Get A Terminal Embedded In Nautilus File Manager With Nautilus Terminal 3

Nautilus Terminal 3 embeds a terminal into Nautilus (Files, the default Gnome browser), similar to KDE's Dolphin file manager. The terminal automatically changes directories based on the user's navigation in the file browser.

This Nautilus extension is a re-implementation of the old Nautilus Terminal that was initially only available for Nautilus 2.x, and later 3.0 and 3.2, which should work with recent Nautilus versions.

Nautilus Terminal 3 in Ubuntu 18.04
Nautilus Terminal 3 in Ubuntu 18.04

Nautilus Terminal 3 can be toggled on/off using the F4 key and its initial behavior (if the terminal should be displayed or hidden when starting a new Nautilus window) can be set using Dconf Editor. The terminal can be resized using your mouse and also, the default height can be set using Dconf Editor.

Other Nautilus Terminal 3 features include:

  • Supports copy / paste using Ctrl+Shift+C / Ctrl+Shift+V (there's no copy / paste context menu though)
  • Supports drag & drop of files and folders on the terminal (it auto-completes the path of the dragged file or folder)
  • Uses the default shell for the user
  • Detects running process: if something is running in the terminal, the cd command is not send to the shell

The tool does not yet support configuring the terminal appearance, but this is on the to do list.

How to install Nautilus Terminal 3

To install Nautilus Terminal 3, you'll need pip. You'll also need to install the Nautilus Python bindings.

To install these two packages in Debian or Ubuntu (I tried it in Ubuntu 18.04 and 16.04 and the extension worked in both cases), use this command:

sudo apt install python-pip python-nautilus

Then use pip to install the Nautilus Terminal extension for your user:

pip2 install --user nautilus_terminal

After installing the extension you'll need to restart Nautilus:

nautilus -q

To configure Nautilus Terminal (such as setting the terminal to be hidden by default and only show it after you press F4) you can use Dconf Editor.

Nautilus Terminal settings

Install Dconf Editor in Ubuntu or Debian using:

sudo apt install dconf-editor

Now you can change a few Nautilus Terminal settings by opening Dconf Editor and navigating to org > flozz > nautilus-terminal.

How to uninstall Nautilus Terminal 3

If you no longer want to use Nautilus Terminal 3 you want to uninstall it, use this command:

pip uninstall nautilus_terminal

You may also need to restart Nautilus:

nautilus -q


  1. Because none of the scores of terminal emulators available for Linux are up to the task, right? Or might this be another step in my-way-or-the-highway Gnome's endeavor to make sure that all Linux things will be done only with Gnome's permission? Gnome is surpassing even Microsoft.

    1. @None What are you even talking about? This is an extension created by someone not related to the Gnome project.
      Did you even read the article or are you just high?

    2. @None People got different needs. And don't like Gnome? Just use something else.. ;)

  2. How to add a terminal to KDE's Dolphin file manager?

    1. Open Dolphin
    2. press F4 on your keyboard
    3. that's it, enjoy the built in terminal

    I do like that this plugin uses the default shortcut that Dolphin uses for it so that is cool that they chose to make it consistent. :)