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Thunar - Advanced Settings

Most Thunar settings can be configured within Thunar from the menu by selecting MenuEditPreferences. This will display the Preferences dialog window. Some of Thunar's settings are not visible in this interface because they are considered not general enough for the average user.

Viewing advanced Thunar settings

Thunar's advanced settings can be accessed in two ways:

  1. From the GUI application xfce4-settings-editor
  2. From the CLI using xfconf-query

In the xfce4-settings-editor, select the Thunar channel 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.

For xfconf-query, open a terminal window and issue the command: xfconf-query –channel thunar -lv for a list of the current advanced settings and their respective values.

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Hidden Settings List

Below a table of the settings. These settings are defined in https://gitlab.xfce.org/xfce/thunar/-/blob/master/thunar/thunar-preferences.c

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-compact-view-max-chars int Number of filename characters to show in compact view. Ellipsization will be used if the filename is longer than the defined value. Set to 0 to prevent any ellipsization. Available since thunar 4.17.x
/misc-confirm-move-to-trash bool If true enables a confirmation to move files to trash (similar to permanently delete) since thunar 4.18.x
/misc-display-launcher-name-as-filename bool Whether to show real file names or launcher names for .desktop files since thunar 4.19.3
/misc-full-path-in-window-title bool Show the full directory path in the window title, instead of only the directory name. since thunar 4.18.x, replaced by /misc-window-title-style since thunar 4.19.0
/misc-window-title-style enum Choose between 4 styles for the window title (see [1] for available options) since thunar 4.19.0
/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-open-new-windows-in-split-view bool If true, all thunar windows will have split view enabled. since thunar 4.18.x
/misc-recursive-permissions str Whether to apply permissions recursively every time the permissions are altered by the user. THUNAR_TYPE_RECURSIVE_PERMISSIONS, THUNAR_RECURSIVE_PERMISSIONS_ASK
/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-show-about-templates bool Whether to display the “About Templates” dialog, when opening the Templates folder from the Go menu.
/misc-small-toolbar-icons bool Use small icons on the toolbar instead of the default toolbar size.
/misc-switch-to-new-tab bool Whether if new tabs should be directly opened. The default is 'TRUE'. Available since thunar 4.17.2
/misc-tab-close-middle-click bool Whether to close tabs when the tab label is clicked with the 2nd/middle-mouse-button.
/misc-undo-redo-history-size int Maximum number of ThunarJobOperations which can be undone/redone -1 for unlimited New in thunar 4.18.x
/misc-vertical-split-pane bool Whether on F3 the panes should be split vertically or horizontally. Available since thunar 4.17.8

[1] Window Title Styles


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Enabling/Adding Hidden Settings

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

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

For additional usage information, see the xfconf-query reference page.

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Customising Thunar with CSS

For most graphical elements of Thunar (and all other gtk3 applications) , it is possible to customize them via CSS, as it is done with 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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Back to Thunar documentation page