How to integrate into Thunar a file search that includes subfolders?

Zorin Lite 16.2 XFCE

  • Is there a way to integrate into Thunar a file search that includes subfolders? ("Integrate" meaning everything happens in the existing Thunar window, not spawning additional Catfish and Thunar windows.) And a way to get a visible access to that search function in the Thunar GUI, like a search box or magnifying glass icon etc?
  • If not, can I change to a start menu whose search box also finds files not just apps? Or a lightweight file manager with integrated subfolder search, a GUI way of using it and which can easily be installed to replace Thunar in ZL16.2?

I'm trying to set up ZL16.2 on my mum's old laptop for her, and she's used to Windows. Within 60 seconds of me showing her her Home folder etc in Thunar, she's asking me how to search for something. Out of the box, ZL16.2 Thunar provides no clue how to search and once you discover online the keyboard shortcut, it only gives results directly in the current level of the folder, but no results from subfolders. Not good for converting her from Windows.
I've tweaked Thunar to search subfolders too, roughly as per @bynd 's instructions in this post Searching for files using Thunar , and it works but after a few searches I end up with lots of unwanted Catfish and Thunar windows.
E.g. I'm in a Thunar window. I press Ctrl + F, a Catfish window opens and I search. I click on a folder in the results in the Catfish window, and a new Thunar window opens. Now instead of just one window open, I have three (two Thunar, one Catfish). Multiply that by every time I search.
Also (even more problematically), navigating around your system in Thunar means a subfolder will be often be highlighted (even if you didn't actively select it), and when you think you're searching the folder you're in, Catfish will actually only search that highlighted subfolder. Very confusing until I realized what was happening.

Nemo 5 Offers this functionality. You can search for files from the direcotry or in all subdirectories below.
You can also search by content of the file; a very useful feature.

To install:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:linuxmint-daily-build-team/daily-builds

sudo apt install -y nemo


sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:linuxmint-daily-build-team/daily-builds

Set Nemo as default FM:

xdg-mime default nemo.desktop inode/directory

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nemo fm will be better for that now in zorin lite, the new release of thunar fm has added all features u want, but u can't use the last version of thunar in zorin because zorin lite based on xubuntu 20.04, and the new version of thunar needed xubuntu 22.04 , i think that will be added in zorin lite17 in July

Thanks for the info on Nemo.
@Aravisian what are the differences between the Nemo in the Linux Mint PPA and the Nemo found in Synaptic (Zorin repo?)?

The PPA contains the later Nemo that includes the extended search functionality.
So as "content search".

Seems to be working great! Thanks.
Some issues elsewhere, though. E.g I put an icon for the Home folder on the desktop. That still opens Thunar, even after disabling and reenabling the icon.
And in the panel... uh-oh, trying to remove the Thunar icon pinned to the panel, I accidentally removed the whole panel instead! PANIC! How do I turn the panel back on? (Trying to use the Super key to bring up the menu just gives me a "Failed to Send Dbus" error.

xfce4-panel -r
``` Doesn't work either.
EDIT: I got the panel, by doing it without the -r

Instead of using the default File Manager APplet, instead create a Launcher. Then, in its properties, add a program for it to opena nd choose Nemo.

Tap alt+F2 and enter in xfce4-panel

It will most likely create a new panel. It will appear uppr left on your screen as a small rectangle.
Click and drag it to the screen position you want.
Then right click it and open properties.
Expand it to 100% length if you want to, then start adding your Items Back in the Items tab.

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Thanks. I got the launcher created once I searched for nemo (somehow scrolling through the folder I couldn't find it) from the Command button. Now I've got a Home desktop icon that opens in Nemo. :slight_smile:
And the panel, just xfce4-panel was enough to restore as before, so I didn't have to retweak it. :slight_smile:

I like how Nemo even has a zoom function, which even works with Ctrl + and Ctrl -. Nice!

One potential issue still for my mum, noticeable in Nemo and Thunar and elsewhere, so maybe an XFCE issue: "disappearing"/"fading" scroll bars. Any way to make scroll bars permanently visible at least in Nemo?

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Yes, that bugs me, too. You can turn off the Scrollbar Overlay (Hide or fading scrollers):

sudo nano /etc/environment

Add the following line:
Hit ctrl+x to exit, hit the Y key to say yes to save, then hit the Enter key to save under current configuration.

You also can turn off the overlay for only a specific application:
For example, let's say you wanted to have overlay scrollbars off only for Nemo - launch Nemo with


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At first there was no change and I thought maybe I got things wrong in nano. But after logging out and back in: permanently visible scroll bars! :slight_smile:

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In case anyone else reads this thread about replacing Thunar with Nemo, here's some additional info.
While checking out my Super key combinations, I noticed Super + E still opened Thunar. In Keyboard >Application Shortcuts, I selected the existing Super+E entry and clicked Edit to change FileManager (Thunar) to Files (Nemo). Instead of editing the existing entry, that just seemed to create a new entry whose shortcut conflicted with the existing one. So I removed the FileManager one and just kept the Files one, but then Super + E did nothing.
So I removed that entry too, and using Add made a brand new one for usr/bin/Nemo, and now Super + E opens Nemo at the Home folder. :slight_smile:

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