#869 SidePane: 1) doesn't show xdg-user-dirs 2) standard places show directory error message when clicked upon


I have used xdg-user-dirs to redefine the standard directories away from /home/scott to directories in another partition: /data/scott.

  1. The side-pane does not show these directories, with the exception of Desktop.

  2. The standard directories shown, when clicked-upon, result in an error window that contains the non-existant directory name "AA_Directory_Hide"
    Ex: When "Music" is clicked-upon, The error window text states: "The specified directory '/home/scott/AA_Directory_Hide/Music' is not valid".

This is NOT the first program to exhibit this phenomenon, so it is possible that PCManFM is merely passing on the (inaccurate and/or missing) information that it is given.
Ex: There appears to be a standard dialog that pops up when "Open" or "Save[ As] is selected from various programs [What IS this program, by the way, please?]. They show all my xdg-user-dirs re-directed directories under Places, but have all the standard directories listed under "Bookmarks", and the tool-tips that appear when hovering over one of them also contain the spurious directory "AA_Directory_Hide"

[There is another "standard" open[/save?] dialog that a few other programs seem to use, that has my xdg-user-dirs Desktop, but that is all - no "standard" directories, either.]

If anyone has a clue what is going on here, whether it is a PCManFM bug, or something else, I would love to hear it.


PCManFM 1.2.0 (from Help/About - there seems to be no --version terminal option...)
scott@scott-AsusM2N68-AM-Plus:~$ uname -a
Linux scott-AsusM2N68-AM-Plus 3.13.0-24-generic-tuxonice #47~ppa1-Ubuntu SMP Tue May 6 14:40:05 UTC 2014 i686 athlon i686 GNU/Linux

scott@scott-AsusM2N68-AM-Plus:~$ lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
Release: 14.04
Codename: trusty
[This is actually Lubuntu]

1 Attachments


  • Scott Jacobs

    Scott Jacobs - 2014-05-10

    Here is another screenshot, showing the "standard" Open dialog (this one from the Image Viewer Eye of Gnome (EOG)) that shows my xdg-user-dirs under Places, and the standard directories under Bookmarks, with the tooltip showing the bogus directory name.

    Last edit: Scott Jacobs 2014-05-10
  • Lonely Stranger

    Lonely Stranger - 2014-05-11

    That is just a misunderstanding. You have missed the fact bookmarks are not abstract folders (like Desktop in Places) but links to some real folders. Therefore if some folder bookmark points to was removed then bookmark becomes broken and to fix it you need to remove bookmark and add it again (you can use drag and drop or context menu). Thank you.

    Last edit: Lonely Stranger 2014-05-11
  • Lonely Stranger

    Lonely Stranger - 2014-05-11
    • status: open --> closed-invalid
    • assigned_to: Lonely Stranger
  • Scott Jacobs

    Scott Jacobs - 2014-05-11

    First of all, don't close the whole issue based on only the second of my points.

    PCManFM APPEARS to show the standard directories in the side-pane, but (with the sole exception of Desktop, which is placed above the horizontal dividing line) they have NOT been redefined to the xdg-user-dirs directories.
    Even if PCManFM had hardwired them to the default places, clicking on "Music" should result in an attempt to access "/home/scott/Music", not "/home/scott/AA_Directory_Hide/Music".

    [Also, when I was testing, I created the missing standard directories (empty, but present), and PCManFM STILL showed the bogus directory /AA_Directory_Hide.]

    PCManFM is at BEST inconsistant: Desktop has correctly been re-defined to my /data/scott/Desktop folder, but none of the other xdg-user-dirs redefines have been applied.

    Also, you claim that the folders that have "/AA_Directory_Hide"
    are bogus because the directories HAD BEEN there, but were removed. Wrong. They were never there to begin with. Lubuntu 14.04 apparently never made them. When I was first trying to find out what was going on, I looked in /home/scott, and was shocked to find NONE of the standard directories. 13.10 did not do this - They were and are STILL there (empty, of course, as I never used them).

    [By the way, the folders below the horizontal line in the side-pane may BE Bookmarks, but they are not identified as such. I just noticed you have a Bookmarks menu, which lists the same items. These fail when selected in exactly the same way as clicking on the items in the side-pane.]

    Also, I don't understand your reference to "abstract" folders versus links to "real" folders.
    Whether it is Desktop or Music, there is a real directory. It may be where most people have it (where the OS places it, in /home/personsname). Or someone may modify the xdg-user-dirs to have the OS place it somewhere else. Either way, it is real.
    You may not be aware, but xdg-user-dirs is a standard part of the OS (of Ubuntu, anyway), not some obscure piece of software I installed. It is always used. I believe it sets environment variables, that are supposed to be used by every other piece of software that would access standard places.

    All this boils down to this:

    PCManFM is USING xdg-user-dirs to reference Desktop.
    It FAILS to do so for ALL of the other standard directories.

    This is a BUG.

    Last edit: Scott Jacobs 2014-05-11
  • Lonely Stranger

    Lonely Stranger - 2014-05-11

    Well, first of all you always can reopen the ticket if you find it unsolved.

