Difference between revisions of "Thunar"

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[[Category:File managers]]
[[Category:File managers]]
{{Article summary start}}
{{Article summary text|This article discusses every aspect of the file manager named [http://thunar.xfce.org/index.html Thunar].}}
{{Article summary heading|Related}}
{{Article summary wiki|Xfce}}: Thunar is installed with a nominal installation of {{Grp|xfce4}}.
{{Article summary text|[[GNOME#Nautilus|Nautilus]]: Thunar is not the only file manager. There are many. For example, Nautilus is the file manager for {{Grp|gnome}}}}.
{{Article summary end}}
Thunar is a new file manager that is designed to be fast, lightweight, and easy-to-use. It is a part of Xfce4, but can be used with various standalone window managers.
[http://thunar.xfce.org/index.html Thunar] is a file manager that is designed to be fast, lightweight, and easy-to-use. A standard installation of {{Grp|xfce4}} will contain Thunar, but it can be used with other standalone window managers.
== Installation ==
== Installation ==

Revision as of 09:19, 8 June 2012

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Template:Article summary start Template:Article summary text Template:Article summary heading Template:Article summary wiki: Thunar is installed with a nominal installation of xfce4. Template:Article summary text. Template:Article summary end

Thunar is a file manager that is designed to be fast, lightweight, and easy-to-use. A standard installation of xfce4 will contain Thunar, but it can be used with other standalone window managers.


Install the thunar package which is available in the official repositories.

If you are running Xfce4, you probably already have Thunar installed.


Thunar and Xfce4 are in transition from using HAL and ThunarVFS, being currently deprecated, to using GIO, ConsoleKit, PolicyKit and the kernel udev architecture for detecting and automounting removable media. All the information is actual as of 16 August 2011 and Xfce 4.8.


Installations of gvfs and polkit-gnome are required for automounting, available in Official Repositories.

Without polkit-gnome XFCE cannot request password authorisations from a user and password authorisation is required by default for interal mounting on Arch Linux.

You may need to restart your machine after installation.

Storage group

You need to make sure that your user account is a member of the storage group.

$ groups
lp wheel games video audio optical storage scanner power users

If it is not, be sure to include the user in the storage group of /etc/group using the following command:

# usermod -a -G storage <user>


If you are using a display manager to start your window manager or desktop environment session, see the display manager documentation to properly start your session with PolicyKit. For example, starting PolicyKit when using SLiM.

If you are not using a display manager, include ck-launch-session and dbus-launch (in that order) before the command to launch the window manager or desktop environment in ~/.xinitrc: see the specific article for your WM or DE, e.g. Xfce. For example:

exec ck-launch-session dbus-launch <your wm>

Note that ck-launch-session comes before dbus-launch. If you do them the other way around you might get "Not authorized" errors when you try to mount your drive. See this forum thread and bug report FS#25031.

In case your session is set up properly with PolicyKit you should at least be able to shutdown and restart your system using the GUI.

GVFS and trash issue

If automounting is still not working you will finally need GVFS:

# pacman -S gvfs

This should also help to enable trash if you have no trash icon on the desktop and adding a trash applet on the taskbar creates a red circle with a white minus instead with the error message saying

 FAILED TO CONNECT TO THE TRASH. Operation not supported.

when clicking on it.

Mounting problems after package update

Even if mounting usually works, after some package update it breaks, leaving you with the "Not Authorized" error. Solution is to configure PolicyKit to allow mounting for users in storage group, regardless of the state of their session, by writing as root to file

[storage group mount override]

Results should be instantaneous.

If you're running latest Arch Linux , default version of udisks installed was version 2:

[storage group mount override]

Thunar Volume Manager

While Thunar can support automatic mounting and unmounting of removable media, the Thunar Volume Manager allows extended functionality, such as auto-running commands or automatically opening a Thunar window for mounted media.


