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Most of the days I am connected to my home server (running Debian) via a ssh shell from my laptop. Most of the tasks are done in the prompt, but sometimes I like to have drag-and-drop-file managers, like GNOME's default nautilus. (I of course mean that i use ssh -X user@server)

However, nautilus draws "it's" desktop over my local desktop. It draws the files placed there and the default Debian wallpaper. Is there a way to run or configure nautilus to not draw theese things at all, or should I use another graphical file manager when doing things remotely?

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Drag and drop like this is not trivial to implement over network, and running a file manager over X forwarding like this will not (trivially) work for the purpose.

You should use SSHFS instead to mount your remote server in your local file system over SSH, and the use a local file manager to browse that mount. This way drag and drop will work over SSH, and the file manager will be much snappier.

Another alternative is to use a graphical SFTP client such as Filezilla, which will allow you to log in over SSH and get a tree view of your remote files, with drag and drop support.

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Thanks, Daniel! Of course, using SFTP is easier, I'll do that. – Martin Josefsson May 18 '12 at 14:13

After SSH, run nautilus as follows:

nautilus --no-desktop

...which tells nautilus not to manage the desktop, as per the nautilus man page. Works fine for me after that.

man nautilus
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