    And no, PCManFM NEVER shows any of XDG special folders except Desktop. PCManFM simply CANNOT do this because it was NEVER implemented and even never supposed to be implemented. All the folders below separator are your bookmarks. PCManFM have no relation to your bookmarks - it never creates them unless user requests to create one - either via drag&drop, or using menu. If you already have them on first start then I believe your distro OS creates them for you. Authors of PCManFM have no relation to maintainers in your OS, ask them instead, Ubuntu maintainers have bugs tracker on launchpad.net.

    I'm sorry to tell you but you blame PCManFM in things which it never did because it cannot do them, it was NEVER implemented. I have no idea how to tell you your accusation is simply wrong. And yes, PCManFM is CONSISTENT but your request is simply misunderstanding - we cannot do anything with your own failure to understand what is wrong with your bookmarks. Just try to understand the fact Desktop folder in sidebar is NOT a bookmark (but a XDG user dir) and is managed by PCManFM, while Music or whatever else folder ARE bookmarks and can be managed only by you, not by PCManFM. And I described how you can fix it already, that's why I closed the ticket as answered one.

    Yes, PCManFM IS using xdg-user-dirs to reference Desktop. You told me yourself it doesn't fail on it. No other of xdg-user-dirs is supported by PCManFM so there is no possibility to fail on something that it does not do. That's the same as to tell "you know rules, you walk right but you drive badly" when I have no car at all - that's just absurd, I'm sorry to tell you that.

    I'm sorry but this is NOT a bug. Well, it may be be still a bug, bug of yourself, not on PCManFM side, therefore we cannot fix it, only you can. I hope you'll fix it using the suggestion from my first comment. Thank you.

  • Scott Jacobs

    Scott Jacobs - 2014-05-11

    I guess my misunderstanding was that since I did not put the Bookmarks: Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, Downloads there, that PCManFM had done so.
    PCManFM is a standard application for Lubuntu.

    What you are saying is that as written, PCManFM does not have any Bookmarks, and that the package was altered by Lubuntu (or Ubuntu) to add the Bookmarks. (Hmmm... I wonder what OTHER changes they make?)
    This must mean that when [L]Ubuntu added the bookmarks, they did so incorrectly.

    Are these directories (Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, Downloads) NOT standard places for most Linux distros?
    If they ARE (pretty) standard, and if MOST Linux distros use xdg-user-dirs, then one COULD alter their definition from Bookmarks to Places, and place them above the horizontal dividing line in the Side-Pane... Just a thought...

    Meanwhile, I'll try to find out where to file a bug against the specific package of PCManFM that [L]Ubuntu supplies.

  • Lonely Stranger

    Lonely Stranger - 2014-05-11

    You got it wrong that package was altered to add bookmarks - none of bookmarks are encoded in PCManFM, bookmarks is just a file under your Home directory and adding default bookmarks is as simple as adding that file at some point. For example learn how useradd utility works. Probably some utility in Lubuntu does that.

    You are correct, all those places are standard XDG special folders. It's just PCManFM does not add them into sidebar due to one simple reason: the Desktop folder is near always used while other folders may be but may be not, it's up to user if he/she needs them or not, so only Desktop is supported now (above of separator). The most probably Ubuntu maintainers decided to "fix" that by adding "missed" folders into default bookmarks for user, it's what confused you into thinking it's PCManFM failure.

    If you think that PCManFM should implement support for some of them (above of separator) then feel free to add a feature request, we can add such support into some next version of PCManFM (1.3 for example). Thank you.

  • Scott Jacobs

    Scott Jacobs - 2014-07-14

    Wonder of wonders!

    On July 6(?), I booted my machine to find that both PCManFM and Nemo had my xdg-userdirs directories as bookmarks - and that the ~/.config/gtk-3.0/bookmarks file which now contained the directories that xdg-userdirs re-defined, was being used by each one (this was NOT the case the previous day).
    I DID NOT SET THIS UP! I had been testing each one and both bookmarks files the prev. day, and when I shut down, each File Manager was using a different bookmarks file, and PCManFM when first brought up actually showed the last bookmark that I had been testing, although it disappeared shortly thereafter, since it was not in the ~/.config/gtk-3.0/bookmarks file it was now using.

    I sorted the /var/cache/apt/archives directory by date, but found nothing recent for either PCManFM or Nemo.
    There WAS a new Linux kernal (3.13.0-30-) the day (or two) before, however...

    What could have changed in Linux that would make both FMs suddenly decide to list my xdg-userdirs directories, and what created/modified the ~/.config/gtk-3.0/bookmarks file to use the xdg-userdirs info?
    I checked each of the following days, and each day, the ~/.config/gtk-3.0/bookmarks file date was now the current day at boot time. This was not happening before.
    I tried in two different Linux forums (fora?) to ask what might have changed, but received no answering comments.
    Could you check the code and see what might be going on (at least why the sudden change to using ~/.config/gtk-3.0/bookmarks file. )
    Any insight you could give would be appreciated.

    (This is amazing - each FM is now doing exactly what I thought should have been automatic before - the xdg-userdirs directories being shown plainly in the sidepane, without any extra effort on my part.)


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