I had problems in the past with Nautilus being invasive on some desktops, namely XFCE, when it used to compete with Thunar for the desktop, but not in elementary.

On the other hand I don't think it's "better" than Pantheon Files; and the more desktops I test, the more I believe that "each its own" is the best philosophy.

I had tried to avoid installing it, especially since I like the clean elementary OS desktop with just a background and I don't need folders and files on it, but in the end it's there and I see no big problems with that - and it brings a lot of features that I personally only need from time to time, like a proper window for the searched files, customizable columns, integration with online applications, etc.

The most notable problem it brings in my case is that it is adopted as default file manager by Firefox downloads list ('Open Containing Folder').

I also think that having a secondary file manager is a good idea. Is using Nautilus risky? What are the risks?

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    I guess a follow up question is where did you hear it wasn't recommended? Maybe someone can investigate in that context Jul 10, 2015 at 17:50
  • @DanielForé - this answer says so, and I ask also because I also have some doubts about using Nautilus. e.g. it takes over my Firefox integration and that I cannot fix. Maybe I'll ask a new question on that too ;)
    – user170
    Jul 11, 2015 at 21:53
  • That is only meant to say placing files on your desktop via nautilus is not recommended, which is also hear-say though.
    – quassy
    Jul 16, 2015 at 0:36

1 Answer 1


I'm going to answer with "No", as in I can't think of any good reason you shouldn't be able to use Nautilus or Nemo or any other file manager that you'd like.

The only thing I think you would lose by using Nautilus is that it doesn't use our Contractor API. So apps that install Contractor extensions (also known as contracts) won't be able to expose those extensions to Nautilus.

Be aware that some apps may try to make themselves the default upon installation. You can configure your default apps in System Settings > Applications


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