Thunar, the default Xfce file manager, doesn’t support split view. But thanks to Xfce user Román who decided to take this issue into his own hands, and to our good fellows from webupd8.org, we have the option to get a functional package in our system. In a blog post, user Rob Smart asked if it was possible to get the Split View working in Thunar. So, here I’ll share my findings and help you install it in Linux Lite.
To mention the basics, you will be removing Thunar from your system, which means that during some part of this tutorial you won’t have a file manager to browse around. Hence, you should be somewhat familiar moving around in Terminal until our desired Thunar version is installed.
The reason we will be manually installing the needed packages is because we will be forcing the installation of 16.04.1+1 packages while 16.04.2 packages are by default available in the default repository. Hence, we will be basically forcing a small downgrade.
1- Let’s create a directory named “thunar-packages” for convenience under the home directory.
mkdir -p thunar-packages "$HOME"
2- Download the following packages from launchpad “WebUpd8” team and save then in the “thunar-packages” directory you just created. You need them all according to your system architecture; either 64bit or 32bit.
Package files for 64bit system:
Package files for 32bit system:
Removing and Reinstalling Thunar from the downloaded packages
At this point we should be able to uninstall Thunar and install the downloaded packages.
sudo apt-get remove --purge thunar -y
Now that we have no file manager, let’s go ahead and install the downloaded packages. In Terminal, browse to the thunar-packages folder created in step 1 and force install all the downloaded packages.
cd $HOME/thunar-packages sudo dpkg --force-all -i *.deb
Finally, let’s reinstall the additional needed plugins that were removed during Thunar uninstall:
sudo apt-get install thunar-archive-plugin thunar-media-tags-plugin thunar-volman
Logout or restart. Login once again, launch Thunar and press the F3 key in your keyboard
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, we installed Thunar 16.04.1+1 packages while 16.04.2 packages are already available in the repository, hence those packages will show up to be updated as soon as you try to update your system. You do not want to update your Thunar packages else you’ll loose the ability to use the F3 Split View… at least not until we get 16.04.2 packages patched with the F3 Split View feature.
To prevent Thunar packages from being updated, it is as simple as putting a hold on those packages. There are several ways to put a hold on installed packages: with dpkg, apt, aptitude, etc. We will use apt in this post, which is simple and efficient:
sudo apt-mark hold thunar thunar-data thunar-dbg libthunarx-2-0 libthunarx-2-dev
… and it is safe to run updates once again. Thunar packages will not be upgraded until the hold is removed.
Just in case you are wondering how is it a hold removed for a package:
sudo apt-mark unhold package-name