On ubuntu 14.04 LTS, sometimes my computer fails to launch Nautilus. This always happens when I have been working on it for a while (maybe after suspending and waking it again?), never when I just turned it on. I suspect this is related to gvfs filesystems mounted regularly and then left alone for a while. nautilus -q and similar commands give

Could not register the application: Timeout was reached

whereas sudo nautilus does launch it.

This sounds related, but I don't understand the solution.

Logging out and back in solves the problem.

I know that other people have had the same problem in the past. I do think this is a serious issue. I reinstalled ubuntu recently (for other reasons) and the problem is still there. Might be worth mentioning that I have nautilus-dropbox installed.

  • Have you tried the nemo file manager yet? (it's a fork of nautilus which has a lot more features with less of the head-aches)
    – Fabby
    May 18, 2015 at 21:14
  • No, I never tried it. I may, but still, I think this is a serious issue.
    – Martino
    May 19, 2015 at 10:47
  • 1
    Could you try? I've been using nemo using these installation instructions and have never had any problems since. If you want to find out exactly what is wrong with Nautilus, we'll have to take this up in chat as finding the exact problem might take a while. For starters: does this happen in the guest session too?
    – Fabby
    May 19, 2015 at 13:15
  • Do you use Samba? If not, you may try to remove it.
    – Smile4ever
    May 25, 2015 at 7:39
  • 1
    @Fabby Based on further testing on my question here Using nemo would seem to be an effective workaround/answer why not write it up?
    – Elder Geek
    Apr 30, 2017 at 16:56

5 Answers 5


I had the same problem this morning! For no apparent reason.

I manage to restart nautilus by

killall nautilus
nautilus -q

I'm trying to figure out what caused the mysterious failure.


Yes, it is problably gvfs related.

The problem is this bug: gvfs should unmount remote mounts on network disconnect

Running this should allow you to use nautilus again.

gvfs-mount -s sftp & gvfs-mount -s smb & gvfs-mount -s ftp

Can take a few seconds to work

You can run it automatically. You have to write a script and save it as:



case "$1" in
    # executed on suspend
    gvfs-mount -s sftp & gvfs-mount -s smb & gvfs-mount -s ftp
    # executed on resume


sudo chmod +x /etc/pm/sleep.d/20-gvfs
  • I suppose this is only a temporary solution to the problem? It's ok if it is.
    – Martino
    May 24, 2015 at 9:44
  • Yes, it si temporary May 24, 2015 at 23:28
  • I tried installing nscd as suggested in the ubuntuforums page I linked. Since the problem only appears from time to time, it'll be hard to check whether this helps. If not, I'll try your solution. Thanks.
    – Martino
    May 25, 2015 at 10:33
  • I tried this on an Ubuntu 14.04 system under heavy load, sadly this didn't apply for me. (No gvfs remote mounts) although I get the same error. Any ideas?
    – Elder Geek
    Apr 30, 2017 at 17:02

killall nautilus didn't work for me.

I ran :

ps aux |grep nautilus

To list all the process containing nautilus

And I stopped them by using the following command:

kill -9 <PID>

killall nautilus didn't work for me.

It was rabbitvcs for me. I kill it by using ps aux|grep rabbit and then kill -9 <pid>

It was the rabbitvcs service that stuck the nautilus from time to time.


You just need to run the following commands

  1. killall nautilus
  2. Open a new terminal and run nautilus

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