It can be installed by running:

# pacman -S thunar-volman


It can also be configured to execute certain actions when cameras and audio players are connected. After installing the plugin:

  1. Launch Thunar and go to Edit -> Preferences
  2. Under the 'Advanced' tab, check 'Enable Volume Management'
  3. Click configure and check the following items:
    • Mount removable drives when hot-pluged.
    • Mount removable media when inserted.
  4. Also make desired changes (see the example below)

Here's an example setting for making Amarok play an audio CD.

 Multimedia - Audio CDs: amarok --cdplay %d

Tips and Tricks

Using Thunar to browse remote locations

Since Xfce 4.8 (Thunar 1.2) it is possible to browse remote locations (such as FTP servers or Samba shares) directly in Thunar, similar to the functionality found in GNOME and KDE. The necessary packages can be installed by running:

# pacman -S gvfs gvfs-smb

After a restart of Xfce there is an additional "Network" entry in Thunar's side bar and remote locations can be opened by using the following URIs in the location dialog (CTRL+L): smb://, ftp://, ssh://

Starting in Daemon Mode

Thunar may be run in daemon mode. This has several advantages including a faster startup for Thunar as well as Thunar running in the background and only opening a window when necessary (for instance, when a flash drive is inserted).

One option is to autostart it using .xinitrc or an autostart script (such as Openbox's autostart). It is up to you to decide the best way to start it, and this option can be run from a script or run directly as a command in the terminal.

To run it in daemon mode, simply add to your autostart script or run from the terminal:

$ thunar --daemon &

Eliminating Conflicts

If you have hal and autofs running at the same time, you will have a lock in hal-mtab. To avoid this, use only one of them.

If you cannot get automount running and start your window manager via .xinitrc you maybe want to change the start line for your window manger from

$ exec /usr/bin/dwm


$ exec ck-launch-session /usr/bin/dwm

Setting the Icon Theme

When using Thunar outside of Gnome or Xfce, certain packages and configurations that control which icons are used may be missing. Window Managers like Awesome and Xmonad do not come with XSettings managers, which is where Thunar looks first for it's icon setting. It is possible to install and run xfce-mcs-manager from a startup script if many Xfce4 and Gnome applications are going to be used. The gtk-icon-theme-name setting for gtk2 can be set for a user by adding something like the following to ~/.gtkrc-2.0:

 gtk-icon-theme-name = "Tango"

Of course, just installing the gnome-icon-them package will give Thunar an icon theme to use other than the default paper icon for all items.

# pacman -S gnome-icon-theme

Solving problem with slow cold start

Some people still have problems with Thunar taking a long time to start for the first time. This is due to gvfs checking the network and Thunar won't show up before gvfs finishes. To change this behaviour:

# nano /usr/share/gvfs/mounts/network.mount

and change AutoMount=true to AutoMount=false.

Other plugins and addons

Many of these plugins are part of the xfce4-goodies group, so if you have downloaded it, you will probably have all of these anyway.

Thunar Archive Plugin

The Thunar Archive Plugin is a frontend to file archive software such as File Roller, Ark, or Xarchiver to allow a simple, consistent interface to opening and decompressing archives.


It can be installed by running:

# pacman -S thunar-archive-plugin

Thunar Media Tags Plugin

The media tags plugin will display detailed information about media files. It supports ID3 (the MP3 file format's system) and Ogg/Vorbis tags. It also has a bulk renamer and allows editing of media tags.


It can be installed by running:

# pacman -S thunar-media-tags-plugin

Thunar thumbnails

Thunar relies on an external program called tumbler to generate thumbnails. tumbler can be installed from [extra].

# pacman -S tumbler

To generate video thumbnails, you have to install additional programs. There are two options.

First, you can install ffmpegthumbnailer.

# pacman -S ffmpegthumbnailer

Second, you can install gstreamer0.10 and gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg, just in case ffmpegthumbnailer doesn't work.

# pacman -S gstreamer0.10
# pacman -S gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg

Thunar Shares

The Thunar Shares Plugin allows you to quickly share a folder using Samba from Thunar without requiring root access.


Install thunar-shares-plugin package from the AUR.


