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I've decided to re-write this little tutorial for those who are interested in a more "Mac Feel" on the gnome Desktop.

First, open terminal and write:
apt-get source nautilus
sudo apt-get build-dep nautilus

The build-dep command will install all the build dependencies for nautilus.

In nautilus sorce folder you just downloaded, navigate to: src\file-manager.
Find the file named: fm-desktop-icon-view.c

Open with your favorite Text Editor and find the line:
real_supports_labels_beside_icons (FMIconView *view)

Below it you'd see this line: return FALSE;
Change it to:
return TRUE;

On GNOME3 and Nautilus 3.x+ search for the file: /src/nautilus-desktop-icon-view.c in the directory you just downloaded.
And look for this line: "supports-labels-beside-icons", FALSE,
Change FALSE to TRUE

Save the file.

Now start to compile Nautilus.
./configure --prefix=/usr
sudo make install
killall nautilus

Choose Text Beside Icons in the Preferences.
Nautilus now should draw Text beside icons on the desktop.

You can also tell Nautilus to count the items in each folder, to do this go to: Edit>Preferences>Display Tab > Under It choose 'size' in the first box. Or whatever option you'd like.

If you'd like to change the color of the 'Items count' or whatever, It's part of the gtkrc in the theme itself. Every theme differs, so you have to look for the color settings yourself, in mine It was:



The second line is responsible for the color on the desktop and the first one on color in the file-manager.

But in most themes It should be under: style "desktop-icon"
And look like this:

NautilusIconContainer::normal_alpha = 0
text[NORMAL] = "#000000"
NautilusIconContainer::frame_text = 1
class "GtkWidget" style "desktop-icon"

Should work on both GNOME2 and GNOME3.
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manjol Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012
this is works on 12.10
iacoporosso Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012
works perfect in Ubuntu 12.04 and nautilus-3.4.2 but the file it's :

Oi3pRNnX Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012
Maybe they deleted file-manager folder in Nautilus 3.x. Updated the tutorial, thanks.

So... some bad news, I'm not sure If it's final yet but in Nautilus 3.5.4 the option "Text beside icons" is going to be removed along with many other options. Hopefully most distros would be smart enough not to upgrade to this version until the GNOME team gets sober from all the booze they drank.
iacoporosso Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012
we'll see how things develop ! lol =)

if I go back to nautilus-standard how should I do?
Oi3pRNnX Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012
What's nautilus-standard? Still should be the same on all lower versions of Nautilus, in Nautilus 3.5.4 they are probably going to remove it.

In nautilus-elementary it actually a built-in option, you could enable it through gconf-editor:
gconftool-2 --set /apps/nautilus/preferences/desktop_labels_beside_icons --type boolean "false"

I'm not sure if It's there yet, didn't use Linux in a while but planning to install again soon.
iacoporosso Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2012
ok but how can I go back to Nautilus as the default on ubuntu as before following your tutorial?
Oi3pRNnX Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2012
Reinstall nautilus.
sudo apt-get install --reinstall nautilus

Or something like that.
iacoporosso Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2012
with this command I reinstall nautilus but nothing changes..don't know why..
Oi3pRNnX Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2012
Mhmm... That is strange. Did you install according to the tutorial with ./configure --prefix=/usr?

Try opening Synaptic and uninstall any version of Nautilus you've got, then install Nautilus again. Very strange, reinstalling should just run over the install you've made.

If that didn't solve the problem then uninstall Nautilus from source, go into the src folder you downloaded with the Nautilus source and type in terminal: make uninstall
leppakakaklifoth Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
very cool information
parcelo Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012
can u post screenshot for what u are doing..................for better understanding
Oi3pRNnX Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012
Look at my screenshots.
Or this one by ~cf1234: [link]

For some reason, Nautilus can't draw the option "Text beside icons" on the desktop by default It was turned off for the desktop. After browsing through Nautilus source, I've found a way to enable the feature to work on the desktop.
parcelo Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2012
OK thanx for the scipt.........
iacoporosso Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2012
thx for this tutorial!
Oi3pRNnX Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2012
Updated the tutorial a little bit. For Nautilus 3.x+, look in fm-desktop-icon-view.c for: "supports-labels-beside-icons", FALSE,

And change FALSE to TRUE. Did not test myself yet, but should work just the same.
iacoporosso Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2012
I haven't tested yet but soon I'll tell you if it works properly =)
Oi3pRNnX Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2012
Thanks. Someone already tested it and told me It worked with Ubuntu 12.04 and Nautilus 3.4.2
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July 25, 2012


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