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Is it possible to run Nautilus instead of Finder on Mac OS X Snow Leopard? How?

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2 Answers 2

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Looks like it's available in MacPorts, so you could install MacPorts and then install Nautilus using that:

sudo port install nautilus  

You should then be able to run it using the nautilus terminal command.


You may see the following during installation:

############################################################################
# Startup items have been generated that will aid in
# starting dbus with launchd. They are disabled
# by default. Execute the following command to start them,
# and to cause them to launch at startup:
#
# sudo launchctl load -w /Library/LaunchDaemons/org.freedesktop.dbus-system.plist
# launchctl load -w /Library/LaunchAgents/org.freedesktop.dbus-session.plist
############################################################################

Running the commands manually should be enough to run nautilus directly after installation (without rebooting).

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  • It tells me Error: Port nautilus not found.
    – Ky -
    Oct 28, 2015 at 18:08
  • @BenC.R.Leggiero see trac.macports.org on how to get support on MacPorts
    – nohillside
    Oct 29, 2015 at 8:16
  • On OSX 10.12 Sierra it tells Error: Failed to build gstreamer1-gst-plugins-bad.
    – Anthony
    Aug 11, 2017 at 12:30
  • Hm, not sure why that is @AnthonyB. This answer is over 6 years old. You might want to look what the build error for gstreamer1-gst-plugins-bad was, or better yet, if there's a config option to exclude building those.
    – Josh
    Aug 11, 2017 at 12:57
  • I posted a comment mainly to inform other users that it may not work on OSX 10.12. I didn't expect an answer to my comment but thanks for that @Josh. It seems gstreamer1-gst-plugins-bad is not maintained anymore. I have an error code CHILDSTATUS 660 2. I'll search deeper in order to be able to install nautilus on OSX 10.12.
    – Anthony
    Aug 11, 2017 at 13:05
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While Josh's answer regarding MacPorts addresses how to install nautilus, it doesn't address how to run it "instead of Finder". In the other answer(s), there seemed to be some confusion about whether it would be possible to prevent the Finder from running.

Unlike an application such as the Dock, the Finder isn't considered a "required" application. For example, if you were to write an AppleScript to the effect of tell application "Dock" to quit"and then run it, the loginwindow would immediately re-launch the Dock, since it assumes the Dock must always be running. With the Finder, however, as long as you quit it in a way that allows OS X to know that you had a clear intent to do that, the loginwindow won't relaunch it.

To do that, all you need to do is simply tell the Finder to quit rather than trying to kill it. When you kill the Finder forcibly by using the Force-Quit option or by using kill or killall in Terminal, loginwindow (or launchd for your user account) will immediately try to relaunch it because it saw that it terminated "unexpectedly".

Telling the Finder to quit via an Apple Event won't result in it automatically being relaunched.

[EDIT]: In more recent versions of macOS, as I mentioned in this answer, it's possible to prevent the Finder from running by running the following command in Terminal:

launchctl unload /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.Finder.plist

Alternatively, in older versions of OS X, an AppleScript like the following could be run at login to quit the Finder:

property runningApps : {}
property assureQuitMenuItem : true

tell application "System Events" to set runningApps to name of every application process

if (runningApps contains "Finder") then
    tell application "Finder" to quit
end if

if (assureQuitMenuItem) then
    set quitMenuItem to missing value
    try
        set quitMenuItem to (do shell script "/usr/bin/defaults read com.apple.finder QuitMenuItem")
    on error
        set quitMenuItem to "0"
    end try
    if quitMenuItem = "0" then
        do shell script "/usr/bin/defaults write com.apple.finder QuitMenuItem 1"
    end if
end if

A saved version of this in application form is at: QuitFinder.zip

(You can open the application in AppleScript Editor to see its contents by dragging the script app icon onto AppleScript Editor's application icon).

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