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Ubuntu – Enable webp Preview in Nautilus

So you’ve opened up Nautilus and your webp files are not showing previews.

Nautilus with missing Webp Thumbnails

Let’s Fix that. Choose which way works best for you: command-line or visually.

Note: We will need webp installed. To install webp, use this on the command-line.

sudo apt-get install webp

Alternatively, you can search for webp under Ubuntu Software.


Open the command-line (Ctrl+Alt+T), and enter the following commands

rm ~/.cache/thumbnails/fail/gnome-thumbnail-factory/*
rm ~/.cache/thumbnails/large/*
rm ~/.cache/thumbnails/normal/*

This will remove the failed gnome thumbnail factory thumbnails, along with the large and normal sized thumbnails. Doing this removed the thumbnail cache. Then issue this command to force close nautilus.

killall nautilus

Visually Through Nautilus

With Nautilus open, navigation to the .cache/thumbnails folder. If you don’t see a .cache folder, turn on “Show Hidden files” under the three bar icon in the top bar. Select the folders under thumbnails and delete them. Close down all Nautilus windows.

Next we will need to create a thumbnailer file under /usr/share/thumbnailers. as this is a system folder, we will do this from the commandline (Ctrl+Alt+T) and type

sudo gedit /usr/share/thumbnailers/webp.thumbnailer

In this file, we will add in the code to tell Nautilus what to do with webp files, in terms of creating thumbnails.

[Thumbnailer Entry]
Exec=/usr/bin/dwebp %i -scale 100 0 -o %o

Save and close the file.

Now when you open Nautilus and navigate to where webp files are, you should see thumbnail previews now.

Nautilus with Webp Thumbnails