Running Nautilus 3.10.1 on a DE-less install of Ubuntu 14.04. Running Nautilus as my regular user account, I can't even set the "show folders before files" option in Preferences - as soon as I toggle the checkbox, the checkmark disappears again. Running Nautilus as root, I can toggle the checkbox just fine but it's toggled back off when I switch between list and grid view. What's the deal with that, and how do I make that option stay enabled?

  • What do you mean by "DE-less"? I'm betting that is part of the trouble. – Seth Jul 15 '14 at 4:28
  • what is DE-less ?? – Rahul V Sharma Jul 15 '14 at 4:41
  • Presumably OP installed components manually instead of using something like ubuntu-desktop. – muru Jul 15 '14 at 4:43
  • DE is for desktop environment. I kind of got disgusted with GUIs and built a minimal system from a 30MB Trusty mini.iso. I'ma startin' ma X with startx into a very light tiling window manager (xmonad). nautilus has always been a sport, very convenient when you need a quick graphical file manager, but I didn't expect it'd depend on Gnome's infrastructure to remember its own settings. What do I need to do to make it behave? – avramov Jul 15 '14 at 9:28

This worked for me on Ubuntu 16.04:

dconf write /org/gnome/nautilus/preferences/sort-directories-first true

Looking at the terminal output for gedit (which also showed similar behavior), I noticed this error:

(gedit:12801): dconf-WARNING **: failed to commit changes to dconf: 
Failed to create file '/home/username/.config/dconf/user.FV01IX': Permission denied

Turns out ~/.config/dconf was owned by root. Chowned it back to username:username and everything's fixed now.

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