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How to customize folders on Linux with Folder Color

Folder Colors is an extension for the Linux file manager that allows the user to quickly customize folders on Linux. It can change the look of individual folders, add badges and more. It is open source, and available for use on Ubuntu, Debian, Arch Linux, Fedora, OpenSUSE, and others. With it, navigating and finding individual folders in the file browser is very much improved.

Note: Officially, Folder Color has support for the Nautilus and Caja file managers. It will not work with any other file manager.

Install Folder Color

Before we can configure Folder Color and use it to change the way folders look in your Linux file manager, it requires installation. To install it, launch a terminal and follow the instructions that match your Linux operating system.


The Folder Color tool is in the primary Ubuntu software sources, and users can quickly install it by launching a terminal and using the Apt package management tool.

sudo apt install folder-color folder-color-caja folder-color-common -y


Officially, Folder Color is not available for Debian, and no downloadable package is out there in the main software sources. However, thanks to the OpenSUSE Build Service, Debian users can install it anyway! To get it going, launch a terminal and follow the steps below.

Step 1: Upgrade your Debian release to version 9 (Stable), if you are not already running it. Upgrading is essential, as the third-party Folder Color software package doesn’t support any other version of Debian.

Step 2: Download the Folder Color DEB package using the wget command.

wget https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/tangerine:/deb9-xfce-4.12/Debian_9.0/amd64/folder-color_0.0.86-7_amd64.deb

For the 32-bit version, do the following command instead.

wget https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/tangerine:/deb9-xfce-4.12/Debian_9.0/i386/folder-color_0.0.86-7_i386.deb

Step 3: Install the package to your Debian PC via the dpkg command.

sudo dpkg -i folder-color_0.0.86-7_*.deb

Step 4: Fix any dependency issues that may arise during the installation of Folder Color on Debian by running apt-get install.

sudo apt-get install -f

Arch Linux

To get Folder Color on Arch, you must use the AUR. To interact with the AUR, install the Git and Base-devel packages.

sudo pacman -S git base-devel

With the dependencies taken care of, use the git clone command and grab the latest snapshot of Folder Color from the AUR.

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/folder-color-bzr.git

Move the terminal from the home directory to the nw folder-color-nautilus-bzr folder on your Arch PC with the CD command.

cd folder-color-bzr

Install the Nautilus Folder Color package to Arch Linux with makepkg. When building packages from the AUR, keep in mind that sometimes dependency errors occur. If this happens to you, visit the Folder Color Nautilus AUR page and get them working manually.

Note: be sure also to install the Folder switcher package. Download it here.

makepkg -si


Fedora has no official support for Folder Color, so those looking to use it must install it from a third-party Copr repo. To enable the Copr repo, launch a terminal and enter the following command.

Note: unfortunately, the Copr Folder Color repo doesn’t have support for the Caja, file manager. Compile the source code manually if you require support for it.

sudo dnf copr enable sogal/folder-color

The Folder Color Copr repo is working on your Fedora PC. The next step is to install the Folder Color extension via the DNF package manager.

sudo dnf install folder-color-common folder-color-common-lang nautilus-extension-folder-color


To set up Folder Color on OpenSUSE,  launch a terminal and run the Zypper package manager to get everything working.

sudo zypper install folder-color folder-color-common caja-extension-folder-color nautilus-extension-folder-color

Generic Linux

Folder Color’s source code is available on Launchpad, for Linux operating systems that don’t officially support it. Download it, extract it and read the instructions in the source code archive to install it on your system.

Customize folders with Folder Color

Folder Color is a file manager extension, not a program, so there is no separate window to open. Instead, everything happens within the file manager.

To use, find any folder in the file manager and select it with the mouse. Then, right-click on the folder and look for “Folder’s Color” in the context menu.

Hover over “Folder’s Color” to reveal the color options. In the sub-menu, select a color and click on it to instantly change a folder’s color.

Add badges to folders and files with Folder Color

The primary function of the Folder Color extension is to let users change the look of any directory. However, changing colors isn’t the only thing that Folder Color can do. It can also be used to add emblems to directories and files.

Adding emblems to folders is very straight-forward. It works the same way changing colors does in the file manager.

To add an emblem, launch your file manager and locate a file or folder. Right-click on the folder, and select the “Folder’s Color” option (or File’s emblem for individual files) in the menu.

In the “Folder’s Color” menu, scroll down and select an emblem to add to the selected folder.

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