Nautilus as many other modern file browsers provides thumbnails. Nevertheless, there are many ways to improve the functionality these provide to users. We are not necessarily having another implementation in mind, but the urge to increase functionality.

Release Note

There should be more possibilities to change various settings associated with thumbnail creation and viewing. Once, common user practices are identified, possibly the default settings could be changed accordingly.


Then has been significant progress in the way files are displayed in modern browsers. However, with the advance of more sophisticated browsing techniques some of the response times have gone significantly down. We aim to propose various features related to nautilus and the thumbnail functionality which would respond this decline in productivity.

Use Cases


  • An thumbnail settings interface - users should be able to disable thumbnails in nautilus depending on file size, type and other parameters
  • In some cases nautilus should not use thumbnails - for example in folders with large number of files (it takes unreasonably long to open a folder with 10000 text files in it; ls can list the contents of such a folder much faster)
  • Thumbnail creation should be done in the background by an intelligent daemon (similarly to indexing)
  • Thumbnails should be preserved by file operations such as copy-paste, cut-paste and not rebuilt

We suggest users to try and test nautilus in various extreme cases e.g. folders with many files (text, images), various file types, large files, etc. This would make apparent the performance declines we mentioned and give rise to new ideas.


The first step would be to create a thumbnail creation daemon and a suitable UI for it.

Unresolved issues

  • Slow response times
  • Ability to control thumbnail creation


DesktopTeam/Specs/NautilusThumbnails (last edited 2009-01-07 23:09:51 by thenasko)