Ubuntu 13.04 have fully absent compact mode. Nautilus allows only icon view and list view.

List view isn't the same as compact mode - well, it's easy to switch off unneeded columns, but what about multicolumn files display?

Is it possible to return habitual compact mode back?

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    Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! Your question was "too open". You should ask for one problem at time, create many question as problems do you have. – Lucio Apr 25 '13 at 17:40
  • Is 'habitual compact mode' what you had in earlier versions? – belacqua Apr 25 '13 at 17:41
  • Could you add a screen-shoot? You can upload it in Imgur and link it into your question. It would be great if you can show us how do you have now and do you want to get it with images. – Lucio Apr 25 '13 at 17:41

You can try the Marlin file browser instead of Nautilus, it looks a lot like Nautilus but with lots of improvements and functions that have been dropped in Nautilus 3.6.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:marlin-devs/marlin-daily
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install marlin

Learn more here (with screenshots): http://www.noobslab.com/2012/09/install-marlin-file-browser-in-ubuntu.html


Unfortunately, there were a bunch of features removed by the developers of Nautilus with version 3.6, which is included by default in Ubuntu 13.04. Among those was the "compact view". Now only the regular icon view and the list view are available. To my knowledge there is no way to re-enable it, short of changing the code and compiling Nautilus yourself (well beyond my own ability).

The "bug" showing where compact mode was removed

Discussion on the GNOME mailing list

Edit: One way to get the feature back is to downgrade Nautilus. The easiest way to do so is to add a PPA managed by webupd8.org, which will install a patched version of the older Nautilus 3.4.

Run these commands in a terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/experiments
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
killall nautilus

For a full description of the patched version (and how to remove it), see here: http://www.webupd8.org/2013/04/get-nautilus-34-features-back-in-ubuntu.html

N.B.: The instructions contain a warning, namely that if the dist-upgrade command attempts to remove packages, there is a problem and you should not continue. Otherwise things should be fine.

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    This is such a shame. Why do software developers think that feature removal = progress? – generic_user Apr 29 '13 at 6:20

For Ubuntu 13.10 the PPA webupd8team/experiments does not work any more, however it is possible to install nemo from webupd8team/nemo, which works even better. The full description may be found at http://www.webupd8.org/2013/10/install-nemo-with-unity-patches-and.html. The installation commands in terminal are:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/nemo
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nemo nemo-fileroller

Doesnt really answer your question but at least that made it a but more bearable for me:

You can go to View => Icons, then hold your CTRL key and mousewheel down. For my machine that "zooms out" and the view you get is similar to the old compact mode. Icons become smaller,the whole thing is more compact. You can disable columns, and the view you get at least fits some things on your screen again. No multicolumn file browsing though :(

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