Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

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?

share|improve this question
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

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: No idea when/if it'll be ready, but we'd like to offer it.

share|improve this answer

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.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.