I'm running Ubuntu 13.04 with Nautilus 3.6 and I want to edit the Nautilus Places sidebar menu (Not Bookmarks).

By default have the following items: Recent, Home, Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, Videos & Trash.

I wish:

  • Add folder to Places (Not Bookmarks).
  • Added Folder must be present in Unity QuickList (Right Click Nautilus icon in Launcher).
  • Remove Recent files (Default in Nautilus 3.6).
  • Rename Trash to another name.

how can I achieve these goals?

NOTE: I tried editing ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs file, but not luck. Is there another way to customize Nautilus Places menu?


5 Answers 5


In order to achieve that.. you should edit the Nautilus source code and the nautilus.desktop file or using another file manager that allows this, such as nemo.

NOTE: In this example I'm running ubuntu 13.04 with nautilus (files) 3.6.3.
You can test this in a virtual machine to see if everything is OK.

1) Make sure you have enable the Source code repository

  • Open the Ubuntu Software Center
  • In the Menu Bar choose Edit -> Software Sources. Click to enable "Source code repository". Just in case I use the "Main Server" to Download.

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Open a Terminal Window to update the repositories.

  • sudo apt-get update

2) In the Terminal type the following to install the necessary packages.

  • sudo apt-get install build-essential quilt

3) Install build dependencies.

  • sudo apt-get build-dep nautilus

4) Create a folder to download the source code.

  • mkdir ~/Downloads/src

  • cd ~/Downloads/src

5) Download the source code & Export variables.

  • apt-get source nautilus

  • export QUILT_PATCHES=debian/patches

  • export EDITOR=gedit

6) Create the patch and edit the source code.

  • cd nautilus-3.6.3/

  • quilt new my_custom_places.patch

  • quilt edit src/nautilus-places-sidebar.c

Custom Trash: To change the name of the Trash.You can change the strings in the lines 567 and 569.

eg: "Trash" to "Custom Trash" & "Open the trash" to "Open the Custom Trash"

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Add Folder: In this example I will add the "Test" folder in my home directory /home/virtual/Test. (change the folder according to your needs)

After the line number 562 add the following:

/* add Test directory */
mount_uri = "file:///home/virtual/Test";
icon = g_themed_icon_new (NAUTILUS_ICON_FOLDER);
add_place (sidebar, PLACES_BUILT_IN,
       _("Test"), icon, mount_uri,
       NULL, NULL, NULL, 0,
       _("Open Test folder"));
g_object_unref (icon);

enter image description here

Remove Recent Files: To remove the Recent Files from the places... delete the lines from 525 to 534.

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Save the changes.

7) Build the deb packages.

  • quilt refresh
  • fakeroot dpkg-buildpackage

8) Install the deb packages.

  • cd ..

  • sudo dpkg -i *deb

9) For system-wide..edit the nautilus.desktop file to add the folder eg:(/home/virtual/Test) in the quick list.

  • sudo nano /usr/share/applications/nautilus.desktop






[Desktop Action Test]
Exec=nautilus --new-window /home/virtual/Test


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10) Finally you can logout and Login to see the changes.


enter image description here

Hope this helps.

  • My version of nautilus is nautilus-3.10.1. In step #6 after I cd nautilus-3.10.1 and then run ls src from there I find that nautilus-places-sidebar.c is not found in the source. Where do I make the changes listed in step #6 above for nautilus 3.10.1 in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS? My goal here is to just add a directory to the places sidebar.
    – Willoczy
    May 21, 2014 at 8:20
  • would be cool, to see how this works with nautilus 3.10
    – wa4557
    Aug 10, 2014 at 12:59
  • 4
    Just curious whether this is something related to security or not...this is avery elaborate procedure for a relatively straightforward (requirement-wise not implementation) customization feature. Aug 25, 2014 at 13:40
  • @Roman Raguet Kindly update the same for Ubuntu 14.04 askubuntu.com/questions/516999/… Sep 12, 2014 at 6:15
  • After 10 years, still no way to do it without touching the source code?
    – Zorro
    Nov 19 at 12:38

I found an easy way outlined on SO.

Please follow the instructions outlined in this link - this solved the same problem I had.


gedit ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs

Remove the list you do not want. However, once you login again, it will reset, so

echo "enabled=false" > ~/.config/user-dirs.conf
  • cool! a pity is doesnt have the trash folder so I could disable it :) Mar 11, 2015 at 21:48
  • Thank you, this is a reasonable answer and works great in 14.04. This is not 1999; I'm done with recompiling my operating system just to make it work!
    – Lambart
    Aug 31, 2015 at 17:53
  • 1
    Also note that you'll need to kill and restart nautilus for these changes to take effect: pkill nautilus should do the trick.
    – Lambart
    Aug 31, 2015 at 18:09
  • I don't have a ~/.config/user-dirs.conf and I'm running 14.04. Do I create it? Oct 20, 2015 at 14:08

For nautilus of ubuntu 14.04, you will have to edit gtk3.10, the same way as stated above, as the SideBar functionality was now ported into gtk (so that the file-open dialogue sidebar and the nautilus-sidebar are not separated implementations any more)

edit /gtk/gtkplacessidebar.c

I also tried this http://pastebin.com/K4GcHrz7 in nautilus-window.c, as there is https://developer.gnome.org/gtk3/stable/GtkPlacesSidebar.html#gtk-places-sidebar-add-shortcut but get a segfault, not a good (gtk) programmer though.

  • pastebin link has been removed! Sep 12, 2014 at 6:01

On my system (Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS), the file you want is found at ~/.config/gtk-3.0/bookmarks Older versions used to keep this in ~/.gtk-bookmarks. Entries are URIs, so filepaths must be absolute and prefixed with file://.

  • 1
    This is incorrect at best. A red flag should have been thrown when you typed the file names: they share a word with what the OP explicitly stated, he does not want - Not Bookmarks. Please read the question and answers before polluting the global namespace. Jul 14, 2015 at 6:16

Just drag and drop the files to the bottom left when at a folder! (Nautilus 2.32.0)

I also posted the screenshots at gonorthwork/view for future archive reference:

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