How To Speed Up The Nautilus File Browser

By | 2007/03/05

I ran across a few settings the other day that can help speed up your Nautilus file browser within gnome. This would work for those of you on older machines, of even those that want to get a little more out of your newer machines. My production machines are all about three years old so these few settings pull a little speed out of them. Yes, I know it should be time for me to get a new machine but since I use Ubuntu it still runs as well as it did the day I bought it!

Here are a few things you can configure to speed up Nautilus. First you’ll need to open a Nautilus browser by selecting Places > Home or by opening any other folder that you have available. You’ll then want to navigate to Edit > Preferences and look for the Preview tab.

Show Text In Icons: This setting can be moved to Never which will speed things up by not trying to show a preview of text in the file icons.

Show Thumbnails: This setting can be moved to Never as well, the result of which will tell Nautilus not to show preview thumbnails of images.

Preview Sound Files: This is a setting that I enjoy keeping on, but it can slow things down as well. Setting this to Never will not play any audio previews on mouse-over.

Count Number of Items: This setting will no longer count the number of items in a folder. Again opening up resources for other processes and more responsiveness.

Any other tips on speeding up Nautilus?

14 thoughts on “How To Speed Up The Nautilus File Browser

  1. aguafuertes

    Exactly, why “should” you buy a new machine – if it does what you need, there you go.

    Running Ubuntu (and a very basic XP installation) on a five year old laptop here, and things are fine 😉

  2. sam

    I’ve never had sound preview work for me. What gives?

  3. Luke Hoersten

    I’ve never had sound preview work either. Is some library needed? I use totem and I have all the weird extra gstreamer libs installed.

  4. Ubuntu Tutorials

    sam / Luke – install the mpg321 package for audio preview. I just realize I’ve never blogged that little tidbit. I’m on it!

  5. Lyosha

    Nautilus uses mpg123 and ogg123 (in vorbis-tools) to play the previews for mp3’s and ogg’s

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  7. abstract

    Step 1: Install and use Thunar. It’s so much lighter and faster than Nautilus, its almost night and day.

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  9. tatare

    Thanks for the tips ! Nautilus is indeed a lot faster !! 🙂 Thanks !

  10. visitor

    I am looking for a way to edit the default places that show up on the left nautilus pane as well as in the file selection dialogs used by applications. There are entries for unused partitions there that are driving me crazy.

    Where is the config file for all that?


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  12. cesar

    hello.. everybody,,,i just want to thank all and each of you for all this ,,
    it is really helpfull…

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