Briefly, now that the Copy Path option has been removed from the lxqt version of the pcmanfm file maanger, I'm trying to find a workaround.

More details: I've been using Linux since 2015, solely using Lubuntu and pcmanfm, so maybe I haven't learned the right way to do things. But whenever I've needed the file/path name to insert into a desktop file, bash script, or command line, I've always used the "Copy Path" option under the context menu of pcmanfm.

Now that it's gone in the lxqt version (and I'm preparing to move to that version eventually), I'm trying to find a workaround for that missing function.

Aside from solely using the CLI for navigation (if I did that, why would I need a file manager?!), what are the easy ways to get the path/file name without having to do a complex series of actions which I now have to do sans Copy Path.

Before (i.e., with Copy Path): Select file, right-click and select Copy Path, this gives the entire pathname including filename; paste into document/file/script/CLI

Now (i.e., after removal of Copy Path): Highlight and copy path from pcmanfm navigation bar, paste pathname into leafpad; right-click file, copy filename; paste into leafpad next to the filename; select & copy the merged pathname/filename and paste into document/file/script/CLI

There's got to be a better way and there likely is. I just don't know what it is! Thanks.

Edit for clarity (which maybe removed if it's considered promotional):

The Copy Path feature provided the ability to right-click on a file in the file manager and to choose "Copy Path". This action would copy the path of the file, say, /etc/apt/sources.list, into the clipboard for pasting elsewhere. This feature is present in the the gtk version of pcmanfm but not in the qt version. Other file managers such as thunar and nautilus provide this feature without explicitly naming it "Copy Path". See my answer below.

  • Oh man. I love 'copy path'. Another vote against lxqt. Nov 11, 2018 at 23:47
  • 1
    @OrganicMarble I posted a workaround using Thunar in 18.04. I think it'll work in 18.10 as well. I'll check in Xubuntu 18.10 a little later.
    – DK Bose
    Nov 12, 2018 at 10:41
  • 1
    At least dragging a file from pcmanfm--qt to the terminal will paste the absolute path of the file into the terminal.
    – mook765
    Nov 12, 2018 at 14:14
  • @OrganicMarble - I cannot replicate this, the problem seems to be with featherpad.
    – user47206
    Nov 19, 2018 at 12:34
  • @mook765 - yes, but it works also in any text editor other than featherpad.
    – user47206
    Nov 19, 2018 at 12:35

4 Answers 4


OP here (I botched registration but I'm the same guy. ;) )

Thanks for the ideas. I've tried all of them, xc for Thunar, which I have yet to download (but I have tried before and it's a very nice lightweight fm).

But I wanted to tell you guys that I contacted the developers, and Copy Path will be added back to pcmanfm in a later version -- I think they said the next version. Apparently, Copy Path was more popular than they had counted on.

So if I can figure out how to tag my own post as the answer I will do so. In the meantime, it's great to have other options. Thanks again for the backup ideas.


Using Thunar instead

You can install Thunar in Lubuntu 18.04 and 18.10, as suggested in another answer without having to switch desktop environments. sudo apt install thunar will pull in a few necessary dependencies but not the entire XFCE or Xubuntu desktop.

When you open a folder in Thunar and right-click on a file, you'll see an entry named "Copy":

Thunar right-click

Click on "Copy", open your destination file and paste: the exact path that you'd get with the gtk version of PCManFM is pasted in whether you've opened a text file or a terminal. You don't have to do anything else.

In short, if you paste into a document or terminal, the file's path is pasted. If you paste into another window of Thunar itself, the file is pasted (i.e., copied).

Use the gtk version of pcmanfm

Alternatively, just install the gtk version of pcmanfm which is still available in 18.10.

  • what is the difference from PCManFM-qt? I think the OP only tested featherpad text editor and that was the problem
    – user47206
    Nov 19, 2018 at 12:33
  • 1
    I tested in several editors. The editor isn't important. It's what goes into the clipboard. pcmanfm-qt (and dolphin) just don't have the copy path feature the way the gtk version of pcmanfm has. And in addition to thunar, even nautilus has this context-dependent pasting of the path without "file://" in the front. pcmanfm-qt also doesn't have the second pane feature that the gtk version has. Note that for dolphin there's a service menu route to get the feature.
    – DK Bose
    Nov 19, 2018 at 12:43
  • 1
    I get it now. That difference should be more clearly presented in the question I think.
    – user47206
    Nov 19, 2018 at 12:53
  • I have deleted my answer.
    – user47206
    Nov 19, 2018 at 12:56
  • Actually, the question didn't cover the aspect we're talking about at all but instead took a much longer route.
    – DK Bose
    Nov 19, 2018 at 12:56

According to this, PCManFM allows to add Copy Path via .desktop into ~/.local/file-manager/actions. It is also applicable for PCManFM-Qt.

Although, a tool is required to write it from the console to the clipboard. Or not if you implement it w/o using coreutils.


I too was an avid pcmanfm user. I've moved to Thunar, xfce. This may be an option with pcmanfm as well...

Select the file you want the path for. Double or triple click the address bar so that all contents are selected and the press Ctrl+C ( Copy ). In Thunar, this copies the entire path and filename to the clipboard. Maybe lxqt pcmanfm is the same... Worth a shot anyways...

  • Please see my answer. Have you tried copy/paste the file in a terminal or other text editor than featherpad?
    – user47206
    Nov 19, 2018 at 12:42
  • I use the method I posted to copy path names from Thunar and paste to Gedit, NetBeans and CodeBlocks. I've not seen the issue you're facing.
    – BillWeckel
    Nov 19, 2018 at 12:45
  • I now see what was expected. I Will delete my answer.
    – user47206
    Nov 19, 2018 at 12:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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