I'm using Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. My trash bin has numerous files, folders, .jpgs, .mpgs, etc., many of which I don't recognize as ever having used. I tried the normal "Empty Trash" method, that does nothing. I then tried every other terminal command I could find on the forum and elsewhere, including "rm"; I installed trash-cli and tried empty-trash. After giving the rm command to delete the trash folder, it's still there. I tried restoring the individual files (to alter and delete them) but get an error message that there's no such file or directory. Trying to delete them individually results in "You do not have sufficient permissions to delete the file [filename]." I can query properties, and the result shows content in the files (although some folders show no content.)

I am running a dual boot with Windows 10, and disabled "FastBoot" in Widows. Nothing works, although from the error messages and the lack of action, it seems like the files have been deleted. The behavior seems like what a Windows virus might be doing. The system seems to be running fine otherwise, although on restarts I sometimes get a green-colored screen with a multi-colored set of vertical lines in the left 10th of the screen. (I'm giving everything I can think of.)

I'm not very good at terminal commands, and don't really grok Ubuntu, although I can copy and paste what seems to be appropriate.

Here's a screenshot of the results of trash-empty:

ira@Ira-Ubuntu:~$ trash-empty
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/bin/trash-empty", line 5, in 
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/trashcli/cmds.py", line 31, in empty
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/trashcli/trash.py", line 937, in run
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/trashcli/trash.py", line 806, in __call__
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/trashcli/trash.py", line 963, in _empty_all_trashdirs
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/trashcli/trash.py", line 880, in list_trashdirs
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/trashcli/trash.py", line 887, in _for_each_volume_trashcan
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/trashcli/trash.py", line 890, in emit_trashcans_for
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/trashcli/trash.py", line 903, in emit_trashcan_2_for
    self.on_trash_dir_found(alt_top_trashdir, volume)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/trashcli/trash.py", line 978, in _analize_trash_directory
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/trashcli/trash.py", line 1087, in each_trashinfo
    action(os.path.join(self._info_dir(), entry))
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/trashcli/trash.py", line 856, in delete_if_expired
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/trashcli/trash.py", line 866, in _delete_unconditionally
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/trashcli/trash.py", line 839, in delete_trashinfo_and_backup_copy
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/trashcli/fs.py", line 27, in remove_file_if_exists
    if os.path.exists(path): self.remove_file(path)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/trashcli/fs.py", line 25, in remove_file
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/shutil.py", line 253, in rmtree
    onerror(os.listdir, path, sys.exc_info())
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/shutil.py", line 251, in rmtree
    names = os.listdir(path)
OSError: [Errno 20] Not a directory: '/media/ira/6464-3839/.Trash-1000/files/0007.jpg'

I don't understand what it's telling me. Thanks for any help. Ira

Here are the first four lines resulting from the find /media/ command:

drwxr-xr-x 2 ira ira 32768 Sep  5  2014 /media/ira/6464-3839/Music
drwxr-xr-x 5 ira ira 32768 Sep  5  2014 /media/ira/6464-3839/.Trash-1000
drwxr-xr-x 2 ira ira 32768 Jun  4  2015 /media/ira/6464-3839/.Trash-1000/info
-rw-r--r-- 1 ira ira 70 Sep  5  2014 /media/ira/6464-3839/.Trash-1000/info/0007.jpg.trashinfo

Thereafter follow numerous lines like the 4th, with differences in the Trash-1000 files, and listing, I believe, the offending files. (I have successfully emptied the trash several times since 2014.)

I have the following external drives: 2 3-TB (containing some backup but mostly music I've recorded) and a pair of 1.5 TB drives in a D-Link backup server. I hope this helps.

By the way: I just deleted some files that showed up in the trash bin and I was able to delete them with the folder's empty command. The process worked for those files, but the stubborn ones weren't affected.

  • Ok, this appears to be on a removable drive (i.e. /media/ira/6464-3839/) This can be a permission issue or some sort of drive corruption. Can you run a command find /media/ira/6464-3839/ -exec ls -ld {} \; and edit your post to show the response
    – v010dya
    Commented Apr 13, 2019 at 1:21

1 Answer 1


The problem was alleviated (but maybe not resolved) by going to the Windows OS, and doing a search for TRASH. That brought up four likely suspects, all TRASH-1000 folders, on C, G, F and H drives. The folder on C and two of the other backup drives contained duplicates of the offending files plus others deleted long ago. I was able to delete them with the Windows delete function. Returning to Ubuntu showed the TRASH folder was now empty. Thanks to v010dya for the hint.

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