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I'm looking for an application/service that provides a usable desktop (icons, etc.) and takes its directory from ~/Desktop (running a custom Ubuntu installation where Nautilus was broken and so removed). Any suggestions are welcome.

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    Do you need a nautilus replacement, such as a file browser, or do you need something to search for installed programs like the Unity dash?
    – mchid
    May 24, 2014 at 1:28
  • I'm looking for a replacement to Nautilus. It crashed and burned, and I've been working without a desktop for about 3 days. May 24, 2014 at 1:29

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My personal favorite alternative to Nautilus is "thunar"

sudo apt-get install thunar

Use thunar to start it up.

The following is from webupd8.org titled "install nemo with unity patches"

Warning: do not use the following PPA if you're using Linux Mint or you've installed Cinnamon from the stable or nightly PPAs! Also, if you've added one of these two PPAs, remove it before using the WebUpd8 Nemo PPA even if you didn't install Cinnamon, or else the Nemo version in the WebUpd8 Nemo PPA might be overwritten.

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

By default, Nemo only displays thumbnails for files smaller than 1 MB. To change this, from the Nemo menu select Edit > Preferences and on the "Preview" tab, under "Other Previewable Files", set "Only for files smaller than" to the size you want.

To install all the Nemo extensions (remove the extensions you don't want to use from the command below!) use the following command:

sudo apt-get install nemo-compare nemo-dropbox nemo-media-columns nemo-pastebin nemo-seahorse nemo-share

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