Here’s a tip for those of you who want for to see see remaining disk space in the file manager of Ubuntu 22.04 LTS without needing to change views or open dialogs, etc.

Once upon a time — like, really far back — the Nautilus file manager displayed a status bar at the bottom of its window. This offers an easy, at-a-glance way to see the amount of remaining disk space in the drive or folder you were viewing.

Alas, this feature was lost to the sands of time (well, development priorities).

Nautilus still has a status of sorts but it’s more of a floating overlay used to relay loading status and show you the file size of whatever file or folder is selected — but free space remaining it does not.

Given that file managers used by other operating systems and desktop environments do show remaining disk space at all times (either by default or as an option) you may be looking for something similar in Ubuntu.

While it’s not possible to get Nautilus’ old status bar back in newer versions of Nautilus, there is an open-source Python extension you can (manually) install on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (or earlier). This shows remaining disk space as you browse files and folders.

Here’s how it looks:

show remaining space in nautilus file manager on ubuntu
It’s not a status bar, but it’s close

As you can see, the “disk free” status isn’t elegantly positioned but it’s functional — and since most of us are in a file manager window for, what, a few minutes at most, it’s not a major issue.

If you want to use this you need to be using Ubuntu 22.04 LTS or earlier. This extension does not work with newer versions of Nautilus.

First download the “Nautilus status bar replacement” extension from GitHub (click on the green “code” button > select “download zip”, then extract the zip and copy inside of the extracted folder.

Next, go to ~/.local/share/nautilus-python/extensions/ folder (this a hidden folder so press ctrl + h when viewing your Home folder in Nautilus to see it) and paste the file you just copied.

Finally, fully quit Nautilus and reopen.

Now as you browse you’ll see remaining disk space value in the window.

Alternatives to using a patch-in plugin like this do exist.

You could switch to a file manager that supports this function natively, such as Nemo or Caja. Or, to avoid upending your workflow entirely, get in to the habit of opening the Properties dialog when viewing folders.

h/t Matt F

Nautilus nautilus extensions Ubuntu 22.04 LTS