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Thunar is a modern file manager for the Xfce Desktop Environment. Thunar has been designed from the ground up to be fast and easy to use. Its user interface is clean and intuitive and does not include any confusing or useless options by default. Thunar starts up quickly and navigating through files and folders is fast and responsive. It is written in GTK+ 3.


USE flags

USE flags for xfce-base/thunar File manager for the Xfce desktop environment

exif Add support for reading EXIF headers from JPEG and TIFF images
introspection Add support for GObject based introspection
libnotify Enable desktop notification support
pcre Add support for Perl Compatible Regular Expressions
trash-panel-plugin Build the trash status indicator plugin for the XFCE panel
udisks Enable storage management support (automounting, volume monitoring, etc)


Emerge Thunar:

root #emerge --ask xfce-base/thunar

Additional software


GVfs comes with a set of backends, including trash support, SFTP, SMB, HTTP, DAV, and many others.

Thunar will interact with gvfs via udisks when the udisks USE is enabled.

In the location dialog (opened with Ctrl+L) type one of the following: smb://, ftp://, ssh://, sftp://, davs:// followed by the server hostname or IP address.

Although GVfs comes from gnome-base/gvfs, it is well suited for any non-gnome or XFCE desktop as well.


root #emerge --ask xfce-base/thunar-volman

Automatic management of removable devices in Thunar.

To let Thunar handle automatic mounting, one must launch thunar in daemon mode.

Make sure the command thunar --daemon is autostarted on login.


root #emerge --ask xfce-extra/thunar-archive-plugin

Archive plugin supports extracting .zip and .tar.gz files from context menus (or any other typical archive supported)


root #emerge --ask xfce-extra/thunar-media-tags-plugin

Media tags plugin - special features for media files , media tags, etc


root #emerge --ask xfce-extra/thunar-shares-plugin

Shares plugin - share files using SAMBA


root #emerge --ask xfce-extra/thunar-vcs-plugin

Version Control System plugin - adds subversion and GIT actions to the context menu


By default, thumbnails ARE shown by thunar - but only when they have been pre-generated by another tool. Thunar can not auto-generate its own thumbnails, on its own.

The thumbnailer / thumbnail server / daemon for XFCE is named xfce-base/tumbler, see the section just below.

There are also alternatives, some image viewers like media-gfx/eom will create one thumbnail when each image is opened in it.

Speciality programs for specific file types are also available.

The thumbnails are tiny copies that get stored forever in the ~/.cache/thumbnails dir, named by hashes according to the thumbnail spec.


Tumbler is an external program from the XFCE ecosystem to generate thumbnails. It requires dbus.

By default, jpeg USE is on, and the ffmpeg USE flag will install media-video/ffmpegthumbnailer.

By default, the gstreamer USE flag hooks into system gstreamer & gst-plugins for a wide range of audio/video formats.

Other possible USE flags: curl, epub, odf, pdf, raw.

root #emerge --ask xfce-base/tumbler


A lightweight and fast raw image thumbnailer that can be used to display raw images, using media-libs/libopenraw.

root #emerge --ask media-gfx/raw-thumbnailer


A lightweight video thumbnailer that can be used either by Tumbler, other file managers, or manually, using media-video/ffmpeg.

root #emerge --ask media-video/ffmpegthumbnailer


Thunar taking a long time to start

In some cases it has been reported that Thunar would take a long time to start for the first time. This is caused by gvfs checking the network and preventing Thunar to start until the operation finishes. If this is an issue, it may be possible to edit /usr/share/gvfs/mounts/network.mount and change AutoMount=true to AutoMount=false.

See also

  • Xfce/Guide — provides an extensive introduction to Xfce, a fast, lightweight, full-featured desktop environment.
  • DolphinKDE's file manager that allows navigating and browsing the contents of hard drives, USB sticks, SD cards, and more. Creating, moving, or deleting files and folders is simple and fast.
  • File managers — a computer program that allows for the manipulation of files and directories on a computer's filesystem.
  • PCManFM — a powerful yet lightweight file manager application, default file manager of LXDE.
  • Recommended applications — applications recommended for use in a graphical environment (X11, Wayland)