restore type-ahead find

Bug #1164016 reported by Adam Dingle on 2013-04-03
This bug affects 253 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
nautilus (Ubuntu)
Daniel Wyatt
ubuntu-settings (Ubuntu)
Robert Ancell

Bug Description

GNOME removed type-ahead find in Nautilus 3.6, not without controversy:

Now when you type in a Nautilus window, Nautilus immediately performs a search in the current directory and all its subdirectories. I personally find this annoying. If I want to search, I'll click the search icon. Often I'm looking at a long directory listing and simply want to jump to a certain point in it, and type-ahead find works great for that.

Would Ubuntu consider patching type-ahead find back in?

Related branches

Adam Dingle (adam-yorba) on 2013-04-03
description: updated
Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

Thanks Adam, it's something that annoys quite some people indeed. We are not sure what to do at the moment, nautilus 3.6 is an user regression compared to 3.4 on several fronts.

We are discussing adding back nautilus 3.4 as an option (and maybe make it the default in Ubuntu) but it's an unmaintained software upstream and it doesn't seem to be a good idea to suggest it to users if we are not going to have the resources to fix issues with it...

Changed in nautilus (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
status: New → Confirmed
Adam Dingle (adam-yorba) wrote :

Yeah. My vote is to stay with the current Nautilus (3.6 in Raring) since it is maintained upstream, but to use patches or plugins to fix the most important regressions.

Alfredo Matos (alfmatos) wrote :

I would say that this is a long way from Low Importance. As a desktop user I hit this bug dozens of times per day, and over time this is incredibly frustrating to the point of having installed several alternatives, and even considering dropping Unity/Gnome in favor of KDE (or something sane).

Alfredo Matos (alfmatos) wrote :

Best workaround so far is to install nautilus 3.4 in 13.04:

Adam Dingle (adam-yorba) wrote :

I've also filed this upstream at

Adam Dingle (adam-yorba) wrote :

One more point. When the Nautilus designers replaced type-ahead find with search-as-you-type, their intention was that searching as you type would be really fast because Nautilus would use Tracker to search. See, for example, the comment : "Nautilus will build with a Tracker dependency by default unless
--disable-tracker is used. That is strongly not recommended. Search is going to kind of suck without it."

Because Ubuntu does not use Tracker, searching as you type in Nautilus is especially painful on Ubuntu, and so the removal of type-ahead find affects Ubuntu users especially acutely.

So in Ubuntu we could enable Tracker, which would alleviate the problem somewhat, and/or patch type-ahead find back in. I lean toward the patch: it's probably really easy. But I agree with Alfredo that finding some solution to this should have more than a Low importance.

Changed in nautilus (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Triaged
Changed in nautilus:
importance: Unknown → Medium
status: Unknown → New
bf (bflesch) wrote :

Adam Dingle: Thanks for clarifying that this issue has not been intended by the nautilus developers.

Anyway, this bug affects me a lot and I cannot believe that of all people working at/for Ubuntu, nobody ran into this issue. It is very striking and totally kills directory navigation as I am used to.

Changed in nautilus:
status: New → Invalid
Adolfo Jayme (fitojb) on 2013-05-19
Changed in nautilus (Ubuntu):
importance: Low → Medium
Marco Lackovic (marco-lackovic) wrote :

I also find the removal of type-ahead very frustrating. I think an option to re-enable it should be available.

In my opinion the previous behavior was more intuitive: if I wanted to search fo something I would have used the search function at hand. Before it was possible to discern the two things, (1) go to the file/folder in the current folder, (2) search for a file/folder in the current folders and subfolders. Now only option (2) is possible.

As a workaround, I followed the following suggestion and installed Nemo:

Justin Force (justin-force) wrote :

The new behavior is INFURIATING. And the search functionality is terrible. Even if it were fast (and it's terribly slow on my Core i7 and Intel SSD), it's stupid. I'm a software developer. When I type 'lib', I want to jump to the lib directory that I'm looking at--not find every directory and file with lib in it recursively. That's insane! And there's a well-established UX for this already: indicate that you want to perform a search by pressing Ctrl-F, F3, or whatever.

