The Nautilus file manager in Linux Mint allows you to browse all the files on your system, but it only allows you to write files in your home directory (e.g., /home/lori) and its subfolders, such as Documents and Desktop.

If you want to rename a file or directory in or write a file to a location outside of your home directory, you must use an advanced version of the Nautilus file manager. We will show you how to add a link to an advanced version of Nautilus to the main menu.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Be very careful when changing or deleting files outside of your home directory. If you rename or delete a critical file, you can ruin your system and make it unusable.

Adding the advanced file manager menu item, involves using a program called alacarte. If you don’t know how to install and use that program, see our article showing you how.

We are going to add the new menu item to the Accessories submenu. To open alacarte, select Other | Main Menu from the Applications menu.


Once the Main Menu window is open, select the Accessories category from the list on the left and click New Item.

The Create Launcher dialog box displays. Make sure Application is selected from the Type drop-down list. Enter a name, such as “Advanced Nautilus,” in the Name edit box. This name displays on the menu. Type the following line in the Command edit box:

gksu nautilus

The “gksu” command is like the “su” and “sudo” commands, but it is used when you need to open graphical programs that require your password to run.

Enter a description in the Comment edit box, if desired. This is not required. The Comment displays as a popup hint when you move your mouse over the menu item.

Because the main program in the Command edit box is gksu, the icon for the menu item is not the Nautilus icon. We decided to change it back to the standard Nautilus icon. To do this, click the icon button on the Create Launcher dialog box.

The Choose an icon dialog box displays. Navigate to the following directory:


Select the nautilus.png file and click Open.


You are returned to the Create Launcher dialog box and the icon changes to the image file you selected. Click OK.

The Advanced Nautilus item displays in the list of Accessories in alphabetical order. Click Close to close the Main Menu window.

To open Advanced Nautilus, select Accessories | Advanced Nautilus from the Applications menu.

You must provide your password to open Advanced Nautilus, because it requires administrative permissions. Enter your password in the Password edit box and click OK.

The Advanced Nautilus window may not look much different from the normal file browser, but you can use it to edit and write files outside of your home directory.

It’s very important that you remember to be really careful when editing and deleting files outside of your home directory. Doing so, without knowing what you’re doing, can make your system unusable.

Lori Kaufman Lori Kaufman
Lori Kaufman is a technology expert with 25 years of experience. She's been a senior technical writer, worked as a programmer, and has even run her own multi-location business.
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