Summary: How to set Run in Terminal as the default Nautilus doubleclick action?

I wish to run an interactive script by doubleclicking it. To interact with it, I have to see it run.

If I gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.preferences executable-text-activation to ask, then it gives me a choice; Run in Terminal does what I want; Run doesn't, since when the script needs to ask me something, it just hangs. However, I don't want to have to click the Run in Terminal every time. I want it to do that by default. I've done it before somehow.

I tried to gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.preferences executable-text-activation to launch; however, that simply does Run as the default; I don't see a way to make it Run in Terminal by default.

I have also tried inserting a gnome-terminal command. This successfully pops up a terminal window (even when simply Run); however, I then somehow need to send all the commands to that terminal window.

Alternatively, I know how to send (just) the interactive portion of the script to that terminal, which would work for me; however, in that case I need the script to halt until the interactive portion of it finishes, and then resume the execution. Typically, this can be accomplished using the wait command; as is, the gnome-terminal command seems to work as gnome-terminal& instead, in that it relinquishes control to the bash script as soon as it is launched.

I've read through almost 10 duplicates of the thread How do I run executable scripts in Nautilus? (including other sites), and still cannot find my answer. Any other workarounds will be appreciated.

  • Simply change your script to use zenity or yad to prompt in GUI format. If you are unsure post your script contents in a "how do I"... question and some one will modify it for you in an answer. Mar 31, 2017 at 17:11
  • Can't do that... the interactive portion involves a LaTeX compiler-- so any output errors get output to the command line, and can't be routed to zenity. Don't have yad on my system.
    – Alex
    Mar 31, 2017 at 17:15
  • @WinEunuuchs2Unix Zenity isn't always the solution. Nor is a GUI. There are sometimes very good reasons to keep things in a console.
    – Kaz Wolfe
    Mar 31, 2017 at 17:26
  • @KazWolfe At this point, though, I'd be willing to accept even a not-so-good solution (that doesn't involve having multiple script files)-- but haven't found one yet.
    – Alex
    Mar 31, 2017 at 17:42
  • You can redirect LaTex errors to a file and call gedit to display the file when the compiler is finished. Mar 31, 2017 at 19:39

3 Answers 3


Not literally what you asked for, still an elegant option I believe:

Add a right-click option to run a selected script in terminal

  1. Create a small script:

    gnome-terminal -e $1 
  2. Save it as run_interminal.sh in ~/.local/share/nautilus/scripts. Create the directory if it doesn't exist.

  3. Make the script executable.
  4. Log out and back in.

That's it. Select a script and choose Scripts --> runinterminal.sh:

enter image description here

Alternatively; drag/drop- run in terminal

Drag an (executable) script over a launcher to have it run in the terminal:

  1. Copy the code below into an empty file and save it on your desktop as run_script.desktop

    [Desktop Entry]
    Name=Run Script
    Exec=gnome-terminal -e %u
  2. Make it executable

That's it. Now when dragging an executable script on to the icon, it will run in (gnome-) terminal.

Important note

As mentioned, the script run_interminal.sh needs to be executable to appear in the menu.
As it is, the script to run also needs to be executable. run_interminal.sh can easily be set to automatically make the targeted script executable or call an interpreter. If that is needed, please mention.

  • EDIT: See comment below.
    – Alex
    Mar 31, 2017 at 18:10
  • @Alex did you log out/in and is the script run.sh executable? I assume the latter is the issue. Mar 31, 2017 at 18:11
  • Missed the logout/login part of it. Thanks, this worked!
    – Alex
    Mar 31, 2017 at 18:13
  • @Alex Ah, great :) Mar 31, 2017 at 18:16

This solution should works for every:

  • file managers that support "configurable personal actions".

  • file managers that is configured to open files with double-click.

  • x terminal emulators that has options for executing: "-e" or "--execute".

  • script that have the permission to be executable.


Tested with thunar file manager and after that, i installed nautilus and now double-click execute script for both.

1- Right-click on your script

2- Select "open with"

3- Click "open with other application"

4- Click "open with a command"

5- Check "use this action for this kind of file"

6- Enter the following command in the text area: x-terminal-emulator -e "/bin/bash %f"

7- Click Open,your script is executed in the terminal window.

8- Restart your file manager

Now evey time you double-click on a script,it will be executed.

  • I had tried that before posting... there is no option to click "open with a command"(4). I'd even gone into Nautilus settings-- the option to "Add another application to the list" is grayed out. I suspect I need to do sudo Naulilus in order to add an application to the list-- but this fails with dconf-shm.c:92:dconf_shm_open: assertiion failed: (memory != MAP_FAILED). Any way to go around this? Maybe add this application via command line?
    – Alex
    Mar 31, 2017 at 17:34
  • i haven't done anything to nautilus,just double-click,it just works after configuring thunar,some data had been shared,because now nautilus is configured like thunar.Strange but true.
    – user-707
    Mar 31, 2017 at 17:42
  • See my edit above.
    – user-707
    Mar 31, 2017 at 17:45
  • As I said, I'd be willing to accept this answer if it works-- but there is no option for me to add a new command to the existing list of commands: Abiword, Archive Manager, Document Viewer, File, GEdit, Gnash SWF Viewer, GNU IMP, Gnumeric, Image Viewer, Movie Player, Web I don't have Thunar installed. Are there other file managers that I should try? Or other ways to get this in the list, or somehow unblocking Nautlius?
    – Alex
    Mar 31, 2017 at 17:45
  • You don't want to install thunar?
    – user-707
    Mar 31, 2017 at 17:48

Found the short solution to the question. Adding --disable-factory to the gnome-terminal options makes it wait for the terminal to finish, before continuing the rest of the script.

  • You need one more parameter --disable-fedora and then come join us in UbuntuLand :) Apr 1, 2017 at 1:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.