How to (un)set the filemanager

How do I change (actually completely disable) the graphical file manager (caja by default). I know that everyone says you need it, but I really don't need or want it. I do all of my file management from the command line and have absolutely no use for a pointy-clicky file manager cluttering up my screen with file and directory icons and more importantly, don't want it stealing root mouse bindings away from my window manager (fvwm). (One of Steve Jobs's great blunders was creating graphical file management, which now everyone seems to think is essentual. It is not!)

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No need for the flame-bait--on two posts now. Even people fully competent on the command line find graphical tools useful and easier at times.

So, there are two choices: uninstall it (apt [remove|purge] caja)
if your objection is to the desktop file icons and drive icons, you can switch those off.

In 18.04 System Settings>MateTweak>Desktop tab>uncheck Show Desktop Icons. I can't say if that is identical in 16.04.

Particularly, I can't say what you would do since you state you're using fvwm window manager, which alters the MATE desktop environment from stock.

I also can't say what will happen when you try to remove software that you have altered by replacing the binary, per your previous post

It is going to be really hard for anyone to answer your questions with the customized setup you seem to have. You might see how to disable desktop icons in fvwm if using a pointy-clicky tool like MATETweak is also a problem.

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Removing Caja is a bad idea, said Wimpy here:

Exactly what problems will removing caja cause? It is not clear to me. Simply saying removing caja will cause problems without saying what those problems are is not really helpful.

No need for the flame-bait--on two posts now. Even people fully competent on the command line find graphical tools useful and easier at times.

I have never found graphical tools for non-graphical tasks easier, especially for file management. I actually find them harder. Just a lot of useless clutter on my screen. It is very frustrating when people tell me I have to have a tool I find hard to use and not something I want in the first place and especially claim that the tool is actually easier. It is not. Really. Oh, and make it hard to remove the tool.

It is not just the icons it is also the fact that caja grabs mouse bindings on the root window.

So far, the only solution is to just rename /usr/bin/caja. But I have cloned the mate-session source code and will dig into that to see where and how it gets the filemanager and figure out how to put something different in there.

With GNome 2 it was easy (using gconf-edit) to change the filemanager. Why did mate have to make it hard?

The best is to give it a try inside a virtual machine to see what exactly will happen.

I don't have virtualization on my M64 (Banana Pi -- like a Raspberry Pi). What would virtualization buy me in this case? I have already renamed /usr/bin/caja to something else and X11 starts and runs just fine. This "works" just fine. It is just that at some point a software update will re-install caja (eg when a update of caja shows up in the repo or if I do something like a so-release-update or something). I would really like a solution that does not require screwing around with installed software like that. There really should be a user configuration option for this. I know, from a certain perspective this is probably not a normal or common user configuration and is probably not recomended for most "typical" users, but it should be available for "advanced" users, who know what they are doing. I know what I am doing. And understand the issues. Unless there is some deep magic in MATE that needs caja -- no one has explained what that might be. Just one poster has stated that removing the file manger will cause "problems". What those problems are remain unstated. I have in fact removed the file manager and things work just fine and I have encountered no problems. What am I missing?

I cannot tell you more than that i read that topic, and I have less knowledge about it myself. I shared it because of the words "absolutely guaranteed" used. I really hope you can fix it though. :slight_smile:

Yes, Mr. Wimpy should really explain himself...