Skip to main content
Join the official 2019 Python Developers SurveyStart the survey!

A terminal embedded in Nautilus, the GNOME's file browser

Project description

Build Status PYPI Version License Gitter

A terminal embedded in Nautilus, the GNOME’s file browser

Nautilus Terminal is a terminal embedded into Nautilus, the GNOME’s file browser. It is always opened in the current folder, and follows the navigation (the cd command is automatically executed when you navigate to another folder).

NOTE: This is a complete re-implementation of my previous Nautilus Terminal plugin.

NOTE²: This is an early development version, some feature are missing (see below).


  • Embed a Terminal in each Nautilus tab / window,
  • Follow the navigation: if you navigate in Nautilus, the cd command is automatically executed in the terminal,
  • Detects running process: if something is running in the terminal, the cd command is not send to the shell,
  • Automatically respawn the shell if it exits,
  • Supports copy / paste from / to the terminal using Ctrl+Shift+C / Ctrl+Shift+V,
  • Can be displayed / hidden using the F4 key,
  • Supports drag & drop of file on the terminal,
  • Uses the default shell for the user.
  • [STRIKEOUT:Allows to configure the terminal appearance (colors, font,…).] TODO


Nautilus Terminal Screenshot

Nautilus Terminal Screenshot

Installing Nautilus Terminal

From the PPA (Ubuntu)

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:flozz/nautilus-terminal
sudo apt-get update
sudp apt install nautilus-terminal


User install:

pip install --user nautilus_terminal

System-wide install:

sudo pip install nautilus_terminal

Then kill Nautilus to allow it to load the new extension:

nautilus -q

If it does not work, try using the following command (from this repository):

sudo tools/ install    # for a user install
sudo tools/ install  # for a system wild install

From sources

Clone the repositiory:

git clone
cd nautilus-terminal

To install into your personal Python lib and your personal Nautilus python extension folders, run the following from your normal unprivileged account. Pip will select the --user scheme.

pip install .

To install for all users, run the command as root instead. Pip will select the --system scheme if you install this way. This drops everything into /usr/local instead, but nautilus-python doesn’t look there for extensions (see upstream bug 781232). So for the foreseeable future, system-wide installs need an extra step to make the extension available for all users.

sudo pip install .
sudo tools/ install

Then kill Nautilus to allow it to load the new extension:

nautilus -q


To uninstall the package, run:

pip uninstall nautilus-terminal

If you installed it for all users:

sudo pip uninstall nautilus-terminal
sudo tools/ uninstall   # foreseeable future


Nautilus Terminal can be configured, but there is no GUI to configure it yet. Currently, configuration can be done through the DConf Editor tool:

  • Run DConf Editor: dconf-editor,
  • Navigate to /org/flozz/nautilus-terminal
  • Configure Nautilus Terminal.


Hacking and Debug

If you want work on this software, you will first have to install the nautilus-python and psutil packages. On Debian / Ubuntu, you will find it in the python-nautilus and python-psutil packages:

sudo apt install python-nautilus python-psutil

This extension comes in two parts: a conventional Python module (nautilus_terminal), and a small bit of bootstrap code that’s loaded by python-nautilus when Nautilus starts up ( The bootstrap code must be installed where python-nautilus can find it before you can start making changes and testing them:

tools/ install         # Current user only…
sudo tools/ install  # … or, system-wide.

When the bootstrap is loaded into Nautilus, it imports the Python module from either the normal PYTHONPATH, or from your working copy of this repository if the right debug environment is set.

With the bootstrap installed, you can use the following script to test new code in Nautilus without having to reinstall the module:

tools/ --no-bg  # keep Nautilus attached to the console

Happy hacking! :)


Things to do before releasing a new version:

  • Update version number in nautilus_terminal/
  • Generate README.rst (requires pandoc): tools/
  • Compile GSetting schema: glib-compile-schemas nautilus_terminal/schemas


  • 3.2.3:
    • Fixes encoding with Python 3 (#29)
  • 3.2.2:
    • Fixes VteTerminal.feed_child() call (#12)
    • Improves child process searching (@l-deniau, #14)
  • 3.2.1: Add a missing dependency in
  • 3.2.0: Add settings to Nautilus Terminal (#3)
  • 3.1.1:
    • Allow user install instead of system wild (#1)
    • Use the user’s default shell instead of the hardcoded zsh (#2)
    • Focus the terminal after drag & drop of file on it (#4)
  • 3.1.0:
    • File drag & drop support
    • Hide the terminal in virtual emplacements (trash,…)
    • Optimizations (do not spawn the shell / no “cd” if the shell is not visible)
  • 3.0.1: Script to convert the README to reStructuredText for PYPI
  • 3.0.0: Initial Nautilus Terminal 3 release (early development version)

License GPLv3

Nautilus Terminal - A terminal embedded in the Nautilus file browser
Copyright (C) 2010-2017  Fabien LOISON <>

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program.  If not, see <>.

Project details

Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Files for nautilus_terminal, version 3.2.3
Filename, size File type Python version Upload date Hashes
Filename, size nautilus_terminal-3.2.3.tar.gz (12.4 kB) File type Source Python version None Upload date Hashes View hashes

Supported by

Elastic Elastic Search Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Google Google BigQuery Sentry Sentry Error logging AWS AWS Cloud computing DataDog DataDog Monitoring Fastly Fastly CDN SignalFx SignalFx Supporter DigiCert DigiCert EV certificate StatusPage StatusPage Status page