I recently installed mpd-gnome which among other things adds a nautilus extension nautilus-mpd.py. This extension does not seem to be working so I decided to run nautilus from the command line to see if it threw up some kind of error regarding the extension. Unfortunately as soon as I attempted this nautilus forked to the background or something.

How can I see exactly why my extension isn't work?

  • Is there a file in your home folder called nautilus-debug-log.txt? Commented Sep 2, 2010 at 2:37
  • On a standard install Nautilus is always running in the background (and will be restarted automaticly by gnome-session if you try to kill it). Because of that, the nautilus you start just tells the existing nautilus process to open a new window and then exits, returning you to the commandline.
    – JanC
    Commented Sep 2, 2010 at 8:26

3 Answers 3


I recall I was able to run nautilus from a terminal when debugging extensions myself; if you kill and then immediately restart nautilus, you should have it running from the command line:

nautilus -q && nautilus ~/

I was able to confirm that this works on Lucid. Note that passing in some directory when launching nautilus is important, otherwise it will fork off in the background.

  • Using --browser instead of some directory probably works too.
    – JanC
    Commented Sep 3, 2010 at 10:52

If you want nautilus to stop permanently, open up gconf-editor and set /desktop/gnome/session/required_components_list to windowmanager,panel (removing "filemanager"). Then log out and back in.

To restore previous behavior, change the gconf key back to windowmanager,panel,filemanager.


From my experience the best way to debug a Nautilus extension is using Python's logging module to log stuff to a file. So you could do something like this

from gi.repository import Nautilus, GObject
import logging

class MyExtension(GObject.GObject, Nautilus.MenuProvider):
        def __init__(self):
                        format='%(asctime)s,%(msecs)d %(name)s %(levelname)s %(message)s',

And then throw logging.info()s around in your code.

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