This change has made it virtually impossible to navigate Nautilus without a mouse, and so Nautilus is now completely useless to me. HUGE step backward.

I realize that GNOME is doing weird things with Nautilus 3.6, and that the version shipping with Ubuntu is a best effort by Canonical, the Ubuntu community, and friends to maintain sanity. I don't mean to criticize the folks who are doing the best they can. I just want adequately register my frustration here. My Ubuntu desktop experience is seriously hampered as Nautilus is completely useless to me now. It's much more efficient to do all file operations in a shell if I can't type-ahead find.

And I don't think this is an issue of, "Well, I guess it's time to learn new UI." I'm not averse to drastic changes to the UI if they're improvements. This isn't a matter of Old Dog v. New Trick. This is a very, very bad UI decision. It makes the software less useful.

Quick side rant: the GNOME team have been stripping out features and removing useful functionality for years. I understand the idea of boiling down a tool to its most essential parts, the benefits that that has for maintainability, and the elegance of a focused UI. But come on. It's easy to cross the line and break things that people rely on, and that seems to have been GNOME's modus operandi for at least the past 6 years.

Abraxas (cjay-martin) wrote :

I also agree on this. I used the lookahead as my primary navigation through complex filesystems. I have so many like-named subdirectories that this new feature is dropping my efficiency pretty badly. I was hoping to avoid using any of the cinnamon forks until/unless they became officially embraced by Ubuntu (just for compatibility reasons), but I'm a little stuck.

No rant here, just the facts, ma'am.

Salvation (jjmatt) wrote :

Just wanted to +1 what everyone else said. One more vote for a type-ahead search function.

M4he (mahe) wrote :

Can someone put together a patch, which incorporates the type-ahead search from Nautilus 3.4 into 3.6 ?

I switched to Kubuntu, now happily using Dolphin in place of Nautilus/File.

Florian (florian-phpws) wrote :

I +1 this. I've recently upgraded to 13.04 with nautilus 3.6 and this is the single most annoying thing at all. I quite like how most things are back to basics, but this is the complete opposite. Unless I want to make around for hours with the mouse and clinched eyes, this makes nautilus about as useful to me as a car with built in satnav that can only turn left. I would love to see a patch for this. As others mention, if I wanted to do this kind of search I would, well, search (Ctrl+F etc.).

James (ubuntu-soundunreason) wrote :

I concur. At least make this optional/switchable. It is a feature I do not wish to use. I like typing a few letters and jumping to a section in the list.

Tomasz Kucharski (qhrrrr) wrote :

Just wanted to agree with above, and show by posting that there are more frustrated users. This "feature" beats famous Win8 Start button. IMO it's worst "feature" ever designed, I'd love to see how developers of this software uses their file mangers. I can't understand why there is no way for users to configure this behavior. Even advanced users have no option to reconfigure. Why????

M4he (mahe) wrote :
Christian González (droetker) wrote :

Installing an old nautilus is no option here. This is a really annoying, broken feature and should be reverted to the old behaviour. Starting to type lets you loose your overview of where you are in the file system. If I want to search, I press Ctrl+F. Then this search should be available.

Please remove this "feature" again.

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

Thanks for the interest/comments there, Ubuntu doesn't have a nautilus hacker though and that chance is coming from upstream, it would be better discussed on the upstream bug tracker/mailing list than on launchpad ... while we agree that the current situation is suboptimal not sure that's a problem that can easily by fixed by Ubuntu

M4he (mahe) wrote :

I strongly recommend Canonical to maintain their own version (fork) of 3.4 (maybe with the SolusOS patch). I think Nautilus 3.4 is a mature software already.

Adam Dingle (adam-yorba) wrote :

Sebastien, thanks for your comment - it's nice to know that someone at Ubuntu is paying attention to this thread.

I don't think forking an old version of Nautilus is practical. The problem is that it would be a ton of work to keep such a fork compatible with new versions of GTK, GLib and other libraries. Instead I think the current version of Nautilus (3.8 in Saucy) should be patched to fix this.

