3 New Features Coming to Nautilus

nautilus logo

The release of GNOME 3.26 later this year is likely to bring a sizeable set of changes to the desktop, including new features for Nautilus.

Yes, GNOME’s default file manager app, which also goes by the more frugal name of ‘Files’, could arrive with some souped up features under the hood.

In this post we’ll show you three Nautilus features in development that might, if you cross everything tightly enough, squeak into the Nautilus 3.26 release in the autumn.

Nautilus Tags

GNOME developer Alexandru Pandelea is working on color-coded Nautilus tags as part of this year’s Google Summer of Code.

Tags let you mark your files and folders with a specific project name or term. The idea is that you can then, easily, find those files by searching or filtering for the tag, regardless of where the files are located on your system.

It’s faster and less rigid than moving files into specifics folders or creating endless symlinks.

At the time of writing the Nautilus tags work is very much in progress. There’s no user-facing way to browse or find tagged folders in Nautilus, but, as you can see in the video from WOGUE above, the tag creation side of things is up and running in a development branch.

No guarantees that this feature will make it into Nautilus in time for 3.26 — or possibly beyond. Prominent GNOME design Jakub Steiner says he is “lukewarm towards building a user facing ‘metadata management’ UI in a file browser”.

Full Text Search (FTS)

Not content at creating contextual links between files Alexander is also busy improving Nautilus search by taking advantage of features in Tracker, an open-source file indexing tool.

He’s working to bring full text search (FTS) to Nautilus.

“Now, if the user chooses so, the search results will no longer include only matches with the file name, but also with the contents of the file. Also, to be more relevant, a short snippet with the context in which the text was found is offered,” he explains on his blog.

The work in progress video clip above will give you a better idea of how full text search in Nautilus works.

Nautilus Restore Tab

Ever closed a browser tab by accident? I think we all have. But most modern browsers make it easy to restore a closed tab rather than making us navigate to the web page again.

And that tab restore functionality is headed to Nautilus.

Nautilus will store a small history of the tabs you’re using so that it can, if needed, quickly re-open them again, right where you were.

Explaining more, Alexandru says the file manager will “…store the history, the view before search, in case the closed tab is a search, so that we know what was the view type before searching and last but not least, the location which was closed.

As in a web browser you’ll be able to reopen closed tabs in Nautilus by pressing Ctrl + Shift + T.