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Sometimes Nautilus’ icon thumbnails and metadata just aren’t good enough. Sometimes you want to take a closer look at a file, photo or folder to make sure it’s the one you want, but without opening a full-blown app.

And that’s where GNOME’s Sushi can help.

Sushi is a macOS style ‘Quick Look‘ feature for GNOME’s famous file manager. You select a file then tap the spacebar to see an instant close-up (and sometimes interactive) preview of the file, without opening any app.

Previewing music and video files is made possible due to the GStreamer framework. But Sushi also supports file previews of most plaintext documents too, including scripts with syntax highlighting, PDFs and HTML files.

And, yes, it’s great for gawking through photos too:

GNOME Sushi on Ubuntu 17.10
GNOME Sushi image preview

Newer version of Sushi also update the preview window as you ‘move’ off it, e.g., if you press the left arrow key while previewing an image it’ll show the next available image. You can close a preview by hitting space again. This intuitive behaviour becomes easy to adopt, one spacebar tap to preview, one spacebar tap to dismiss.

One feature Sushi lacks from its macOS counterpart is ‘actions’. You can’t, for instance, use Sushi to find the right image and then select your preferred image viewer or photo editor from a list. There is an button to open the file in the default app associated with the file type, which is better than nothing.

Install GNOME Sushi on Ubuntu

Although a modest feature (there are no bells or whistle or even preferences) Sushi’s seamless preview prowess is such that, after a few days use, you’ll wonder how you managed without it.

To install Sushi on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS or above run the command:

sudo apt-get install gnome-sushi

Alternatively, install the app using Ubuntu Software:

Click to install GNOME Sushi

As soon as you install GNOME Sushi it is instantly available to use. Just open Nautilus, select a file using your mouse or keyboard arrow keys, and hit the spacebar to preview it!

In short, GNOME Sushi gives you a quick and effective way to take an instantaneous look at PDF files, photos, and other documents without needing to open them fully. I consider it a definite must have on my desktop — let me know what you think in the comments!

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