Removing type-ahead find has been controversial upstream (i.e. at GNOME) - see, for example, the discussions at

Nevertheless I think it's very unlikely that the GNOME developers will fix this for 3.10, or possibly ever. Even if they were to fix this in, say, Nautilus 3.12 next spring, that version won't appear in Ubuntu until late 2014 (since Ubuntu lags GNOME by a release cycle). So if this going to be fixed in Ubuntu in the near future, I think Ubuntu will need to take responsibility for doing that. You may not like that - sure, in an ideal world this would be discussed rationally and fixed upstream - but this is how it is.

You wrote "not sure that's a problem that can easily by fixed by Ubuntu". I guess that depends on what you mean by "easily". I'm quite confident that a competent hacker could come up with a patch to the current Nautilus that restores type-ahead find in, say, 2-3 weeks. It might even be easier. I'd start by attempting to git revert the commit where this breakage was introduced:

That will yield merge conflicts, which must be studied and resolved in some nice way. This might not be solvable in a day, but I'd be very surprised if this took more than a month of work.

To those of us on the outside, it's baffling that Ubuntu would not want to invest that amount of effort to solve this, since this is a highly visible core program on the Ubuntu desktop and it seems pretty evident that the majority of users are harmed by this. Has someone at Ubuntu already spent several weeks working on this and concluded it was too difficult? Or does Ubuntu not feel it would be worth that amount of effort?

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

Hey Adam, thanks for your comment

> Has someone at Ubuntu already spent several weeks working on this and concluded it was too difficult? Or does Ubuntu not feel it would be worth that amount of effort?

Well, neither, the current desktop team has around 10 people to maintain the desktop ... that includes the complete GNOME stack, xorg, firefox, libreoffice, etc.

In practice that's quite a low amonth of manpower compared to the number of packages to maintain, blocking time from an hacker for more than half a day is difficult for us... there is no way at the moment to spare someone for a week to resolve nautilus issues, we just have to sneak fixes in between higher priority work

Oh, for the record we do agree that this bug is annoying and would like to fix, we just need to deal with what we have

Adam Dingle (adam-yorba) wrote :

Sebastien, thanks for your reply. Given your staffing level I can see why this is not as easy as it might seem.

According to this page Canonical has over 500 employees:

If only 10 of them are assigned to desktop maintenance, I would say that team is seriously understaffed. But that's probably a discussion for another forum, not this bug thread. :)

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

> If only 10 of them are assigned to desktop maintenance, I would say that team is seriously understaffed. But that's probably a discussion for another forum, not this bug thread. :)

Right ... note that we have more "desktop" people than that, but most of them are working on Unity and Ubuntu Touch ... which limits our capacity for issues on the "traditionnal desktop". But as you said, that's a discussion getting out of topic for this bug ;-)

M Oberhauser (zomtir) wrote :

Unfortunately it seems that it's less a question of sense but stubbornness. Immediately after the changes were merged, they came up with the "Find in view is broken issue":

natermer left a long and very biased comment, indicating that Gnome won't return to the type ahead functionality. Not sure how deep he's involved into developement:

It might be worth a try to directly contact the responsible devs and have a polite discussion wether this bug was marked "invalid" on a technical and comprehensible reason, considering design and consistency being a bad tradeoff for usability and freedom of choice.

If Gnome then still persist on the Apple pathway, how are the chances of getting a type ahead plugin working?

To add my voice to this bug, I installed 13.04 today, on my work computer (previously Windows 7 only), to enable me to use a variety of bash scripts to process a large number of files on an external ext3 drive. At home I have 12.10 installed.

The files are images, several thousand per folder, stored in dated folders (such as 11-04-23-country_location). Now I know, for example, that I was in Belgium in May 2005, so I type '05-05' and a folder NEAR the one I want was previously highlighted, allowing me to quickly and easily find the correct folder. A related task is to go to the next, and previous, folders. Both of these uses are broken with the new search set-up.

The Gnome team's total brick-walling of the furious users should give pause for thought. I simply cannot believe they have shot themselves in the foot so categorically as to make the staple piece of software, that underpins their entire user interface, so crippled.

