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All my photos are quite disorganized and I found this option in the settings dialogue to import pictures and create new folders using this pattern: /home/username/pictures/<year>/<month>/<day> Shotwell also asked whether to link or copy the pictures and I chose to copy, but nonetheless they aren't copied.

What can I do?

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Works fine here. Is your ~/Pictures a standard folder or a symbolic link to some space elsewhere (see this bug report)? –  htorque Jun 18 '11 at 22:21
    
Its a standard folder. Does it matter that its a German system and hence the folder name is "Bilder" instead? –  Toxicbits Jun 18 '11 at 22:23
    
I doubt that, but you can try to choose a different folder like ~/test (something that's not a default folder, using Edit → Preferences). –  htorque Jun 18 '11 at 22:29
    
This actually worked –  Toxicbits Jun 18 '11 at 22:40
    
Just to be sure: you don't try to import from a directory within ~/Pictures, do you? –  htorque Jun 18 '11 at 22:40

2 Answers 2

The problem is that Shotwell will only copy the photos if they are located outside your XDG Pictures directory (usually ~/Pictures). If they are located inside your Pictures directory, Shotwell does not copy or reorganize them. (It's a tough call, but there are a lot of people out there who absolutely, positively do NOT want us to move their photos because they've gone to a great deal of trouble to organize them in the first place.)

From reading the comments to your question, it looks like you hit on a workaround: import all the photos from a folder outside of Pictures and choose copy. Unfortunately this means removing all the photos from Shotwell and re-importing them, meaning you lose all changes you've made to them (edits, tags, etc.)

We do have a ticket for exactly what you're looking for: http://redmine.yorba.org/issues/2170 No idea when/if it'll be ready, but we'd like to offer it.

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Move your images into a folder which isn't watched by Shotwell. Then start Shotwell and import the pictures (Ctrl+i). Now the pictures are new organized. I don't know about the problem mentioned here, because I always edited the pictures by GIMP and saved them as a new file.

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