How to Install Nemo in Ubuntu Without Cinnamon Dependencies

Nemo File Manager in Ubuntu Linux - Nemo is a free and open-source software and official file manager of the Cinnamon desktop environment. It is a fork of GNOME file manager. It allows to browse directories, preview files and launch applications associated with them. it is also responsible for handling the icons on the cinnamon desktop. It works on local and remote file systems.

Basically, to install Nemo, you’ll needs Cinnamon even if you want to use it in some other desktop environment. Thankfully, there's a PPA repository to install Nemo easily. Andrew from webupd8 is the developer behind this project.

Suggested read :

He used the Nautilus Unity patches modified for Nemo by Jacob Zimmermann, which updated to work with the latest Nemo, and also added some extra patches to remove the Cinnamon dependencies (except for cinnamon-translations but that shouldn't be an issue), re-enable Nemo to handle the desktop icons and allow Nemo to use GNOME Control Center / Unity Control Center to change the desktop background or set a picture as wallpaper via context menu.

So here are how Nemo looks like in my Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Xenial Xerus :

Install Nemo in Ubuntu 16.04

Install Nemo in Ubuntu 16.04 Unity

Below are the default Cinnamon file manager features forked from Nautilus 3.4 :
  • Dual pane (can be enabled from the View menu or using the F3 key)
  • Unified, configurable toolbar (you can show or hide the up, next, home, open in terminal, new folder, search button and more)
  • Built-in actions, scripts and extensions manager
  • Treeview sidebar option
  • Re-worked statusbar with zoom controls, free space info, as well as options to toggle displaying the places sidebar, treeview or completely hide the sidebar
  • The main toolbar, menubar, and statusbar can be hidden
  • Built-in "Open as root" and "Open in terminal" context menu items
  • Set as Wallpaper context menu for images
  • Sidebar: indicators under each drive, displaying the free/used space
  • Improved the Open With dialog
  • Option to resize individual desktop icons

But since version 2.8.x, Nemo has received many bug fixes and improvements including :
  • Option to choose on which monitor to show the desktop folder (icons). This can be changed via Dconf Editor (org > nemo > desktop > desktop-layout), and can be set to show desktop icons on primary monitor, on remaining monitors, or on all monitors (default is primary only).
  • Fixed wrong desktop size with GTK 3.20
  • Re-enabled desktop type-to-select feature
  • Option to double-click empty area to go to parent directory (can be enabled in the Nemo Preferences, under Behavior)
  • Only append .desktop to desktop files when they actually need it. Trusted desktop files (ones that typically get made and placed on the desktop) don't show their extension, so when you try to rename them, the new name needs .desktop appended to it

The things you must take care is don't use this PPA for Linux Mint or Cinnamon desktop in Ubuntu, and if you have added any Cinnamon PPAs, you'll need to purge them firstly.

Installing Nemo in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS via PPA

Fot those who use Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, you can install latest Nemo from PPA or build from the source code. Ok, first of all.. Open Ubuntu terminal from unity dash or simply press Ctrl+Alt+T.

Add the following commands line-by-line :

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/nemo3
sudo apt update
sudo apt install nemo

You can now open Nemo via Unity dash by typing “File Manager” (without quotes).

Set Nemo as the Default File Manager in Ubuntu

If you want Nemo as the default file manager in your Ubuntu desktop, here are all you need to do :

Disable Nautilus from handling the desktop
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background show-desktop-icons false

Set Nemo as default app
xdg-mime default nemo.desktop inode/directory application/x-gnome-saved-search

Now logout and re-login to see the changes!

Revert the Changes

To revert the changes / use Nautilus instead Nemo to manage your files :

Enable Nautilus from handling the desktop
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background show-desktop-icons true

Set Nautilus back as default file manager
xdg-mime default nautilus.desktop inode/directory application/x-gnome-saved-search

That's it to install Nemo in Ubuntu and how to set it to the default file manager in Ubuntu Linux. Thanks for reading!