This is a far more serious usability issue than anything thrown up with the migration to Unity. I would rate it, probably, as the highest, most disruptive user interface bug I have ever come across in Ubuntu (and I've been with you since Warty).

The workaround linked by M4he above is good news, but the idea of having to install a patch to get basic file-browser functionality is insane. Even more insane than firing up Mac OSX and being faced with the abomination that is Finder.

Sebastian, it's great news that Ubuntu are listening, and seeing this as an issue, and I hope a proper solution is forthcoming. At what point does a frankly bizarre upstream user interface decision like this become priority #1 at Canonical? When it begins to compromise the very good work being done with Unity? When does it become worth moving a developer from Unity onto an issue like this?

Adam Dingle (adam-yorba) wrote :

Well stated, Andrew. I myself have used Ubuntu since the days of Dapper Drake, and I agree that this is one of the most serious usability problems I've seen in Ubuntu during that entire time.

firolp (firogm) wrote :

It's really a terrible things that disable type-ahead find. Please,implement a plugin or option to reenable type-ahead find.

2 comments hidden view all 137 comments
Dr. Amr Osman (dr3mro) wrote :

this patch works with nautilus 3.6 on ubuntu 13.04
this is patch i uploaded it to my ppa:dr3mro/personal
have fun

Dr. Amr Osman (dr3mro) wrote :

after installing the patched nautilus



restart nautilus
have fun !!

The attachment "enable_disable_recursive_search.patch" seems to be a patch. If it isn't, please remove the "patch" flag from the attachment, remove the "patch" tag, and if you are a member of the ~ubuntu-reviewers, unsubscribe the team.

[This is an automated message performed by a Launchpad user owned by ~brian-murray, for any issues please contact him.]

tags: added: patch
Dr. Amr Osman (dr3mro) on 2013-07-29
Changed in nautilus (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Dr. Amr Osman (dr3mro)
Adam Dingle (adam-yorba) wrote :

Dr. Osman, thanks for your patch. A few comments:

1. Of course, this patch does not restore type-ahead find as originally requested in this bug ticket. Instead, it simply disables recursive searching, so that as you type only files in the current directory are returned. Still, this does significantly ease the pain of this upstream change. If Ubuntu can't summon the resources to restore type-ahead find in 13.10, I would recommend landing this patch since it's ultra-simple and does make things less painful. I'd further recommend modifying the patch so that non-recursive search is the default (as it stands, the user must set a GSettings key to disable recursive search, and few users will figure out how to do that). The GSettings key would then let users *enable* recursive search if they really want to. I suspect that few users will.

2. You really should be patching Nautilus 3.8.2, which is the current version of Nautilus in Ubuntu 13.10, where this is most likely to land. (I wouldn't mind seeing this backported to 13.04 either, though.)

3. In the patch, I believe you could simplify this code:

if (g_settings_get_boolean (nautilus_preferences, NAUTILUS_PREFERENCES_ENABLE_RECURSIVE_SEARCH)) {
  g_object_set (simple_provider, "recursive", TRUE, NULL);}
 g_object_set (simple_provider, "recursive", FALSE, NULL);


gboolean recursive = g_settings_get_boolean (nautilus_preferences, NAUTILUS_PREFERENCES_ENABLE_RECURSIVE_SEARCH));
g_object_set(simple_provider, "recursive", recursive, NULL);

Fewer lines are better. :)

Dr. Amr Osman (dr3mro) wrote :

ok did your suggestion
thank you

Xavier (rxaviers) wrote :

Looking forward to seeing this patch get landed. So, we are able to use Nautilus again. Any updates or plans on when it's gonna happen?

PS: I make Justin's my words. Current regression is INFURIATING.
Go Ubuntu, save us all from this evil.

carez (carez) wrote :

I switched to nemo file manager and very happy since then.

Darlan Alves (darlan) wrote :

Looking forward to see this thing fixed too.

It's just insane that a bug that made people install alternative packages just to get rid of a tiny new feature is not considered a ultra-super-high priority on Ubuntu teams.

