Following the answers here I can open nautilus from terminal, but not without a litany of errors.

nautilus .
(nautilus:31126): GLib-GIO-CRITICAL **: g_dbus_interface_skeleton_unexport: assertion 'interface_->priv->connections != NULL' failed

(nautilus:31126): GLib-GIO-CRITICAL **: g_dbus_interface_skeleton_unexport: assertion 'interface_->priv->connections != NULL' failed

(nautilus:31126): Gtk-CRITICAL **: gtk_icon_theme_get_for_screen: assertion 'GDK_IS_SCREEN (screen)' failed

(nautilus:31126): GLib-GObject-WARNING **: invalid (NULL) pointer instance

(nautilus:31126): GLib-GObject-CRITICAL **: g_signal_connect_object: assertion 'G_TYPE_CHECK_INSTANCE (instance)' failed

Note that I'm running Xenial and these are a different set of errors than those reported for Trusty and Wily

  • I believe this is fine. The same thing happens with my nautilus and it doesn't seem to affect anything. Its quite possible that it does the same thing when opened from the desktop but the errors are in the background Jul 26, 2016 at 19:38
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    To restart nautilus cleanly do the following: See what nautilus processes are running ps aux | grep nautilus Kill all nautilus processes you see sudo kill PIDNUMBER Restart nautilus nautilus -q. And see if that removes the -critical- errors.
    – Rinzwind
    Jul 26, 2016 at 19:41
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    You will see those warnings when opening nautilus from a terminal while nautilus is already running. They are of no concern whatsoever. As somewhat alluded to in prior comment if you quit nautilus ,(nautilus -q) then restart from terminal you'll see no warnings
    – doug
    Jul 26, 2016 at 19:52

1 Answer 1


The answer was graciously provided in the comments. This only happens when Nautilus is already running. So the warning messages amount to nothing more than the obvious fact that nautilus can't be started because it's already been started.

To quit nautilus with nautilus -q and then to start it with nautilus . will cleanly open the current directory folder without the warning messages.

Note that this will launch the process from within the current shell which is usually undesirable because the console will hang until you kill the process with Ctrl+C which will in turn close the window. To avoid that mess, launch it as a detached process:

nautilus . &

Also note that if nautilus is already running, then there's no need to launch it as a separate process. This is why the warning messages appear with nautilus .

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    Another way to start/open nautilus from a terminal without it being 'attached' would be - gtk-launch nautilus this opens nautilus via it's .desktop file
    – doug
    Jul 26, 2016 at 22:00

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