Thus apt with complain The following packages have been kept back ... - Please check yourself, carefully.

You must log in to answer this question.