Nautilus Hide/Remove Star Column

I installed Nautilus 45.2, and I cannot see a way to hide or disable the star column in List View.

To ensure a default configuration state before running nautilus 45.2, I:

  • Removed these three directories:
  • Fully reset defaults recursively in org.gnome.nautilus

I then configured only the columns I wish to display, and confirmed the settings thusly:

$ gsettings get org.gnome.nautilus.list-view default-visible-columns
['name', 'size', 'type', 'owner', 'permissions', 'date_modified']

However, I’m still seeing the star column for all folders/subfolders and files in my home (~/).


How to I prevent the star column from displaying?

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There is no star column.

(Technically, it may be implemented as a column, but that’s a technical detail).

It looks like a column (it’s displayed as a column, alongside, and separate from, other columns), and acts like a column (it’s actionable by its column header being selectable, and for manipulating sorting order), so it passes the Duck Test as a column.

Pedantry aside, if it is “technically” referred to by a different term, please use that term.

Back to the question at hand… how do we prevent this thing from displaying?

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That’s a bug. It shouldn’t act like a column.

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So, I’m sorry for the misleading behaviors, but this is not a column and, therefore, it’s not supposed to be configurable like columns are.

Thanks, I will file a bug report if this column should not exist.

I tried to upload a screencast of this, but it seems only picture formats are supported.

See below for the star column being selectable and sortable:

It sure looks oddly intentional in the current nautilus source.

It’s even referred to as the “star column” and star_column.

/* always show star column if supported */
    if (nautilus_tag_manager_can_star_contents (nautilus_tag_manager_get (), location) ||
        g_file_has_uri_scheme (location, SCHEME_STARRED))
        g_hash_table_insert (visible_columns_hash, g_strdup ("starred"), g_strdup ("starred"));
else if (g_strcmp0 (name, "starred") == 0)
            g_signal_connect (factory, "setup", G_CALLBACK (setup_star_cell), self);

            gtk_column_view_column_set_title (view_column, "");
            gtk_column_view_column_set_resizable (view_column, FALSE);

            self->star_column = view_column;

Been many years since I worked with C. Maybe I’ll poke around and see if I can rip out this unwanted functionality.

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Oh my stars haha… turns out this only required trivial modifications!

I built nautilus 45.2.1 with just a couple changes to enable the star column as an option in the snazzy new column picker:

Rather than disable the functionality completely, this is even better, as it can always be toggled on/off:

I’ll file an issue (and MR if desired) for this. Does that sound good @antoniof?

All the validation checks passed successfully when building and packaging (for Arch LInux):

ninja: Entering directory `/build/nautilus/src/build'
[1/125] Generating config.h with a custom command
 1/14 validate-desktop                               OK               0.03s
 2/14 validate-desktop-autorun-software              OK               0.03s
 3/14 validate-appdata                               OK               0.02s
 4/14 test-file-utilities-get-common-filename-prefix OK               0.02s
 5/14 test-eel-string-get-common-prefix              OK               0.02s
 6/14 test-file-operations-dir-has-files             OK               0.02s
 7/14 test-nautilus-search-engine-model              OK               0.02s
 8/14 test-file-operations-trash-or-delete           OK               0.03s
 9/14 test-nautilus-search-engine-tracker            OK               0.29s
10/14 test-file-utilities                            OK               0.42s
11/14 test-nautilus-search-engine                    OK               0.52s
12/14 test-nautilus-search-engine-simple             OK               0.51s
13/14 test-file-operations-move-files                OK               0.84s
14/14 test-file-operations-copy-files                OK               1.69s

Ok:                 14  
Expected Fail:      0   
Fail:               0   
Unexpected Pass:    0   
Skipped:            0   
Timeout:            0

EDIT: Also, the “Starred” bookmark still functions, even when the star column is not displayed:

I filed an issue for this:

Well, no luck with that route. The issue was closed as ‘Expected Behavior’.

I do not use the star system. As such, I’ll simply maintain my patched local version for now.

While at it, I also removed the Starred entry from the bookmarks/places sidebar.

Even less clutter now:

I didn’t remove any functionality of the Star system, and can still enable the Star column to use stars.

Hopefully a future version of Nautilus will provide a toggle to enable/disable the star icons in List View.

Wrapping up this thread by returning to the original question posed:


  1. You don’t
  2. Build a patched local version
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