I would prefer the left pane of Nautilus to behave like Windows file manager. It should have expandable/collapsible trees, and if I have /home/mydir-1, /home/mydir-2, I should be able to see them both in the left pane. When I click on one of them, the files in that dir should show in the right pane. If Nautilus can't do it, please suggest a better file-manager which does. I would rather not open 3 panes in Nautilus to do what two panes do just fine in Windows File Manager.

Secondly how can I open two instances of Nautilus? And if it isn't possible with Nautilus, could it be done with some other file manager?

  • Are you talking about tree like structure in the side pane?
    – green
    Sep 4 '12 at 10:45

For tree view:

Using the menus

Goto View -> Sidebar -> Tree

Using the command-line

gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.window-state side-pane-view "tree"

This method would set it to default.

To open a directory in a new nautilus window:

Double-Click on the directory holding Shift.

To open a new instance of nautilus

Right click on the launcher icon for nautilyus and click on Open a New Window.

enter image description here

  • Thanks to green7; I figured out that view -> sidebar -> tree would do what I want just after I posted my question, and came back to update the thread with what I found, but you had already answered it. Thanks. Actually 'view as tree' should be the default choice. But whatever... Now for the second question (though with expandable tree, its answer is less urgent now) ... can I have two instances of Nautilus File Manager open at the same time?
    – dn.usenet
    Sep 4 '12 at 10:51
  • Well, I should add that I was confused after 'double clicking on an icon in nautilus while holding SHIFT'. It just opened one more 'option' in the right pane. But that is not what i want. I would rather see two independent sessions of the file manager running at the same time.
    – dn.usenet
    Sep 4 '12 at 10:59
  • updated the answer.
    – green
    Sep 4 '12 at 11:06

You can use Tree view.

See Tree by Going to the nautilus menu from ViewSidebar. This will give you a tree view of the side bar.
Note: By default, Tree view won't include files in their view. If you also want the files to be shown in tree use this command in a terminal.

gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.sidebar-panels.tree show-only-directories true

It will give you tree view with files.

Open another nautilus window.

  • If you have nautilus opened, you can Press Ctrl+ N to open a new instance of Nautilus.

  • Or Right Click on the Home folder in Unity launcher and select "Open a new Window".

    enter image description here

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