I would like to have the nautilus background color different if the current folder is being managed by git (i.e., if there is a .git directory in it). Any ideas how to do that? Ideal solution would work for all nautilus views (list view & compact view, not just icon view). I've looked at "gnome color chooser" and at the "window rules" module of ccsm, to no avail. I'm running 10.04, gnome2, ccsm.

  • In the absence of an answer that does what I'm asking, I would also accept an answer saying "here's how to do it in [unity, mint/cinnamon,etc]."
    – drammock
    Feb 8, 2013 at 4:44

1 Answer 1


Note: These steps won't work for GTK-2.0, which I think Ubuntu 10.04 uses.

Here is how to change the background color of nautilus in general (for GTK-3.0):

  1. Find the location of your theme. For me it was /usr/share/themes/Ambiance
  2. It is better to copy this folder in ~/.themes and then make changes to it, rather than making changes in the original location.
  3. Look for gtk-3.0/apps/nautilus.css in the Ambiance folder.
  4. Add these lines at the top of the file:

    NautilusWindow * {background-color: gray;}

  5. Restart nautilus, using nautilus -q command to quit nautilus.

  6. You will notice that the background color of browser area changes to gray.

Coming back to your original question, I don't think it's possible to theme nautilus based on location because, changing theme requires nautilus to be restarted. (If you are OK with restarting of nautilus, I guess then someone can write a script which can play with css, based on current browser location. But again, I'm not too sure of that.)

  • +1: useful information, but not a solution unfortunately.
    – drammock
    Feb 19, 2013 at 22:49

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