Can't change default file manager in GNOME 3


I am attempting to replace the default Nautilus file manager with Thunar instead. I go to gnome-mimeapps.list within usr/share/applications to change the defaults since Settings>Default applications completely lacks any option to change the file manager.

I find and replace every entry of gnome.Nautilus.desktop with Thunar.desktop within gnome-mimeapps.list, but when I go to save the changes within the text file, I receive this error.

Error opening file "/usr/share/applications/gnome-mimeapps.list": Too many levels of symbolic links

Is there any way to circumvent this error?

That usually indicates that you have created an infinite loop in symbolic links.

Right, however it was not me who created the symlinks in the text file… I am just replacing text within the file. The symbolic link error is the fault of whoever created the default options for GNOME 3 in gnome-mimeapps.list and made it so it is not possible to save any changes.

In outside topics regarding changing file managers in other distros, people point to changing the defaults within gnome-mimeapps.list, but I haven’t seen any topic where someone has a problem saving their options within the file.

I would just add the inode/directory entry in ~/.local/share/applications/mimeapps.list, then update the mime database…

vi .local/share/applications/mimeapps.list


update-mime-database -V .local/share/mime/

Add the Thunar File icon to whatever app menu your using…


I was able to set Thunar as the new default file manager with the solution provided. Thank you for your assistance!