I tried to change via dragging from the Backgrounds and Emblems window, but the icon just goes back to that window rather than changing the folder background.However, I can change the task bar by this drag-n-drop.

Probably it is something about changing ownership permission? if so how to change that?

In /home/mashruf/.gconf/apps/nautilus/preferences/%gconf.xml file it says:, Should I change this file? how?

<?xml version="1.0"?>
    <entry name="click_policy" mtime="1297597800" type="string">
    <entry name="default_folder_viewer" mtime="1297597336" type="string">
    <entry name="media_autorun_x_content_open_folder" mtime="1297534321" type="list" ltype="string">
    <entry name="media_autorun_x_content_ignore" mtime="1297534321" type="list" ltype="string">
    <entry name="media_autorun_x_content_start_app" mtime="1297534321" type="list" ltype="string">
        <li type="string">
    <entry name="start_with_location_bar" mtime="1297300028" type="bool" value="true"/>
    <entry name="side_pane_view" mtime="1297269334" type="string">
    <entry name="navigation_window_saved_maximized" mtime="1297600306" type="bool" value="false"/>
    <entry name="navigation_window_saved_geometry" mtime="1297600306" type="string">
    <entry name="sidebar_width" mtime="1297390418" type="int" value="192"/>

It sounds like there is a much easier way to achieve what you would like to do.

  • Open Nautilus
  • Right Click on a Folder
  • Click on Properties
  • Click on the Folder Icon Button (yes it's really a button!)
  • Browse to the image you would like to replace it with


are where most of the standard icons are stored

  • Select the image you would like to use

(see the images below)

On a side note. Never try to edit the gconf files by hand in the XML it's completely unnecessary and very easy to nuke your entire desktop/gnome configuration. Instead use the GUI(Graphical User Interface) tool gconf-editor. Ubuntu-Key (Super) then type in gconf and choose the Configuration Editor. It works very similar to the Windows(R)(tm)(c) registry editor (gasp).

For your third question on File Permissions you can right-click in Nautilus, Choose Properties and change the permissions under the Permissions tab. Or you can change the permissions on the command line using the chmod command see this Ubuntu Help document on File Permissions https://help.ubuntu.com/community/FilePermissions

choose Properties

Folder Properties

usr share pixmaps

icon changed Ubuntu Logo as Folder Icon


Have a look at $HOME/.gconf/apps/nautilus/preferences

  • @newcomer Update your question with the things you try, that way they don't get buried in comments. – Jorge Castro Feb 13 '11 at 22:22
  • Please have a look at my edited question.. – ruben Feb 13 '11 at 22:46
  • Hello. Nautilus has of course to set the file mentioned. Maybe the file or its path is not writeable (please check that first). – Bernard Decock Feb 14 '11 at 18:12
  • I selected the marble-background and the file was updated <entry name="background_set" mtime="1297621963" type="bool" value="true"/> <entry name="background_filename" mtime="1297621963" type="string"> <stringvalue>file:///usr/share/nautilus/patterns/purple_marble.png</stringvalue> </entry> You can eventually alter the file with a dummy-operation (using gedit or geany) and try to save the "modifications" made. If ok, then nautilus must be able to do the same thing! – Bernard Decock Feb 14 '11 at 18:19

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