One of the really cool things in Nemo 1.8 is the fact that system administrators and application developers can extend its functionality and integrate their tool with it. Let’s take mintStick, aka the “USB Image Writer” as an example.
The way you used mintStick in Linux Mint 14 was by:
- Clicking Menu->Accessories->USB Image Writer
- Clicking the empty ISO field and browsing for an ISO image
- Selecting your USB stick
- Clicking on the button..
Usually, you’d do that right after you downloaded the ISO… with Nemo showing you that ISO file right in front of you..
With Nemo 1.8, things are a little bit different. MintStick provides a Nemo action for ISO files and what this means is that you can basically right-click the ISO file and select “Make bootable USB stick”. This launches mintStick of course … with the ISO field pre-populated. All you have to do then is to select your USB device and click on the button :)
By providing this action, mintStick integrates itself closely with Nemo and makes it easier for you to do things.
If you wanted to do this in Nautilus or Nemo 1.6 you would need to program in C and write an “Extension”, which you would then compile and whatnot… this is tedious and it’s not what we had in mind for Nemo. So instead, we made Nemo understand actions, the way your menu understand menu items. An action is nothing else than a text file which tells Nemo what to do.
Name=Make bootable USB stick
Comment=Make a bootable USB stick
Name[fr]=Créer une clef USB bootable
Comment[fr]=Créer une clef USB bootable
Name[nl]=Maak uw eigen opstart-USB stick
Comment[nl]=Maak uw eigen opstart-USB stick
Name[de]=”Einen bootfähigen USB-Stick erstellen”
Comment[de]=”Einen bootfähigen USB-Stick erstellen”
As you can see, it’s quite straight-forward… it adds an action called “Make bootable USB stick” to your context menu whenever you right click on an “iso” or “img” file, and it launches “mintstick” with the name of that file when you click on it.
Just a single text file, and our mintStick is now much easier to use ;)