Ubuntu – set up Nautilus to use a Midnight Commander-like hot keys scheme for 2-panel mode


I have been using "commanders" with DOS and Windows for more than 15 years. Needless to say it'd significantly improve my comfort if I could be able to create directories by pressing F7, deleting by F8, copying (to an opposite panel) by F5 and moving by F6. I was very pleased by Nautilus to introduce a 2-panel view, but disappointed by lack of traditional "commander" F-keys scheme. Can I correct this without editing and recompiling Nautilus sources?

Best Answer

Answering a different question, I was reminded of an option that has now been deeply hidden by default, "Editable Menu Accelerators." This can let you do nearly what you want.

To enable this option, launch gconf-editor from the terminal or the "Run Application" dialog (Alt-F2).

Navigate to desktop>gnome>interface and check can_change_accels

Or just run this line in a terminal:

gconftool --set /desktop/gnome/interface/can_change_accels --type=bool True

Now, to change an application shortcut key, open the menu, and with the mouse pointer on the menu item you wish to change, press the new combination of keys. To remove a shortcut key, press Backspace or Delete.

So you can get new directories with F7 and deleting by F8, but I still don't think that you can get the nifty cross pane coping ect in Nautilus.

So while what you're after might not be completely possible with Nautilus, it's also worth mentioning that you can still use a "commander" in Ubuntu.

Check out Midnight Commander if console applications are your style.

sudo apt-get install mc


If you're looking for something that integrates into the desktop, try GNOME Commander. It's a two-pane graphical file manager in the "commander" style, with your familiar hot keys.

sudo apt-get install gnome-commander