When comparing GNOME Files (Nautilus) vs nnn, the Slant community recommends nnn for most people. In the question“What are the best Linux file managers?” nnn is ranked 1st while GNOME Files (Nautilus) is ranked 13th.
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.
Pro Extremely lightweight (55 kb)
Pro Rich set of plugins
Pro Has a great wiki
Pro Minimal configuration with sane defaults
Default options and navigation is simple to grasp.
Pro Unique navigate-as-you-type mode
Pro Awesome new features being added in every release
Pro Integrates with the desktop environment and opens files in the default applications
Save and resume sessions.
Pro Supports cd-on-quit
Allows for quick switching between nnn and the terminal.
Pro Reasonably well-documented
However, it requires some prior knowledge of inner workings of Linux and there are no tutorials (yet). NNN author is making up for this by actively responding to GitHub issues.
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.