I'm using Ubuntu for years, and this is the most annoying thing I've ever noticed since Unity was introduced. At first, I found myself cursing Ubuntu for that sudden UI change, but Unity made its way and now I really like it. I don't think the same gonna happen with this damn search thing.

Nautilus browsing is just useless right now! I prefer "Ctrl+Alt+T", "cd to/a/path", and "nautilus .&" instead of touch my mouse or insanely arrow-navigate to do so. I would try to fix it myself if I knew C++ =/

Please, pleease call Mark to dev's room and ask him for a "Nautilus browsing experience". I'm sure it would hate Nautilus as we do right now.

Changed in nautilus (Ubuntu):
assignee: Dr. Amr Osman (dr3mro) → nobody
Changed in nautilus:
importance: Medium → Unknown
status: Invalid → Unknown
Changed in nautilus:
importance: Unknown → Wishlist
status: Unknown → New
Changed in ubuntu-settings (Ubuntu):
status: New → In Progress
importance: Undecided → Medium
assignee: nobody → Robert Ancell (robert-ancell)
Changed in nautilus (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Daniel Wyatt (daniel-wyatt)
status: Triaged → In Progress
Changed in nautilus (Ubuntu):
status: In Progress → Fix Committed
Changed in ubuntu-settings (Ubuntu):
status: In Progress → Fix Committed
Changed in nautilus (Ubuntu):
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
Changed in ubuntu-settings (Ubuntu):
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
Changed in nautilus:
status: New → Confirmed
57 comments hidden view all 137 comments
Ajay Anand (aanand-ub) wrote :

Jumping to the file beginning with the typed letter is NOT the best behavior.

Searching all the folders and subfolders when something is typed is also not the best behavior.


Searching all the folders and subfolders when something is typed is the best behavior given a toggle button to enable/disable subfolder search. If subfolder search is disabled only current folder will be searched. This amalgamates best feature of both sides.

Ajay Anand (aanand-ub) wrote :

Until the best behavior (mentioned above) is incorporated, I recommend using the fallback mode: "grep" and "find".

M4he (mahe) wrote :

@Ajay: That's a rather subjective opinion! Search will always get slow on huge folders. Because of the technical nature of type-ahead it is still fast even on huge folder contents. When I use type-ahead it takes me less than 1 second to choose and enter a folder.
I know my folders and their subfolders, I'm dependent on the speed of type-ahead because I use a chain of multiple letter and enter key strokes to navigate through many folders in a second. If type-ahead would be replaced by search, the speed of search results would depend on the folder's content size and I would not be able to use my quick chain of key strokes anymore due to the irregular response time of the search.
I admit, this is a rather subjective opinion as well! But type-ahead has been there for years, it is also integrated into the file managers of OS X or Windows and into the majority of the Linux ones. Your solution mentioned might be an improvement for _some_ people. But that doesn't mean it should replace type-ahead. It could be added as an optional feature that can be activated within the settings. Linux software in general is about configuration & customization - not about claiming you know what is best by forcing your opinion on others and killing features. The latter is exactly what happened to nautilus and why we have this long discussion here.

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote : is due to this change (ctrl-s in list view selects only one element)

Changed in nautilus:
status: Confirmed → Expired
Max D (maxdesp) wrote :

This is up to date again in 17.10

drunckoder (drunckoder) wrote :

I can confirm there's an issue again on Ubuntu 17.10

Stathis Aliprandis (alistat) wrote :

I can also confirm on 17.10 (3.26.0)

teo1978 (teo8976) wrote :

Fucking unbelievable

Michael Borkowski (miuhael) wrote :

17.10, this is annoying as hell.

As someone who constantly uses type-ahead find when browsing files, I can't stand the current behavior. Who actually wants it this way? I'm replacing Nautilus for now, please fix this.

ju2gle (ju2gle) wrote :

This is really awful!

Henrik Holmboe (holmboe) wrote :

The old behaviour was one of the power features of Nautilus for a person that uses keyboard navigation. The new behaviour is dramatically different and frankly doesn't work as well for many use cases.

