GNOME Devs Bring Back Nautilus’ Expandable Folder View

A few familiar new features are on offer in the latest development release of the Nautilus file manager.

With the GNOME 44 release cycle now underway, devs have issued a new bleeding-edge build of Nautilus (or Files, as we’re supposed to call it).

And two “new” additions stand out in particular.

First up, expandable folders.

This is a new option available in the Preferences panel, and it brings back Nautilus’ much-missed tree view. When enabled (it’s not turned on by default you’ll be able to expand folders, subfolders, sub-sub folders, and so on when using the List View:

Tree view in Nautilus 44 (Alpha)
Tree view in Nautilus 44 (Alpha)

Secondly, this alpha build of Nautilus brings back the 64px icon size in grid view. Don’t pretend you do don’t care; this minor sounding revival will please those who (myself included) missed the “goldilocks” icon size in Nautilus grid view.

Zoom out from the “too large” setting, or zoom in from the “too small” setting, to get a set of icon thumbnails that are just right.

These and other additions in the Nautilus 44 Alpha:

  • Expanding subfolders in list view
  • More options in tab context menus
  • Paste image data into new PNG file
  • Use pre-generated thumbnails when available
  • New shortcut to open Nautilus preferences
  • Show full filename in grid, using tooltips
  • Reintroduce 64px icon size for grid view
  • Remove upper limit on thumbnailing file size range

A bunch of bug fixes are on offered, seeing memory leaks plugged, and issues with drag-and-drop, auto-run and other issues resolved. Additionally, the file manager now saves and restores sort columns once set, and no longer lets you hide the ‘file name’ column.

Want to try the Nautilus alpha out yourself? You can do it easily on any Linux distribution that has Flatpak enabled. Add the GNOME Nightly remote then install org.gnome.NautilusDevel. Nightly build can be used side-by-side with stable versions.

It should go without saying, but for the sake of hitting 250 words I’ll say it anyway:

Nightly builds of GNOME applications (and anything in general) should not be considered stable, finished, reliable, etc. Expect bugs, missing functionality, and broken features. Never take anything you see as final as, with development in flux, things can, do, and will change.