When comparing GNOME Files (Nautilus) vs Nemo, the Slant community recommends Nemo for most people. In the question“What are the best Linux file managers?” Nemo is ranked 7th while GNOME Files (Nautilus) is ranked 17th. The most important reason people chose Nemo is:
The most stylish among all FMs.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Allows you to access remote or local locations
On recent versions of GNOME, you can click the Files entry in the panel to access 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.
Pro Minimalistic looking
It does what it is supposed to do, and leaves a lot of screen space to look for a file.
Pro Widely supported
The program is distributed as a single source archive, which can be configured, 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.
Pro Supports natural sorting (not on all distros)
Dolphin, Deepin File Manager and Pantheon Files support this, too.
Pro Quick file preview
GNOME-sushi allows you to quickly view files without opening them. It supports most audio and video formats, but support for more can be added.
Can run under Wayland without XWayland.
Pro Easy to use and familiar user interface for Ubuntu users
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.
Pro Nautilus action configuration tool can configure systems in ways no other FM can
It can configure popup menu depending on file type.
The most stylish among all FMs.
Pro Has dual pane functionality
This functionality was removed in Nautilus and Dolphin at least in Ubuntu-Gnome, but Nemo kept this option, making the obvious functionality of cut, copy and paste much easier.
Nemo can be extended to have additional features through third party plugins.
Pro Supports bookmarking
You can bookmark folders that you open often, this way you can easily access them from anywhere while using Nemo.
Pro Double pane and search by name capabilities
Pro Easily open as root
Option to open folder as root from within the right click menu.
Pro Easily open file location in terminal
Option to open a folder in terminal, which can help executing commands such as bash.
Pro Good networking options
Supports ftp, ssh and samba connections.
Pro Queues file operations
Con It has lost so much functionality
As already stated, this is not well configurable anymore. One can not even start in dual pane mode for cut/copy and paste. Just a ridiculous transgression. It was great just 1-2 years ago, but over-simplification in this case is detrimental to functionality.
Con Mostly unconfigurable
There are not many ways to configure Nautilus to fit your needs. Besides what can be seen in the settings button you can't configure it further.
Con Has/had memory leaks
Sometimes about 600MB of RAM goes somewhere...
Con Forces you to constantly swap between mouse and keyboard
Con Slow at moving picture folders
A move, even to the same disk, can take a minute for a folder containing a hundred images.
It is not updated frequently and Ubuntu could stop using Nautilus and switch to Nemo.
Con Awful date modified column.
It should list by full year month day, no matter whether it was today, last month or years ago. Displays wrong time modified for photos I took and downloaded today (not exif time taken and not anything that makes sense). Not customizable in any way one would expect.
Con Still does not remember per folder view
This is the last missing feature that was removed long time ago and makes Nemo competitive. Should be reimplemented remembering view type and icon size folder by folder.
Con Creating sub-folders within full folders is not possible anymore.
In order to create a new folder within another folder that is full to the bottom of the page, we must create a folder in an open area somewhere else, then move the sub-folder into that full folder. Even worse, we need to use the "Move to..." option, with so many extra clicks, instead of just being able to copy and paste as before.
Con "+ Other Locations" is a stupid change!
"+ Other Locations" in the left pane now forces us to click twice or more in order to access additional drives, even the local "Computer." Having all of the drives listed on the left side was quick and easy, and the drive "Properties" were available just by right clicking once, although drive "Properties" is no longer available when clicking on "+ Other Locations," then right clicking on the drives.
I still use Debian 8 for the older Nautilus, even though the developers already damaged that older version as well. However, Nautilus is completely useless to me now in Debian 10 so I am seeking for a new graphical desktop to replace Gnome and Nautilus...I am fed up with the developers.
Con Has too many bugs
There are too many bugs at the current state for this file browser to be usable.
Con Changing the background color or font type for customization is not practical
You have to do it with finding and editing the relevant CSS files. No buttons, menus or sliders for such customization.
Con Incomplete mimetypes
Like all nautilus forks it allows you to run svg-files due some incomplete mimetype coverage.
Con Depends on GNOME
Depends on gnome toolkits an libraries.