Frequently Asked Questions

The intent of this section is to collect the quite numerous frequently asked questions that relate to working with Thunar. If you know of a question that is missing from this page, please file a request.

Why doesn't Thunar execute files marked as executable?

For security reasons Thunar only executes files of type application/x-desktop, application/x-executable and application/x-shellscript. For desktop files, the execution feature will only be enabled if the desktop file is of type Application and a valid Exec line is given or of type Link and a valid URL is given. For the other types, the feature is available if the file is marked executable for the current user.

Also note that for application/x-executable and application/x-shellscript, the types of the file don't really need to match these types exactly but it is sufficient if the detected type has a parent that matches one of the two types listed above, or if the MIME-type is an alias for one of the above.

Where does Thunar store the metadata associated with files?

Thunar associates various settings with files/folders, which we call metadata. Since version 1.6 this data is stored using the gvfs-metadata daemon. The save location of the daemon data is in $XDG_DATA_HOME/gvfs-metadata/. Unfortunately the content of these files is rather awful, so you can query the metadata of a location with the command gvfs-info -a metadata:: /some/location.

Where does Thunar store its preferences?

Thunar stores the user-configurable preferences (and hidden settings) in an Xfconf channel. You can view the contents of this settings channel with the Settings Editor.

For an overview of the hidden settings, you can find an overview here.

How to use mouse gestures in Thunar?

Thunar currently features basic support for so called mouse gestures in its icon view. You can use these mouse gestures by holding down the middle mouse button (usually the mouse wheel) while the mouse pointer is on the background area of the icon view component (any area that is not covered by an icon or text). Now you can move the cursor into four directions to perform certain actions which are described below.

  • Left – opens the previously visited folder
  • Up – opens the parent folder
  • Right – opens the next visited folder
  • Down – reloads the current folder

How do I assign different keyboard shortcuts?

If you want to rebind a shortcut, Thunar supports the standard GTK+ way of changing shortcuts: simply hover over the menu option with the mouse pointer and press the keyboard shortcut you want to rebind it to.

Read more about this in the general FAQ.

Where does Thunar store the keyboard shortcuts?

The custom keyboard shortcuts are stored in the standard GTK+ accel map format in a file located at $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/Thunar/accels.scm. Lines starting with ; are comments. See the GTK+ documentation for details about the file format.

If you are a packager or a system administrator and want to provide a system wide default for the keyboard shortcuts that is different from the default shortcuts in Thunar, you can create a file Thunar/accels.scm in one of the $XDG_CONFIG_DIRS. For example, if /etc/xdg is part of $XDG_CONFIG_DIRS (the default for most Linux distributions), you can install system-wide defaults to /etc/xdg/Thunar/accels.scm. Thunar will then load shortcuts from this file on first startup.