Text Beside Icons on the Desktop - Nautilus
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Published: July 25, 2012
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
make
sudo make install
killall nautilus
Alt+F2
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:

NautilusIconContainer::highlight_alpha=160

NautilusIconContainer::dark_info_color="#"
NautilusIconContainer::light_info_color="#"

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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Comments (13)
manjol's avatar
this is works on 12.10
Reply  ·  
iacoporosso's avatar
works perfect in Ubuntu 12.04 and nautilus-3.4.2 but the file it's :
/src/nautilus-desktop-icon-view.c

=)
Reply  ·  
Oi3pRNnX's avatar
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.
Reply  ·  
iacoporosso's avatar
we'll see how things develop ! lol =)

if I go back to nautilus-standard how should I do?
Reply  ·  
Oi3pRNnX's avatar
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.
Reply  ·  
leppakakaklifoth's avatar
leppakakaklifoth|Hobbyist Digital Artist
very cool information
Reply  ·  
parcelo's avatar
can u post screenshot for what u are doing..................for better understanding
Reply  ·  
Oi3pRNnX's avatar
Look at my screenshots.
[link]
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.
Reply  ·  
parcelo's avatar
OK thanx for the scipt.........
Reply  ·  
iacoporosso's avatar
thx for this tutorial!
Reply  ·  
Oi3pRNnX's avatar
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.
Reply  ·  
iacoporosso's avatar
I haven't tested yet but soon I'll tell you if it works properly =)
Reply  ·  
Oi3pRNnX's avatar
Thanks. Someone already tested it and told me It worked with Ubuntu 12.04 and Nautilus 3.4.2
Reply  ·  
anonymous's avatar
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