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Is it possible to make Thunar my default file manager in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS?

I've installed Thunar and I must say there's really visible performance difference compared to gnome-shell default manager.

How can I make this my preferred file manager?

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  • Open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+t).
  • Run the following command:

    exo-preferred-applications
    
  • Next, go to Utilities > Default File Manager, and choose the file manager that you want to use as your default.

    enter image description here

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  • Worked like a charm in 12.04. Thanks – Yousuf Memon Jan 31 '14 at 13:31
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    Doesn't work in 15.04. I have both Thunar and Nautilus installed. – mxdsp Oct 11 '15 at 15:58
  • This works in Ubuntu Gnome 16.04 as well. – Chris Oct 31 '16 at 19:00
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    This is not working in my 16.04. Nautilus gets invoked. – H2ONaCl Feb 22 '18 at 0:24
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The setting from Kevin Bowen's answer is not enough for all scenarios:

~$ xdg-mime query default inode/directory
nautilus-folder-handler.desktop

So applications using xdg (or another interface to .desktop files) to open directories will still use Nautilus. Run this¹ to change to Thunar:

xdg-mime default Thunar.desktop inode/directory

Note bene: using gio mime seems to be equivalent.


  1. On some versions of Ubuntu, the file may be called thunar.desktop.
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  • @Flimm I'm reverting your edit since I can't confirm thunar.desktop exists; it's definitely called Thunar.desktop on my 18.04 machine. I'll include a note to try the other spelling, though, and revisit for 20.04. – Raphael Aug 3 '20 at 5:14
  • @Flimm On 20.04, both exists. Huh. – Raphael Aug 3 '20 at 17:15
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By the way you need to open it just one time, after that it would be Default File Manager for you.

However, you can change the default file manager and also restore to previous one, check the link: Default File Manager Official Documentation

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