I3/any WM: changing the GUI file manager

One habit I cannot ditch from my Mac days is using the Preview feature in a file manager, which allows me to select a file, hit Space, display a floating window featuring the whole scrollable content of that file (say, a multi-page PDF), hit Down/Up to display the next/prev file in the same floating window, etc. This is done in Nautilus + Sushi. I can also toggle-float the window and move it anywhere and Sushi will maintain the preview of any selected file. That’s neat. Too bad I loathe Nautilus for everything else. Keyboard navigation is wacky. It also refuses to accept my dark theme. Hence, it’s a terrible GUI file manager for me if not for that specific use case.
I currently only have this one GUI file manager installed. I also should mention I installed Endeavouros with i3 only, no DEs.

  • How do I change the default file manager?
  • Will consistency be guaranteed across apps (I’m thinking of Open/save dialogs in Firefox, Inkscape, Libreoffice)?
  • (bonus) How do I make Nautilus accept a GTK theme? (I tried installing Gnome-Tweaks on i3 but it won’t load.)

No, the file manager isn’t used for those dialogs.

Right. OK, I can live with that, or maybe I could look into tweaking Firefox only, eventually, if I find the keyboard navigation to be sub-standard.

If you’re willing, Nemo is only bested by Dolphin in the GUI file manager department (IMHO). Yes, it is based on Nautilus, and I haven’t used Nautilus since Gnome 3, so Nemo and Nautilus may actually be equals.

Give it a shot, maybe. See if you like it.

Or there’s Thunar… I don’t like it for my needs, but I don’t hate it either. Same for PCManFM.

As far as this is concerned, perhaps a terminal file manager, like Ranger, would be good for you. The obvious issue here though is that file open/save dialogues will default to GTK. No way around that unless you use a combination of Dolphin, qt6ct/qt5ct, and kvantum.

Thanks for the Nemo suggestion, I installed it and it immediately looks good and more useful than Nautilus. Its nemo-preview addition is inferior to Sushi, though; I might consider using both.

1 Like

I’ve recently been exposed to Krusader. I have installed both it and Konsole to my system, however when I attempt to have Krusader display the embedded terminal emulator, a dialogue box asks me to install konsole. I’m not sure how to solve this problem.

The other 2 things I’m wanting to solve is giving Krusader an icon pack to work with (I understand this requires some KDE dependencies but I’m not sure how to get these to talk to each other) and I’d like to change the toolbar colors to something other than the stock off-white coloration.

Hi @AlOfT. Welcome to the community. :wave: :enos:

Please repost your comment here in a new thread of your own, as your post is more about help for with features of a specific app, rather than file managers in general.

Sure thing. My apologies.

1 Like

Assuming you want to set default file manager to Nemo

xdg-mime default nemo.desktop inode/directory

Also, if you have any keyboard shortcuts in your i3 config, change them too.

I’m using Thunar on i3wm. Its simple, though I’ve never tried the floating preview thingy.

1 Like

Thunar has only a simple preview :

1 Like