Lets say I want to quickly navigate to ~/code/myproject/module/

1. I switch to Nautilus which shows my home folder
   A. With the old behaviour: c ENTER m ENTER m ENTER __i ENTER
   B. With the new behaviour:, and it shows me tons of located in my home folder and all subdirectories
2. Trying to use the new behaviour and still achieve my goal I try this:
   i) module/, no hit
   ii) module, no hit

So, currently I see no way of navigating to the intended file without alot of hassle or reaching for the mouse. A big regression for me.

teo1978 (teo8976) wrote :

@109 this is already known to be the wrong behavior. It was introduced long ago by the hopelessly stupid Nautilus people, and patched by Ubuntu to reestablish the old sensible behavior, but something must have gone wrong in the latest release and so the idiocy has resurfaced.
What I don't understand is how it can be taking so long to fix again.

Oh I see why: most of us cannot change back the status of the bug once it has been changed to "fix released" (which is stupid, too).

> Oh I see why: most of us cannot change back the status of the bug once it has been changed to "fix released" (which is stupid, too).

If that is genuinely the reason (and this bug has been marked as "Fix Released" since Jan 2014, so it seems correct), then is it not time to raise a new bug?

Henrik Holmboe (holmboe) wrote :

@adpsimpson-gmail there is already #1666681:

teo1978 (teo8976) wrote :

> If that is genuinely the reason (and this bug has been marked as "Fix Released"
> since Jan 2014, so it seems correct), then is it not time to raise a new bug?

Maybe (though it seems a little stupid to raise a new bug for exactly the same issue).

Anyway I did, like yesterday, and it got closed
(can't find it right now, I don't know what's wrong with the search engine of this stupid bug tracker)

Serge (ohmerton) wrote :

Unfortunately this is really a deal-breaker for me and forces me to drop Nautilus and experiment with other, perhaps not so well developed/maintained, GUI file managers. What a pity.

teo1978 (teo8976) wrote :

"not so well developed/maintained"? You mean worse than Nautilus??

teo1978 (teo8976) wrote :

> Anyway I did, like yesterday, and it got closed
> (can't find it right now [...])


Maxim Berman (bermanmaxim) wrote :

Very often files many subfolders contain files with the same name as in the folder you are browsing. Example: Makefiles, .git folders, etc. With recursive search these files all show up without a clear way to distinguish them. :(

Try this:

The changes are based on the patch from Arch community (, with slight modifications to work on 3.26.3 release.

In Ubuntu 18.04 this problem is now present again :-( it is really annoying...

Why don't we have both options? Why removing something that we like (find folder/file with a letter) and insisting on something else (search)? I am trying to get used to this new behavior for almost a week, but it is just slowing me down.

This could be implemented as simple as this:

## keypress event

switch (option_search_or_locate ) {
  case 1: locate_folder (char_pressed); break;
  case 2: search (char_pressed); break;

Starbeamrainbowlabs (sbrl) wrote :

What's the status on this please? Someone seems to be maintaining a PPA that restores the functionality over at hard would it be to just accept that version as the official version of nautilus?

Sounds to me like those in charge of deciding the direction of gnome / nautilus / etc. don't really think about the users as much as they should do - leading to useful features being regularly dropped (is there going to be anything left?) - this is far from the first time this has happened.

teo1978 (teo8976) wrote :

> Sounds to me like those in charge of deciding the direction of gnome / nautilus / etc.
> don't really think about the users as much as they should

They don't THINK much at all, let alone about the users.

Henrik Holmboe (holmboe) wrote :

@teo1978 could you please spare us your comments, they are offensive and does not help. Please only send constructive comments.

If you want to affect the right people into understanding your point of view, then you will have a much better chance if you are nice to begin with.

teo1978 (teo8976) wrote :

> Please only send constructive comments.

Here's a constructive comment: Ubuntu, as a distribution, should switch to another default file manager other than Nautilus, because Nautilus is poorly maintained and the upstream developers keep making bad design decisions that only make the software worse. Has been so for years already, and it doesn't show any signs of getting better.

mkurz (matthias.kurz) wrote :


Upgraded to Ubuntu 18.04 to find out about this crappy behaviour.

Please fix it.

