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After forking GNOME Shell (Cinnamon), Mutter (Muffin) and GDM 2.0 (MDM), the Linux Mint team has forked Nautilus and the result is Nemo, a file manager which is now used by default in Linux Mint Cinnamon Edition.

Nemo file manager git

Initially, Nemo used to look the same as the patched SolusOS Nautilus so I didn't write about how to install it since it was basically the same thing under a different name.

But Nemo has evolved, gaining many new features and under the hood optimizations and tweaks. Here are some of the features available for Nemo file manager (for the version available in GIT / Cinnamon Nightly PPA) that aren't included in Nautilus 3.4:
  • Unified, configurable toolbar: you can add/remove the following: up icon, refresh icon, toggle button for the location bar / path bar, home icon, computer icon and search icon.
  • Detachable tabs
  • Option to show the full path in the titlebar and tab bars (Preferences > Display)
  • Displays an "elevated privileges" banner when running as root
  • Built in "Open as root" context menu item
  • Built in "Open in terminal" context menu item
  • Added GTK bookmarks to the MoveTo/CopyTo context menus
  • Added "Set as Wallpaper" to the context menu
  • Switch view buttons on the toolbar (Grid, List and Compact views)
  • Drag and drop support for the bookmarks in the sidebar
  • Sidebar: indicators under each drive, displaying the free/used space
  • Collapsable sidebar categories
  • Support for sending files via Thunderbird and xdg-email
  • Image properties improvements (merged from Nautilus 3.6)
  • Memory leaks fixes (merged from Nautilus 3.6)
  • More!

And Nemo has another advantage: it doesn't overwrite Nautilus like the patched SolusOS Nautilus, so you can have both Nautilus and Nemo installed in the same time.

The Linux Mint / Nemo developers have also ported some Nautilus extensions to Nemo: there's a Dropbox extension for Nemo, along with Pastebin, Seahorse, Fileroller and Samba extensions.

Below you'll find some more Nemo screenshots - in the first one there's Nemo 1.1.2 (stable) and the rest feature the latest Nemo from GIT:

Nemo file manager 1.1.2 stable
Nemo 1.1.2 (stable)

Nemo file manager GIT
Nemo from GIT

Nemo file manager GIT

Nemo file manager GIT

Nemo file manager

Nemo file manager

Update: the latest Nemo from GIT also got breadcrumbs, option to hide the menubar and a re-worked statusbar. See: Latest Nemo File Manager From GIT Gets Breadcrumbs, Option To Hide The Menu, More for more info.

Install Nemo file manager in Ubuntu

Before installing Nemo, there are a couple of things you should know:
  • installing Nemo will also install Cinnamon desktop
  • if you're using Cinnamon, it's not recommended to add the Cinnamon Nightly PPA since it's not stable. Only install Cinnamon from the Nightly PPA for testing purposes

Install the stable Nemo release in Ubuntu

Install the latest stable Nemo release (1.1.2) in Ubuntu 13.04, 12.10 or 12.04 using the Cinnamon Stable PPA:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gwendal-lebihan-dev/cinnamon-stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nemo

Install the latest Nemo file manager from GIT in Ubuntu

Or, if you want the latest features (but probably less stability and more bugs), install the latest Nemo file manager from GIT in Linux Mint or Ubuntu 12.04, 12.10 or 13.04 by using the Cinnamon Nightly PPA:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gwendal-lebihan-dev/cinnamon-nightly
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nemo

Nemo shows up as "Files" in the menu, just like Nautilus so it's a bit hard to find in the menu / Dash or whatever you're using. So search for "Nemo" and launch the first "Files" app that shows up, that will (hopefully) be Nemo file manager.

After you log out and log back in, you'll notice that Nemo draws the desktop instead of Nautilus. If you want to continue to use Nautilus for drawing the desktop instead of Nemo, do the following:

- Run the following command so Nemo shows up in the Startup Applications list (it's hidden by default):
sudo sed -i 's/NoDisplay=true/NoDisplay=false/g' /etc/xdg/autostart/nemo-autostart.desktop

- Then launch Startup Applications and uncheck Nemo - it's called files, but look under the name - it should say "Start Nemo desktop at login", like in the screenshot below:

Nemo autostart

- Then log out and log back in.

The Nemo file manager source code is available @ GitHub.