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Nemo is a fork of GNOME Files. It is also the default file manager of the Cinnamon desktop. Nemo is based on the Files 3.4 code. It was created as a response to the changes in Files 3.6 which saw features such as type ahead find and split pane view removed.


Install nemo from the official repositories.


Some programs can add extra functionality to Nemo. Here are a few packages that do just that:

  • Nemo File Roller — File archiver extension for Nemo. || nemo-fileroller
  • Nemo Compare — An utility which compares two files using meld. || nemo-compareAUR
  • Nemo Preview — GtkClutter and Javascript-based quick previewer for Nemo. || nemo-preview
  • Nemo Seahorse — PGP encryption and signing extension for Nemo. || nemo-seahorse
  • Nemo Share — Samba extension for Nemo. || nemo-share
  • Nemo Terminal — Embedded terminal window for Nemo || nemo-terminal
  • RabbitVCS Nemo — Integrate RabbitVCS into Nemo. || rabbitvcs-nemoAUR

See AUR and nemo-extensions github repo for all extensions.


Nemo is simple to configure graphically but not all options are in the preferences screen in Nemo. More options are available in the dconf-editor under org.nemo. To set Nemo as the default file browser, see Xdg-open#Set the default file-browser[broken link: invalid section].

Show / hide desktop icons

To enable/disable desktop icons rendering feature in nemo, change the following setting true or false (false to hide, true to show):

$ gsettings set org.nemo.desktop show-desktop-icons false

This fixes the console warning WARNING **: Can not determine workarea, guessing at layout for tiling window managers (such as i3).

Change application for "Open in terminal" context menu entry

gnome-terminal is set as the default, if it is not installed this feature will not work.

Alternatively, change the default setting with gsettings to the preferred terminal application.

$ gsettings set org.cinnamon.desktop.default-applications.terminal exec <terminal-name>

Tips and tricks

Nemo Actions

Nemo allows the user to add new entries to the context menu. The file /usr/share/nemo/actions/sample.nemo_action contains an example of a Nemo action. Directories to place custom action files:

  • /usr/share/nemo/actions/ for system-wide actions
  • ~/.local/share/nemo/actions/ for user actions

Action files must have the .nemo_action file extension.

Clam Scan

[Nemo Action]
Name=Clam Scan
Comment=Clam Scan

Exec=gnome-terminal -x sh -c "clamscan -r %F | less"




Moving files

[Nemo Action]
Name=Archive %N
Comment=Archiving %N will add .archive to the object.
Exec=< %F>
#! /usr/bin/python2 -OOt
import sys
import os
import shutil

filename = sys.argv[0]
print "Running " + filename
print "With the following arguments:"
for arg in sys.argv:
    if filename == arg:
        print arg
        #os.rename('%s','%s.archive') % (arg,arg)
        shutil.move(arg, arg+".archive")

Meld compare

[Nemo Action]
Name=Compare later
Comment=Save file for comparison later.
Exec=< save %F>
[Nemo Action]
Name=Compare with saved element
Comment=Compare %F saved file or directory.
Exec=< compare %F>
if [ "$1" == "save" ]; then
	echo "$2" > "$savedfile"
	"$comparator" $(cat "$savedfile") "$2"

Filenames containing spaces

By default, Nemo does not escape filenames. This means that actions for multiple files with some names containing spaces are broken. To fix this, use Quote=double.


Thumbnail generation errors shown in the console

By default, nemo does not generate thumbnails for certain video files due to licensing or patent problems (AVC encoded mp4 and mkv files for example). As such, you might see errors similar to the following in the console:

CinnamonDesktop-WARNING **: Error creating thumbnail for file:///home/username/video.mp4: Unrecognized image file format 

for mp4 and other video files.

To fix this, ensure that you have a thumbnailer for video files installed - see File manager functionality#Thumbnail previews - and also ensure you have the necessary GStreamer packages installed that will allow the video file to be played.

Tip: Once thumbnail generation for video files is working, you can use nemo-preview to preview video files.

Desktop icons not shown

Since Nero v3.4.2, the desktop is managed by `nemo-desktop`. This can be configured to auto start by copying the file /usr/share/applications/nemo-autostart.desktop to ~/.config/autostart/nemo-autostart.desktop and removing the line "OnlyShowIn=X-Cinnamon;".