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 3rd while GNOME Files (Nautilus) is ranked 13th. 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 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 Minimalistic looking
It does what it is supposed to do, and leaves a lot of screen space to look for a file.
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 Supports natural sorting (not on all distros)
Dolphin, Deepin File Manager and Pantheon Files support this, too.
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 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.
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 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.
Pro Double pane and search by name capabilities
Pro Queues file operations
Pro Good networking options
Supports ftp, ssh and samba connections.
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 Slow at moving picture folders
A move, even to the same disk, can take a minute for a folder containing a hundred images.
Con Forces you to constantly swap between mouse and keyboard
It is not updated frequently and Ubuntu could stop using Nautilus and switch to Nemo.
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.