I'm looking for a file manager that shows the content of a readme file when I open a folder, like on github. Is that possible to do?

Edit: I know that they are just text files that I can open like any text file. But I want it to open in for example a box at the bottom of nautilus for easy viewing when I navigat to a folder.

  • This is far too specific. A normal file manager will never have these functions. GitHub isn't actually a 'file manager', it's just a front end to view into a github repository and view files. It on its own is not actually a file manager as a computer / Linux distro would have.
    – Thomas Ward
    May 13, 2015 at 17:42
  • Well, I never suggested that github is a file manager, but I want a file manager with the same feature that views the readme file. Pretty specific but can't see why it can't be done. May 14, 2015 at 17:56
  • Because it wraps multiple different software into one to do what you ask. No file manager exists in Ubuntu or that I'm aware of that has those features usable side by side or integrateable. Answers from others seem to suggest this as well. Your feature needs are just too specific and thus nothing exists that does this.
    – Thomas Ward
    May 14, 2015 at 23:10

4 Answers 4


This requirement is too specific. You will not find this option in a normal file manager.

As workaround, you could start your filemanager with a script like this, but that has nothing to do with comfort:

nano /usr/local/bin/openloc

Add the following lines



"$openwith" "$searchpath/README" &

xdg-open "$searchpath"

» I use gedit, because README is normally not associated with a standard program.

Make the script executable:

chmod +x /usr/local/bin/openloc

And start with:

openloc "$HOME/src/myproject"

You can create desktop files for different directories.


I don't think there is a file manager that would do what you want if you don't count apps like Midnight Commander which can be configured to show contents of any file in a side panel. From what you describe, you want the readme file in current directory shown no matter which file in that directory is currently active. Additionally, if you are talking GitHub, you probably also mean Markdown files. However, existing Ubuntu, Kubuntu file managers can be extended with plugins. For instance for Nautilus check out https://wiki.gnome.org/Projects/NautilusPython

You could write a python plugin that would do what you want. You could imagine using one of existing markdown parsers in the process as well.


I agree that this is a useful feature.


ReadMe files are just plain text files and can be opened in gedit or similar text editors. You can also try sushi which is a previewer for nautilus.

In addition, you can even view the contents of readme files in the terminal by:

cat path/to/your/readme/file

  • Yeah, I know that, but I want it to show up in for example nautilus like on github. May 13, 2015 at 12:01
  • how about sushi?
    – Ron
    May 13, 2015 at 12:01
  • Sushi still require 'a lot' of manualy work, I want it to show just the readme and automatic on opening of the folder. May 13, 2015 at 12:12

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