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This is another question all about the usability of unity, which is proving to be not as easy to customise as I'd like. Using Ubuntu 14.04, When I click on the files icon, it immediately takes me to $HOME. However, I would like to set it it to, for example, $HOME/Desktop/folder. This would make my navigation much better.

  • "which is proving to be not as easy to customise as I'd like" It is a work in progress ;-) What is "files"? I do not have that in Nautilus left pane. (I assume that's why it is tagged nautilus?) – Rinzwind Apr 28 '14 at 12:41
  • 'files' is the application you launch from the sidebar (they've stopped calling it Nautilus as far as I'm aware. Hover over the icon and you'll see that's the name that comes up in 14.04). So I was wondering whether, when launched from the sidebar, you can get it to default to a particular place – Amphibio Apr 29 '14 at 7:33
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You can make your own launcher.

1) On a terminal: gedit ~/.local/share/applications/mylauncher.desktop

Then paste this into the file:

#!/usr/bin             
[Desktop Entry]
Version=1.0
Terminal=false
Type=Application
Name=Nautilus Desktop
Exec=nautilus Desktop
Icon=nautilus

2) Mark as executable: chmod +x ~/.local/share/applications/mylauncher.desktop

3) Logout and log backin.

4) Open the dash (press Super) and search nautilus. When you find it, drag it to the launcher.

Enjoy.

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To change the default directory of the Files icon:

  • Copy the default nautilus.desktop file to your local directory:

    cp /usr/share/applications/nautilus.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/nautilus.desktop
    
  • Open the file with gedit (open gedit, go to ~/.local/share/applications, drop the file on to the gedit window)

Edit the (first!) Exec= line of the file to open the alternative directory to Exec=nautilus /path/to/your/directory. However, I would prefer not to do that:

It would be better to add a directory to the nautilus ("Files") icon permanently, accesible by right-clicking the icon:

  • Copy the default nautilus.desktop file and open it with gedit like above,

  • Paste the following at the end of the file:

    [Desktop Action Desktop]
    Name=Desktop
    Exec=nautilus /home/yourname/Desktop
    OnlyShowIn=Unity;
    

Then look for the line starting with Actions=, add the name of your new mention (in this case Desktop) + ;, so the complete line should look something like Actions=Window;Desktop;

After logout / login it works.

Alternatively, you can use a quicklist editor to add or remove items to the launcher items.

Another tip Last but not least: whenever you are in a directory (in nautilus) and you add the directory as a bookmark, it will appear in the "Files" icon as well when you right-click on it.

I would not create another .desktop file (launcher) calling nautilus. Creating multiple .desktop files, calling the same application in their "native" command causes inconsistency in the way the application appears in the launcher.

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