The first Nautilus (Files) file manager release to ship without support for handling desktop icons was released today as version 3.27.4 for the upcoming GNOME 3.28 desktop environment.

Nautilus 3.27.4 is now available for public testing, and it’s the first release of the popular file manager that ships pre-installed with numerous GNU/Linux distributions to drop support for handling desktop icons, a decision already discussed here a few weeks ago, and which will have an impact on various distros like Ubuntu.

This means that Nautilus is done with handling desktop icons starting with the GNOME 3.28 desktop environment, not like GNOME 3 has offered support for desktop icons by default, as the user had to enable the functionality from the GNOME Tweaks app. But dekstop icons support is not dead in GNOME, at least not yet, as GNOME Project promises to re-implement the feature in the GNOME Shell interface.

Flatpak improvements, better touch support, and more

Besides removing the handling of desktop icons, Nautilus 3.27.4 introduces a few interesting improvements, among which we can mention better touch support, better support for Flatpak app by allowing users to access devices too, better trash performance, better window default position, and improved reliability of starring files.

Some new features have been added as well in this release, such as Microsoft Office types for search, a new close button for the path bar, DjVu as supported PDF type, XF86Back and XF86Forward as keyboard shortcuts, along with the ability to navigate new views with your keyboard, and support for forbidding more characters for FAT filesystems when renaming files.

Nautilus 3.27.4 also addresses a few bugs, including a crash that occurred when detaching tabs and another crash that occurred when expanding folders, and makes the wallpaper folder translatable. If you want to test this Nautilus release, you can download the source tarball right now through our website and compile it on your favorite GNU/Linux distribution.