Elementary OS file manager ‘Marlin’ renamed to ‘Files’, gets UI fixes, ‘Granite’ integration and more

Though I don’t use the ‘elementary OS’, but, since I use some of their applications from time to time (such as the ‘Lingo’ dictionary for example), I’m quite happy with the way they design software applications in general.

They’re really easy to use, intuitive (‘simple’, but not exactly the way how most ‘Gnome’ developers perceive it, elementary is doing it really better!, I think ;-)), and look beautiful. And after seeing the improvements that they’ve done to their applications and specially to the upcoming ‘Pantheon desktop‘, I’m definitely gonna use it when it comes out.

Anyway, it’s been a long time since they last released a new OS version and as the upcoming one is in heavy development, its individual applications and the desktop get a lot of frequent updates and changes. As a result, yesterday, they officially announced that ‘Marlin’, the default file manager in Elementary OS, will be renamed to ‘Files’ and will continue as a separate project.


Though it’s code is based on the excellent ‘Marlin’, but as time progresses, ‘Files’ will too get improvements of its own. In their blog post, they gave some of the reasons that led to this decision by saying that …

‘Rather than abandoning the hard work gone into developing the first-class file manager, elementary has decided to take the existing code, refine it, patch up …

With elementary developing the app, it allows us to more easily fix a lot of long-standing UI issues and inconsistencies …’

According to them, it has already received few changes such as:

*. Few UI bug fixes.

*. ‘Granite’ integration:

a sort of a framework for designing applications for the elementary OS, so they could basically have the same ‘characteristics’ and the communication between apps is also easy as they follow the same basic rules/protocols etc.

*. ‘Contractor extension service’ integration:

another set of protocols or libraries (extensions) which you can use to add features easily to your apps without having to write those functions yourself. For example, if one of your applications needs to have a feature to upload images to Facebook, then you could use a ‘Contractor extension’ that someone else has created already for that purpose (if you’re lucky :D).

Still has few rough ‘edges’. The preferences window is still called ‘Marlin …’, lol

How to install it in Ubuntu?

Please be aware that these applications are still at testing stage, so you’re not encouraged to use them in professional environments. However, if you already use the elementary OS and have enabled the ‘daily build PPA’, then you may have received the update.


If not, or if you use Ubuntu, then you can install and try out the new ‘Pantheon-Files’ file manager in 12.04 Precise Pangolin by using the below commands in your Terminal window (other versions such as 12.10, 11.10 and 11.04 haven’t received the update yet).

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:nemequ/sqlheavy

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:elementary-os/daily

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install pantheon-files

That’s it!. In Unity, search for ‘pantheon-files’ in the ‘Dash’ for launching it.

You can also grab its source code from this official Launchpad page (it’s too not released yet). Good luck.

An RHCE, 'Linux' user with 14+ years of experience. Extreme lover of Linux and FOSS. He is passionate to test every Linux distribution & compare with the previous release to write in-depth articles to help the FOSS community.

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