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Thunar - Advanced Settings

While most setting can be configured using the menu and/or the Preferences dialog, some of the settings are not visible in the interface because they are considered not general enough for the average user.

The Settings Editor

Open the Thunar tab in the xfce4-settings-editor in order to see which settings are currently stored and to modify them. Make sure to quit Thunar before with “thunar -q”. Otherwise your changes will have no effect.

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Hidden Settings

The hidden settings need to be specifically enabled in the settings channel of Thunar to enable or change their functionality.

Below a table of the settings and the commands on how to enable them.

Property Value Type Description
/misc-always-show-tabs bool If the view tabs should always be visible.
/misc-case-sensitive bool Determines whether the sorting should be done in a case-sensitive manner. The default is false.
/misc-full-path-in-title bool Show the full directory path in the window title, instead of only the directory name.
/misc-horizontal-wheel-navigates bool Controls whether the horizontal mouse wheel is used to navigate back and forth within a Thunar view, or whether it should be used for horizontal scrolling.
/misc-image-size-in-statusbar bool Show the image size in the statusbar when a single image file is selected in the view. This is disabled by default because it causes relatively high I/O when changing the selection quickly.
/misc-remember-geometry bool Whether Thunar should remember the size of windows and apply that size to new windows. If true the width and height are saved to last-window-width and last-window-height. If false the user may specify the start size in 'last-window-width and 'last-window-height. This option is enabled by default.
/misc-small-toolbar-icons bool Use small icons on the toolbar instead of the default toolbar size.
/misc-tab-close-middle-click bool Whether to close tabs when the tab label is clicked with the 2nd/middle-mouse-button.
/misc-exec-shell-scripts-by-default bool Whether shell scripts should be executed or opened by default. The default action is to open them; setting this to TRUE will allow executing them.

The quickest way to change a hidden settings is to run a command in the terminal-emulator.

xfconf-query --channel thunar --property /property-name --create --type value-type --set new-value

So to enable the image size in the statusbar, run the following command:

xfconf-query --channel thunar --property /misc-image-size-in-statusbar --create --type bool --set true

All hidden settings are boolean values, so the value can either be true to enable the functionality or false to disable.

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Custom CSS

For most graphical elements of Thunar (and all other gtk3 applications) , it is possible to customize them via CSS, like it is done by themes.

Here an example for Thunar 1.8.x (gtk3 based):

  1. Create a file ~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css
  2. Paste following content in this file:
  3. Save and restart thunar (thunar -q; thunar)
* {
   -ThunarAbstractIconView-row-spacing: 70;
   -ThunarAbstractIconView-column-spacing: 30;

For thunar Thunar 1.6.x (gtk2 based):

  1. Create a file ~/.gtkrc-2.0
  2. Paste following content in this file:
  3. Save and restart thunar (thunar -q; thunar)
style "thunar-spaced-out-icons"
   ThunarIconView::column-spacing = 70
   ThunarIconView::row-spacing = 30
class "ThunarIconView" style "thunar-spaced-out-icons" 

Check the GTK+ CSS Overview page to see learn how CSS can be used in gtk3.

Use the GTK Inspector together with thunar to see which properties can be modified on each element.

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