Ubuntu – Nautilus-actions in 18.04


Nautilus-actions configuration tool, which was needed in order to have context menu actions in Nautilus doesn't seem available in the Software center in 18.04 LTS.

(This seemed reported as a bug here – but confusingly specifying gedit instead of the correct package.)

This is not a Gnome-Nautilus feature, I think, as suggested in a comment, because I have seen the same Nautilus version 3.26.3 in Solus Linux, and there Nautilus Actions is available and usable. Solus provides also in its repo a different program called FileManager Configuration Tool, run with fma-config-tool, which excepting the name is identical and can be used only alternatively to the Nautilus actions usual tool. But none of them is available in Ubuntu, no matter the repos enabled in software sources settings.

How can Nautilus Actions tool (or its alternative) be installed in Ubuntu 18.04 in order to get the custom context menu actions?

Please do not answer by proposing other file managers.

I know that there are file managers that have custom actions – in fact all those used by the main Linux systems and by the main systems of the Ubuntu family have them: Caja, Nemo, PCManFM, Thunar, Dolphin, Pantheon-Files. But I am not asking about that here.

Best Answer

Update 2021-04-23

For the latest Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (focal fossa) the below actions are not needed, the package filemanager-actions is located in universe pocket. See fresh answer.

Update 2018-05-31

Daniel Marynicz has created PPA for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with Nautilus, Caja and Nemo-enabled packages. You can install them as usual:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:daniel-marynicz/filemanager-actions

sudo apt-get install filemanager-actions-nautilus-extension # Nautilus
sudo apt-get install filemanager-actions-caja-extension # Caja
sudo apt-get install filemanager-actions-nemo-extension # Nemo

sudo apt-get install filemanager-actions* # simply all filemanagers

After installation you can launch fma-config-tool.

Initial consideration of the problem:

Modern version of Nautilus Actions (nautilus-actions package in trusty (14.04 LTS), xenial (16.04 LTS), artful (17.10)) are named as FileManager Actions (filemanager-actions package, it is not yet packaged in Debian and Ubuntu - see at repology.org).

If you do not want to compile packages by yourself - use links in the end of this answer.

So we can try to compile this package locally:

  1. Install dependencies

     sudo apt-get install build-essential gnome-doc-utils intltool \
     libnautilus-extension-dev uuid-dev libxml2-dev libgtop2-dev rarian-compat

    Note: if you need to support all three file-managers you should install two additional packages before compilation with sudo apt-get install libnemo-extension-dev libcaja-extension-dev.

  2. Download, extract, configure, make (otherwise, if you prefer the easy way: use the deb file from links at the end of answer)

     cd ~/Downloads
     wget https://download.gnome.org/sources/filemanager-actions/3.4/filemanager-actions-3.4.tar.xz
     tar -xf filemanager-actions-3.4.tar.xz
     cd filemanager-actions-3.4
     make -j5
  3. Install package

    • Here standard way is to use

         sudo make install

      but this will not create deb-package (but you can remove fma with sudo make uninstall);

    • so using checkinstall is better:

         sudo apt-get install checkinstall
         sudo checkinstall make install
         sudo apt-get install ./filemanager-actions_3.4-1_amd64.deb

After installation you will get new executable named fma-config-tool, its window is named FileManager-Actions Configuration Tool and looks like:

fma-config-tool on Bionic

Below is the link to compiled package: