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05 September 2012, 16:00

Linux Mint founder calls Nautilus 3.6 "a catastrophe"

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Zoom The first official version of Nemo is expected to arrive when Cinnamon 1.6 is released
Source: Linux Mint
Linux Mint founder and lead developer Clement "Clem" Lefebvre has provided further insight into his team's decision to create Nemo, a fork of GNOME's Nautilus file manager, and their plans for the new project. In a new blog post, Lefebvre says that he and his fellow developers chose to fork Nautilus because of the recent controversial design changes in version 3.6 of Nautilus, calling it "a catastrophe" as it "removes features we consider requirements".

The developer isn't the only one with reservations about Nautilus 3.6 – currently in development – removing functionality that some users deemed important. In August, Canonical and the Ubuntu developers decided to ship the next major update to their popular Linux distribution with the older 3.4 release of the file manager because of these changes.

While Lefebvre welcomes Canonical's decision to continue using Nautilus 3.4, he notes that doing so is only a temporary solution to the problem. "It's probably only a matter of time before Unity gets its own file manager," said Lefebvre, "Patching/freezing Nautilus was the right decision but it's only a good decision if it's a temporary one, long term [Canonical will] need to make their own file manager if they don't want to chose between breaking Unity or Shell".

Named after the Captain of the Nautilus in Jules Verne novels, the Nemo file manager made its first appearance in early August after its GitHub project page went public, but at the time little information was available as it had not been officially announced. Lefebvre says that Nemo already includes all of the features from Nautilus 3.4 that were removed in 3.6 (such as desktop icons and compact view), plus full navigation button options, detailed file progress information, and open in terminal or as root options. Planned features for Nemo include a proper status bar and configurable toolbar buttons in the short term and improvements to search in the long term.

The first official release of Nemo is expected to arrive alongside version 1.6 of the Cinnamon desktop environment, the Linux Mint project's fork of the GNOME Shell interface used in the GNOME 3 desktop.

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