Although I’ve been meaning to share this information with you for some time, it was a comment in this post that recently prompted me to get busy writing.  Someone asked the question, why use Nautilus in OpenBox?  Gnome is the desktop manager that I use at work, and Nautilus is the file manager that I use most often on that machine; however, all of my personal machines run either OpenBox or Pekwm, and I wanted to still be able to use the scripts and features that I have grown to love that are available for Nautilus.

How to bulk resize images with Nautilus:

This is a feature that I use regularly in Nautilus.  Sure, there are likley other ways to bulk resize images, possibly with Imagemagic or some other cli tool, but the method that I am about to describe is fast and easy, and it works well for me.  First, make sure that you have installed Nautilus.

$ sudo apt-get install nautilus

Then install the nautilus-image-converter package.  If you have opened Nautilus, make sure that you close the application before installing the image converter package.

$ sudo apt-get install nautilus-image-converter

If you are a Gnome user, you may have to restart Gnome in order for the settings to take effect; if unsure, just log out and log back in. If not a Debian user and you wish to use the nautilus-image-converter application, you can find packages for other Linux distributions here:

Open Nautilus and navigate to an image or selection of images.  Right-click on the image(s) and you will see that there are two new options listed near the bottom of your menu.  Resize Images / Rotate Images

Click on the Resize Images option.  If you have selected multiple images, this tool will bulk resize all of the images for you. Various resizing options are available to you:

  • Resize using a list of predetermined sizes
  • Scale images based on percentage of reduction
  • Specify a custom sizing scheme
  • Make a copy of the original file, resize it, and append “.resized” or some other custom wording at the end of your file names
  • Resize in place, meaning that you will be resizing your original file

If you are resizing a mass of high resolution images, go get yourself a cup of coffee and some breakfast because it’ll take a while, but far less time than if you had to resize each image individually with your favorite image editing tool.

Rotating Images With Nautilus

Of course, there are many tools that will allow you to rotate an image, and I will often times use alternate tools for image rotation (such as GPicview), but the nautilus-image-converter is a great choice if you wish to bulk rotate images, or if you have a need to maintain the integrity of your original image file and create a rotate copy.  As described above, using Nautilus, select the image or images that you wish to rotate.  Right-click on the image(s), select the Rotate Images option, and specify your desired options.  The choices are:

  • Select a preset angle (90ᵒ clockwise/counter-clockwise, or 180ᵒ)
  • Custom Angle (degrees clockwise)
  • Create a copy of the original file, rotate the copy, then append something to the file name, such as “.resized”
  • Rotate in place, which will rotate the original file

Problems/Issues for OpenBox Users

Nautilus has a tendency to take over your desktop if you are an OpenBox user.  If you are unsure of what I am saying, just launch Nautilus and you will see what I am talking about.  Your desktop wallpaper image will likely change or go away, and you will loose the ability to right-click on your desktop and obtain the beautiful menu that you are so accustomed to seeing.  Urukrama has written a very detailed guide to using OpenBox (much of which also applies to Pekwm) and he explains how to prevent Nautilus from taking over your desktop settings.

For a single-use (non-permanent) way to launch Nautilus in a way that it won’t take over your desktop settings, use:

$ nautilus --browser --no-desktop

Alternately, to make this setting more permanent (this is what I do…), type the following command into your terminal:

$ gconftool-2 --set /apps/nautilus/preferences/show_desktop --type bool False


As I stated before, there is usually more than one way to accomplish a particular task, and it’s likely that there are some lengthy and complex commands that will allow you to bulk resize images via cli, and perhaps there are some other GUI tools available.  The “best” method to accomplish a task is really a matter of individual opinion; the method that I have described is what I have found works the best for me.  If you have a bulk-image-resize procedure that works well for you, I’d love to learn about it, so please share it with us in the comments.