How to create a folder in Linux

Creating folders in the top Linux desktops is easier than you think

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There are basic computer tasks that we take for granted. Opening applications, browsing the web, ready and replying to email, the creation of files. Many of these tasks are so ingrained in our minds, they happen with hardly a thought.

But when you migrate to a new operating system (such as Linux), those second-nature tasks are all of a sudden unfamiliar. Fortunately, most Linux desktop environments make this process incredibly easy. In fact, you’ll find the process of creating a new directory as simple in Linux as it is in either macOS or Windows.

Let’s take a look at how to create directories in three popular Linux desktop environments: GNOME, KDE Plasma, and Cinnamon.

Version Information

I’ll be demonstrating this process using Pop!_OS 18.10 for GNOME, KDE Neon for KDE Plasma, and Linux Mint 19.1 for Cinnamon.

Directories versus Folders

One thing to keep in mind is that typically, in Linux, folders are called directories. Why is this? It is generally thought that a folder is a Graphical User Interface (GUI) object that represents a location on a file system, whereas a directory is a file system construct. So the folder is the GUI icon for the construct that houses files.

GNOME

Our first demonstration is within the GNOME desktop environment. This particular desktop uses the Nautilus file manager as the default tool for the task. To create a directory from within the file manager, follow these steps:

  1. Open the GNOME Dash (by clicking Applications in the top left corner of the desktop).

    Screenshot of the GNOME desktop.
  2. Click the drawer icon in the Favorites bar.

    Screenshot of the GNOME Dash.
  3. From within the Nautilus file manager, right-click an empty spot in the right pane.

  4. From the popup menu, click New Folder.

    Screenshot of the Nautilus right-click context menu.
  5. Type a name for the folder and click Create.

    Screenshot of naming a new folder in Nautilus.
  6. Enjoy your new folder.

KDE Plasma

KDE Plasma uses the Dolphin file manager. The process for creating a new folder is very similar to that of GNOME. Here are the steps for successfully creating a new folder in Dolphin:

  1. Open the KDE main menu (by clicking the button in the bottom left corner of the desktop).

    Screenshot of the KDE Plasma desktop.
  2. Click File Manager (from the Favorites tab).

    Screenshot of the KDE desktop menu.
  3. From within Dolphin, right-click an empty spot in the right pane.

    Screenshot of the Dolphin file manager.
  4. From the popup menu, click Create New and then, from the submenu, click Folder.

    Screenshot of the Dolphin right-click context menu.
  5. Type a name for the new folder and click OK.

    Screenshot of naming a new folder in Dolphin.
  6. Enjoy your new folder.

Cinnamon

Finally, we’ll create a folder in the Linux Mint default desktop, Cinnamon. This particular desktop environment uses the Nemo file manager, which works in similar fashion to that of Nautilus and Dolphin. To create a new folder in Nemo, follow these steps:

  1. Double-click the Home folder on the desktop.

    Screenshot of the Cinnamon desktop.
  2. From within Nemo, right-click an empty spot in the right pane.

    Screenshot of the Nemo file manager.
  3. From the popup menu, click Create New Folder.

    Screenshot of the Nemo right-click context menu.
  4. Type a name for the new folder and use Enter on your keyboard to save that name.

    Naming a new folder in Nemo.
  5. Enjoy your new folder.

A No Brainer

Linux has a reputation for being overly challenging. As you can see, the standard task of creating a new folder shows just how much of a no brainer the open source operating system has become. With the modern Linux desktop, most of these kinds of tasks are handled with similar ease as they are on other platforms.