Configuring the CentOS 6 Nautilus File Manager

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In the previous chapter of CentOS 6 Essentials we looked at some of the capabilities of the Nautilus file and folder manager in the context of CentOS 6. Nautilus also provides a number of options that may be used to configure both what information is displayed and how it is displayed. In this chapter we will explore some of these options in detail.




Displaying Icons or Lists

By default, the Nautilus file manager displays items as icons, as illustrated in the following figure. Whilst this is a user friendly and intuitive way to present information more detail is often required.

Nautilus also provides the option to display files and folders in list form instead of using icons. This format allows additional information such as file size and last access time to be displayed. This particualr setting is controlled through the View menu. Changing the View display option to List will cause the files and folders to be displayed in list form. As shown in the following figure, this allows additional information about each item to be displayed:


CentOS 6 File Manager in List mode


Configuring the List View

The List view may be further configured to specify which data fields are displayed. In the above figure only the name, Size, Type and Date Modified columns are displayed. These fields are configured via the List Columns page of the File Manager Preferences dialog, accessed via the file manager's Edit->Preferences menu option:

Configuring CentOS 6 file manager list columns


Set the checkboxes next to the columns to be displayed, or move columns to different locations using the Move Up and Move Down buttons. Close the preferences dialog when the configuration changes are complete.


Configuring the Icon View

If you prefer the Icon view to the List view in the Nautilus File Manager windows it may be useful to know that the way icons are displayed can also be configured. As with previous settings described in this chapter, these adjustments are made via the Preferences dialog of the Nautilus manager, this time using the Views tab:


The View Preferences panel of the CentOS 6 file manager


The size of the icons can be changed using the Default zoom level selection box. The following figure shows the icons at 66% zoom:


CentOS 6 File Manager icons at 66% zoom


It is also possible to zoom in and out in real-time by pressing the Ctrl and + keys simultaneously (to zoom in) and the Ctrl and - keys to zoom out.

The option is also provided to define how the captions beneath an icon appear at different zoom levels. These settings are controlled from the Display page of the Preferences dialog:


CentOS 6 File Manager Display Preferences


The three selection menus specify what is to be displayed at each zoom level. Configure these to your requirements. The following figure shows a folder with three captions at maximum zoom:


Zoomed CentOS 6 File Manager icons with captions enabled


In addition, the icons can be used to preview the content in a file. For example, the first few words of a text file can be displayed on an icon, or in the case of an image a thumbnail of the image. These settings are controlled via the Preview page of the Preferences dialog:


The CentOS 6 Preview Preferences Panel


For each thumbnail category you can elect to show thumbnails for all files, local files only (thereby excluding files in a network server) or for no files.

Configuring Media Settings

The final tab in the File Manager Preferences dialog controls how the desktop behaves when a new media item or device is detected on the system. For example, when a DVD is placed into a DVD drive, should the desktop do nothing, ask the user for direction or start up a DVD playing application so that the user can view the movie. As illustrated in the following figure, settings are available for just about every conceivable media type, with individual behavior settings for each one:


The Centos 6 File Manager Media Preferences Panel


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Browsing the System, Files and Folders on the CentOS 6 DesktopUsing the Bash Shell on CentOS 6