List Recently Opened Files in Xfce

Fri, Jul 24, 2020
2 min read

Recent files in Xfce’s Panel

You can add functionalities to Xfce’s Panel (it’s taskbar) by adding Items to it: sound control, network applet, list of opened windows, cpu temp, fan speed, quick user switch, and so on they’re all items. Many are preinstalled but I could not find one to list recently opened files. Not by default, at least:

View of the recent files list in Xfce’s Panel

It’s named Places. You just have to build it — don’t runaway! It is merely a couple clicks on the package name in the Add/Remove Software.

  1. Open the Add/Remove Software and search for xfce4-places-plugin, that’s our Item. Click Build. Validate. That’s it. Let it do whatever it needs to do and wait.
  2. When it’s done, close the Add/remove Software and right-click on your panelto go to Panel → Panel Preferences.
  3. Click the Items tab and click the + button, search for Places. Use the Up and Down buttons on the side, to move it anywhere you want it to appear. Mine is just next to Whisker’s (Start) menu. List of installed Items
  4. By default, it only lists the file explorer’s shortcuts. To add recent files, click its hamburger menu and check Show recent documents. Just below this option, you can decide how many recent files should be displayed:

Places setings

Recent files in Thunar

You can add your own shortcuts to Thunar’s sidebar but, by default, there is no recent files list.

To add one, open ~/.config/gtk-3.0/bookmarks with your text editor and add this line where you want your recent files shortcut to appear: recent:/. That’s it (source).

An Image


Both of these are neat but they are not exactly what I was looking for: it seems they don’t always register new files and/or only register those opened directly from the file explorer (not the files opened through an app File→Open menu).

What I’d like is something that lists everything I open, no matter how: through an app menu, the Terminal, or the file explorer. I have no idea if it’s even possible to have something to do that, but if you have any better solution you’re more than welcome to contact me ;)