How can I copy the attributes of the pictures folder so that I can view thumbnails of pictures on, for example, network drives?


This is just a setting in Nautilus. The default setting are designed to improve network performance. However, you can change Nautilus to display preview thumbnails of remote image files...

  1. Open Nautilus
  2. From the menubar, select Edit
  3. Select Preferences
  4. In the File Preferences dialog, Click on the Preview tab
  5. From the Files drop down, make sure "Always" is selected, instead of "Local Files Only"
  6. Optional: You might want to change the maximum file size that thumbnail previews are shown for

enter image description here

Update for Ubuntu 20.04 (Nautilus 3.36)

  1. Click the menu button in the header bar
  2. Click "Preferences"
  3. The "Preferences" dialog will appear
  4. Click the "Search & Preview" tab
  5. In the "Thumbnails" section, select "All files" radio button
  6. Optionally select the file size to generate thumbnails for, using the "Only for files smaller than" spinner.
  7. Close the "Preferences" dialog

Preferences Dialog in Ubuntu 20.04

  • This solution no longer works in Ubuntu 20.04. There is no Edit menu. – Anachronist Feb 15 at 22:18
  • 1
    Updated with instructions for Ubuntu 20.04. – PJ Singh Feb 15 at 23:45
  • Thanks, that works. – Anachronist Feb 19 at 19:33

I couldn't find the "edit" menu from PJ Singh's answer, but adapting it to the command line worked for me:

dconf write /org/gnome/nautilus/preferences/show-image-thumbnails '"always"'

Note the double quoting: it seems dconf wants a quoted string. To find the appropriate setting and to set it you can also use the dconf-editor GUI.

  • The Edit menu no longer appears in Nautilus in Ubuntu 20.04. The commandline worked. I upvoted this solution. – Anachronist Feb 15 at 22:17

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