Making nautilus-open-terminal work right

Time for an update to this original post from 2009, written during the painful months I was immersed in Ubuntu. Some tips for setting up right-click desktop for terminal on Fedora 21 follow.

If you want the old right-click-for-terminal behavior back on the current Gnome 3 in Fedora 21, there are basically 4 steps you need to take:

1. Install gnome-tweak-tool, gconftool-2 and nautilus-open-terminal.

2. Go into gnome-tweak-tool, click on the “Desktop” tab and turn on “Icons on Desktop” (this will enable control over the desktop by Nautilus).

3. To have the terminal open up into the root of the user’s home directory (rather than the default which opens the Desktop), run this command:

gconftool-2 --set --type=bool /apps/nautilus-open-terminal/desktop_opens_home_dir true

4. To display icons on the (right click) context menu, execute the following as each user wanting the customization

gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.xsettings overrides "{'Gtk/ButtonImages': <1>, 'Gtk/MenuImages': <1>}"

Gnome does not provide a way to make those last three customizations globally, or at least they haven’t documented one (which is just as bad in my mind), so you’ll need to run them manually or as a post install/upgrade script (the revision of this post comes in the wake of my upgrading from Fedora 20 to 21).

Following is the text of the old post, kept for historical purposes.

OK, so maybe this is all just a matter of preference, but since moving up to Ubuntu 8.10 x86_64 the one annoyance I’ve had to deal with is that nautilus-open-terminal (the package that gives you a terminal icon on your right-click context menu) always defaults to opening into ~/Desktop. Yes, I understand that this mod is supposed to let you open up into whatever you click on, and that technically when you right click on the desktop you’re actually “on” ~/Desktop, but that’s not the behavior you’ll get in every other distro, even x86 Ubuntu 8.10 — so I consider it an annoyance.

Well, here’s how to “fix” it. Open a terminal and invoke this command:

gconftool --set --type=bool /apps/nautilus-open-terminal/
desktop_opens_home_dir true


In releases of Fedora Linux since the Gnome Shell became the default desktop getting the terminal to open in the root of the user’s home directory rather than in the Desktop folder is done by using the gconf-editor utility to modify the /apps/nautilus-open-terminal key so that desktop_opens_home_dir is checked (true).

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About phil

My name is Phil Lembo. In my day job I’m an enterprise IT architect for a leading distribution and services company. The rest of my time I try to maintain a semi-normal family life in the suburbs of Raleigh, NC. E-mail me at philipATlembobrothersDOTcom. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own and not those of my employers, past, present or future (except where I quote others, who will need to accept responsibility for their own rants).