The default file (system) browser of the controversial GNOME desktop environment
Nautilus is an open source file manager application that allows users to access their file system under any Linux-based operating system. It is mostly used on the GNOME desktop environment and lets you to do basic file operations (copy, paste, remove, rename or move).
Easy to use and familiar user interface
The user interface of Files is very familiar to Ubuntu users, most probably because Canonical still uses Nautilus (an old version of it) as the default file manager for its world’s most popular free operating system, Ubuntu Linux.
It split into two parts, a sidebar and the main file viewer. While you already know what the latter can do for you, the sidebar offers quick access to Places, Devices and Network locations, as well as any other bookmarks that you can add whenever you want.
Allows you to access remote or local locations
On recent versions of GNOME, you can click the Files entry in the panel to access the a specific location (remote or local), connect to a certain server (FTP, SFTP, SAMBA, etc.), access your bookmarks, open a new window, as well as to change its default functionality.
From the main window of the application you can search for files and folders, change view options (list or thumbs), sort files by name, size, type, modification/access date, zoom in or out, reverse the display order, and view hidden files.
The Preferences dialog will allow you to change the application’s default functionality, such as to view certain information beneath icon names, such as file size for files and number of items for folders. In addition, you can add or remove columns for the list view, modify file preview settings, and more.
Availability and supported Linux distributions/desktop environments
The program is distributed as a single source archive, which can be configure, compiled and installed on almost any Linux flavor. There are no binary files for a specific Linux distribution, but you can install it directly from the default software channels of your operating system.
If you install and use GNOME as your main desktop environment, you’ve most certainly noticed that it it includes a launcher on the dock called Files. Clicking this shortcut will open a familiar window that displays the files and folders stored on your Home folders, and allows you to access certain locations on your file system.