Correcting this question, I've realised that I was - and still am - unable to sync folders with ubuntu one, because pcmanfm is still my default LXDE file manager, despite the fact that I've changed the panel settings as I should have done (at least I think so) and replaced the entry "pcmanfm %s" with "nautilus". Yet, how can I actually change it?

Kind regards, schlossblick


When you open file manager you get

enter image description here Now go to Menu --> Accessories --> File Manager --> right click, and choose properties

enter image description here

Change pcmafm to nautilus and you will get

enter image description here

However that only changes the application that will be opened by the shortcut "file manager". It does not make nautilus the "default file manager" in the proper sense: Opening a folder on the desktop, or opening a file location from an application would not open nautilus, but still pcmanfm.

Note: I will be adding information on how to make this change permanent in the next couple of days.

Note: This is my own personal opinion. I've tried these steps on my machine, and they worked. But I didn't like the outcome.

Change the contents of /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE/autostart as shown below.


@xscreensaver -no-splash
@setxkbmap -option grp:switch,grp:alt_shift_toggle,grp_led:scroll us,ar
@lxpanel --profile LXDE
@pcmanfm --desktop --profile LXDE 


@xscreensaver -no-splash
@setxkbmap -option grp:switch,grp:alt_shift_toggle,grp_led:scroll us,ar
@lxpanel --profile LXDE
@/usr/bin/nautilus -n

Also you can take a look at https://help.ubuntu.com/community/DefaultFileManager to see if it might help.


In Ubuntu 14.04 here's what I did. I did a fresh installation of Ubuntu 14.04, and then installed LXDE. Once that was done, I set nautilus as a default file manager using the following command:

xdg-mime default nautilus.desktop inode/directory application/x-gnome-saved-search

and then I checked the current default file manager using the command below:

xdg-mime query default inode/directory

and it showed Nautilus as the default. See image below.

enter image description here

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  • Hello Mitch,thank you SO MUCH! That's exactly the answer I looked for, described in a way I - having contact to computers only as a user without any programming knowledge - can understand it. – schlossblick Jun 25 '12 at 19:07
  • Can you please elaborate on "But I didn't like the outcome."? – user25656 Mar 25 '13 at 11:16
  • For strictly personal issue, it's not what I expected. But that's my opinion as I said. – Mitch Mar 25 '13 at 11:25
  • I just asked because I'm thinking of using Thunar in place of PCManFM. – user25656 Mar 25 '13 at 11:27
  • OK, but give Nautilus a shot as well. – Mitch Mar 25 '13 at 11:32

I'm on LUbuntu 14.04.2 LTS. The file ~/.config/lxsession/LXDE/autostart is empty.

But you can edit preferences:

  1. In terminal run nano ~/.config/lxsession/Lubuntu/desktop.conf
  2. Find the line file_manager/command=pcmanfm
  3. Change for file_manager/command=nautilus
  4. Restart
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None of these answers worked for me. At best they provided a partial result:

My goal was to use nemo as my file manager, under LXDE, and have it also manage the desktop transparently.

On Ubuntu Trusty:

The LXDE documentation indicates that the program LXSession is in charge of the management of sessions.

LXSession has an autostart file, that runs at the beginning of an LXDE session. It can be used to disable pcmanfm, and instead start any file manager of your choosing.

See http://wiki.lxde.org/en/LXSession#Configuration_files

  1. Install your file manager of choice; for me, nemo.

  2. Open ~/.config/lxsession/LXDE/autostart, you can do this from the terminal with sudo nano ~/.config/lxsession/LXDE/autostart, or gksudo gedit ~/.config/lxsession/LXDE/autostart

  3. Remove the line starting with @pcmanfm

  4. At the bottom of the script, add a command to launch your preferred file manager (prefixed with an @ sign). @nemo -n

  5. Save the file.

  6. Logout, login once again.

  7. Live long, and prosper.

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  • I did as suggested here, but instead added '@nautilus -n' Thanks – pst007x Oct 16 '16 at 23:07

On 17.04:

Menu -> Preferences -> Default apps for LXSession -> File manager -> More -> Write nautilus

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For lubuntu 19.10 I had to do xdg-mime default org.gnome.Nautilus.desktop inode/directory

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  • Please elaborate your answer. – Masroor Jun 30 at 2:48

If none of these work for you it's because xdg-open is hardcoded to open pcmanfm. Edit /usr/bin/xdg-open and search open-lxde, replace the part where it's called under case "$DE" with open-generic, then try xdg-open $HOME and your default application set with xdg-mime should open.

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