Norbert (nrbrtx) on 2018-08-13
tags: added: bionic cosmic
Norbert (nrbrtx) wrote :

I can't completely understand what GNOME developers are trying to achieve!
This functionality was used for years.

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and 16.04 are not affected.
But 18.04 LTS and 18.10 are trying to perform search after entering first letter.

The patch for Nautilus in 18.04 LTS is available (see and ).

teo1978 (teo8976) wrote :

> I can't completely understand what GNOME developers are trying to achieve!
> 18.04 LTS and 18.10 are trying to perform search after entering first letter.

The underlying assumption seems to be that when you type the name of a file, the only thing you may possibly want is to search for that file, and that if the search is recursive within subdirectory, that's even better, and that the only reason you may not want that, is because a recursive search can become slow; but since they have optimized search so much that it is always instant-fast (or so they claim), then who wouldn't want Nautilus to just start searching recursively and instantly showing you the search results as you type? Genius, right?

Wrong. Becaue even assuming a recursive search in a bazillion files could be performed in a nanosecond, that is not necessarily what we want when we type a partial filename. Many of us just want to SELECT a file within the current directory while still viewing all of its contents and not just the matching file/s. Perhaps you want to simply SPOT that file and select other ones that are near to it, or actually select that one but also other ones.

When you want to do a search, which is a completely different thing, you can do Ctrl+F.

There is a fundamental difference between search (what you do when you don't know where something is) and navigate (what you do when you know exactly where something is, and want to go there). Why the gnome team have chosen to conflate them, and their mental state while doing so, is anyone's guess. But from a usability perspective, it is broken.

Milton Lai (miltonlai) wrote :

The most painful thing in Ubuntu 18.04. The search functionality is terrible when I just want to navigate to certain folder/file in a long list.

Malac (malacusp) wrote :

Please put this back in.

I never understand why developers /remove/ features instead of leaving them in and making it an option.

The previous org->gnome->nautilus->preferences setting accomplished this fine and should have been left active.

anonymous mouse (eeefafe) wrote :

OK. So I was a happy user of 16.04. With a new computer in August, I thought it would make sense to go with 18.04.

One of the biggest issues is this searching stuff in Nautilus. Why?
1. It is not instant (unlike the type/find ahead of Nautilus in 16.04). I cannot type and then press enter and load the folder I want.
2. It is inconsistent with file dialogs (e.g. save or open) where find/type ahead works as expected.
3. Often I just want to see the files and folders in relation to one another. I might want to see the files starting with 'th', and being able to see the files starting with 'te' and 'tg' before the ones starting with 'th' is often quite useful.
4. There is no way that I can see to make it search only within the directory and not recursively search all subdirectories. I don't like that.
5. And searching within subdirectories doesn't even work 100% of the time! E.g. A search for a dot folder consistently doesn't turn it up.

Thank you Ubuntu developers for previously hiding this stupidity. Please consider getting rid of it in 18.04 as well.

Jan-Jonas Sämann (janjonas) wrote :

This stupid behavior isn't only inconvinient,

-> this really BREAKS FUNCTIONALITY if you work on network resources.

Especially in Germany where possible internet speeds in many locations do not exeed well known dialup connection speeds.

What happens then is a complete lockup on nautilus while the filelists are queried again from the remote site. This usually takes minutes to complete.

Allan Boll (allanrbo) wrote :

+1. Type-ahead is basic expected functionality of a file browser.

javier (javierleal) wrote :

I changed to Dolphin :-(

zhanghongce (zhanghongce) wrote :

One more vote for a type-ahead navigation rather than a search. The search is stupid.

CarlosRuiz_globalqss (carg67) wrote :

I think the change is interesting - what seems annoying is to force the user - not letting us choose. In my case - installing back the old nautilus.

Norbert (nrbrtx) on 2018-12-09
tags: added: disco
Displaying first 40 and last 40 comments. View all 137 comments or add a comment.
This report contains Public information  Edit
Everyone can see this information.

Duplicates of this bug

Other bug subscribers

Remote bug watches

Bug watches keep track of this bug in other bug trackers.