How To Use Nautilus To Connect To The Raspberry PI

Ubuntu Documentation

Raspberry PI Nautilus
Raspberry PI Nautilus.


The Raspberry PI and other single board computers have taken the world by storm in recent years.

Initially designed to be a cheap way for children to get into software development the actual take up of the Raspberry PI has been astounding and it has been used in all sorts of weird and wonderful devices.

If you use the Raspberry PI with a monitor then you can simply turn on the PI and access it straight away but many people use the Raspberry PI in headless mode which means that there is no screen.

The easiest way to connect to a Raspberry PI is to use SSH which is switched on by default.

In this guide I am going to show you how to access the Raspberry PI using a graphical tool so that you can easily copy files to and from the PI without using a terminal window.

What You Will Need

The tool I use to connect to the Raspberry PI is generally installed by default with the Unity and GNOME desktops and it is called Nautilus.

If you don't have Nautilus installed then you can install it using one of the following terminal commands:

For Debian based distributions (such as Debian, Ubuntu, Mint):

Use the apt-get command:

sudo apt-get install nautilus

For Fedora and CentOS:

Use the yum command:

sudo yum install nautilus

For openSUSE:

Use the zypper command:

sudo zypper -i nautilus

For Arch based distributions (such as Arch, Antergos, Manjaro)

Use the pacman command:

sudo pacman -S nautilus

Run Nautilus

If you are using the GNOME desktop environment you can run Nautilus by pressing the super key (windows key) and typing "nautilus" into the search bar.

An icon will appeared called "Files". Click on the icon.

If you are using Unity you can do a similar thing. Again click on the super key and type "nautilus" into the search bar. Click on the files icon when it appears.

If you are using other desktop environments such as Cinnamon or XFCE you can either try using the search option within the menu or look through the individual menu options.

If all else fails you can open a terminal and type the following:

nautilus &

The ampersand (&) allows you to run commands in background mode thereby returning the cursor back to the terminal window.

Find The Address For Your Raspberry PI

The easiest way to connect to the PI is to use the host name that you gave the Raspberry PI when you first set it up.

If you left the default host name in place then the hostname will be raspberrypi.

You can also use the nmap command to try and find devices on the current network as follows:

nmap -sn

This guide shows you how to find your Raspberry PI.

Connect To The Raspberry PI Using Nautilus

To connect to the Raspberry PI using nautilus click on the icon in the top right corner with three lines (shown in the image) and then choose the option enter location.

An address bar will appear.

In the address bar enter the following:


If your Raspberry PI isn't called raspberrypi then you can use the ip address found by the nmap command as follows:


The pi before the @ symbol is the username. If you didn't leave pi as the default user then you will need to specify a user which has permissions to access the PI using ssh.

When you press the return key you will be asked for a password.

Enter a password and you will see Raspberry PI (or the name of your pi or IP address) appear as a mounted drive.

You can now navigate around all of the folders on your Raspberry PI and you can copy and paste between other folders on your computer or network.

Bookmark The Raspberry PI

To make it easier to connect to the Raspberry PI in future it is a good idea to bookmark the current connection.

To do this select the Raspberry PI to make sure it is the active connection and then click on the icon with three lines on it.

Choose "bookmark this connection".

A new drive called "pi" will appear (or indeed the username you used to connect to the PI).