thunar

Thunar Split View for Linux Lite and others

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.

Getting ready

1- Let’s create a directory named “thunar-packages” for convenience under the home directory.

From Terminal:

mkdir -p thunar-packages "$HOME"

make-directory-thunar-packages

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:

libthunarx-2-0_1.6.11-0ubuntu0.16.04.1+1~webupd8~xenial_amd64.deb
libthunarx-2-dev_1.6.11-0ubuntu0.16.04.1+1~webupd8~xenial_amd64.deb
thunar-data_1.6.11-0ubuntu0.16.04.1+1~webupd8~xenial_all.deb
thunar-dbg_1.6.11-0ubuntu0.16.04.1+1~webupd8~xenial_amd64.deb
thunar_1.6.11-0ubuntu0.16.04.1+1~webupd8~xenial_amd64.deb

Package files for 32bit system:

libthunarx-2-0_1.6.11-0ubuntu0.16.04.1+1~webupd8~xenial_i386.deb
libthunarx-2-dev_1.6.11-0ubuntu0.16.04.1+1~webupd8~xenial_i386.deb
thunar-data_1.6.11-0ubuntu0.16.04.1+1~webupd8~xenial_all.deb
thunar-dbg_1.6.11-0ubuntu0.16.04.1+1~webupd8~xenial_i386.deb
thunar_1.6.11-0ubuntu0.16.04.1+1~webupd8~xenial_i386.deb

downloaded-packages

Removing and Reinstalling Thunar from the downloaded packages

At this point we should be able to uninstall Thunar and install the downloaded packages.

From Terminal:

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 :)

Thunar Split View for Linux Lite and others

Few Remarks

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:

From Terminal:

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

Enjoy!

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2 thoughts on “Thunar Split View for Linux Lite and others

  1. The idea is a great one, but this has not worked for me in either Mint 18.3 Xfce (which it may not be designed for) or even Linux Lite 3.8 Xfce. Can anyone suggest why it might have failled with either of these systems?

  2. Tried it again 3 months later and it worked a treat, perfect little tweak, find it very useful. This worked on Thunar v1.6.11 so either I didn’t follow instructions properly or the upgrades since then make it work easier. Trying it on two different systems previously and finding it didn’t work suggests it was me not following instructions. Gotta be more careful.

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