Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Friday, October 30, 2015 at 19:26

After PCManFM, we introduce here basic Caja File Manager usage. Caja is a descendant from the old Nautilus from GNOME 2.x era. You will find Caja File Manager in Ubuntu MATE, Linux Mint MATE, or any other distribution using MATE as its desktop environment.  It keeps many features from the past, such as emblems and split views. We use Caja 1.8.2 from Ubuntu MATE 14.04 here. We hope this will help new users. Enjoy.



  1. Menu bar.
  2. Tool bar (navigation, refresh, zoom, mode).
  3. Address bar.
  4. Left Panel (sidebar, view changer).
  5. Status bar.
  6. Main area.


  1. Caja is basically the old Nautilus from GNOME 2.x.
  2. Caja brings features from old Nautilus (i.e. emblem, split view, tree view) which have gone in the latest one.

Split View

To split main area, press F3. It is ont thing Caja keeps from the old Nautilus. Notice that Caja's F3 is different with Dolphin's F3. Caja may gives different tabs for every panel, while Dolphin gives a single tab showing two different panels. Caja's point of view is panel, while Dolphin's one is tab.

New Tab

To open a new tab, press Ctrl+T. To close a tab, press Ctrl+W.

New Folder

To create a folder, press Ctrl+Shift+N.

Sort By

To sort files, right-click on main area > Arrange Items > select one option.


To search files, press Ctrl+F.

Tree View

To change sidebar into tree view, click on selection above sidebar > select Tree View.

Adding Emblem

To add emblem into a folder, right-click a folder > Properties > open Emblems tab > check one or more emblem.

Adding Background

Caja can set background for main area. It can set plain color, pattern, or image. To set it, open menu Edit > Background and Emblems > a new window will appear > select a color or pattern > press Close. Main area will automatically changed. This example shows changing normal main area color into army camouflage pattern.

Change Folder Logo

To change a folder logo, right-click folder > Properties > click folder icon > select an image file > press Open. This example shows changing normal folder logo into Debian logo. Notice where we load images from (pixmaps folder).

Change Folder Color

Specifically, Caja (in Ubuntu MATE) can change folder color directly from right-click menu. To do it, right-click folder > Folder's Color > select a color. See example below.