This marks the named objects for automatic export to the environment of subsequently executed commands:

# export USERSHARES_DIR="/var/lib/samba/usershares"
# export USERSHARES_GROUP="sambashare"

This creates the usershares directory in var/lib/samba:

# mkdir -p ${USERSHARES_DIR}

This makes the group sambashare:

# groupadd ${USERSHARES_GROUP}

This changes the owner of the directory and group you just created to root:


This changes the permissions of the usershares directory so that users in the group sambashare can read, write and execute files:

# chmod 01770 ${USERSHARES_DIR}

Using your favorite text editor as root, create the file /etc/samba/smb.conf

# joe /etc/samba/smb.conf

Use this smb.conf configuration file:

  ##This is the main Samba configuration file. You should read the
  ##smb.conf(5) manual page in order to understand the options listed
  ##here. Samba has a huge number of configurable options (perhaps too
  ##many!) most of which are not shown in this example
  ##For a step to step guide on installing, configuring and using samba, 
  ## read the Samba-HOWTO-Collection. This may be obtained from:
  ##  http://www.samba.org/samba/docs/Samba-HOWTO-Collection.pdf
  ## Many working examples of smb.conf files can be found in the 
  ## Samba-Guide which is generated daily and can be downloaded from: 
  ##  http://www.samba.org/samba/docs/Samba-Guide.pdf
  ## Any line which starts with a ; (semi-colon) or a # (hash) 
  ## is a comment and is ignored. In this example we will use a #
  ## for commentry and a ; for parts of the config file that you
  ## may wish to enable
  ## NOTE: Whenever you modify this file you should run the command "testparm"
  ## to check that you have not made any basic syntactic errors. 
  #  workgroup = WORKGROUP
  #  security = share
  #  server string = My Share
  #  load printers = yes
  #  log file = /var/log/samba/%m.log
  #  max log size = 50
  #  usershare path = /var/lib/samba/usershares
  #  usershare max shares = 100
  #  usershare allow guests = yes
  #  usershare owner only = yes
  # #Windows Internet Name Serving Support Section:
  # #WINS Support - Tells the NMBD component of Samba to enable it's WINS Server
  #;   wins support = yes
  ## WINS Server - Tells the NMBD components of Samba to be a WINS Client
  ##	Note: Samba can be either a WINS Server, or a WINS Client, but NOT both
  #;   wins server = w.x.y.z
  ##WINS Proxy - Tells Samba to answer name resolution queries on
  ## behalf of a non WINS capable client, for this to work there must be
  ## at least one	WINS Server on the network. The default is NO.
  #;   wins proxy = yes

Save the file and then add your user to the group sambashares replacing "your_username" with the name of your user:

# usermod -a -G <USERSHARES_GROUP> your_username

Restart Samba:

# /etc/rc.d/samba restart

Log out and log back in. You should now be able to right click on any directory and share it on the network. When the error You are not the owner of the folder appears, simply try to reboot the system. To have samba start at boot, add samba to daemons in your /etc/rc.conf file. For more information, visit the Samba wiki page.

Custom actions

This section covers useful custom actions which can be accessed through Edit -> Configure custom actions. More examples are listed in the thunar wiki.

Scan for viruses

To use this action you need to have clamav and clamtk installed.

Name Command File patterns Appears if selection contains
Scan for virus clamtk %F * Select all

Link to Dropbox =

Name Command File patterns Appears if selection contains
Link to Dropbox ln -s %f /path/to/DropboxFolder * Directories, other files

Please note that when using many custom actions to symlink files and folder to a particular place, it might be useful to put them into the Send To folder of the context menu to avoid that the menu itself gets bloated. This is fairly easy to achieve and requires a .desktop file in ~/.local/share/Thunar/sendto for each action to perform. Say we want to put the above dropbox symlink action into Send To, we create a dropbox_folder.desktop with the following content. The new applied action will be active after restarting Thunar.

[Desktop Entry]
Exec=ln -s %f /path/to/DropboxFolder

Links and References