I am fairly new to Linux, Ubuntu, etc, I am running lUbuntu 18.04.5. Please note that I need to be given explicit instructions whenever I have to use Terminal (command line).

With my being so inexperienced and unfamiliar, I do not know how to empty the Trash folder on an external USB HDD (which I have been using for backing up my home folder).

I can see the Trash folder (which is called .Trash-1000) in the external USB HDD, using the GUI of the file manager for lUbuntu (which is called PCManFM). However, I do not see any way to empty the trash folder using PCManFM.

I am willing to use Terminal to empty the Trash folder, but I would need explicit instructions.

  • Have a look at lubuntu.me/pcmanfm-empty-trash-menu It tells you how to add the missing feature to legacy Lubuntu (such as Lubuntu 18.04.5 LTS)
    – guiverc
    Jan 16, 2021 at 7:21
  • 1
    FYI: Unless you're using a really old (i386 or 32-bit computer from 25+ years ago) I would suggest you used a modern Lubuntu; Lubuntu 18.04 LTS was the last legacy or LXDE release, and the only supported method of upgrade really is via re-install. You mention being "fairly new" so if the installation is "fairly new" I would consider it rather soon, as Lubuntu 18.04 LTS is nearing the end of it's three years of full support (2018-April + 3 years = 2021-April).
    – guiverc
    Jan 16, 2021 at 7:28
  • Hi guiverc. My machine is a Lenovo 3000 N100 laptop, circa 2006. it has a Genuine Intel(R) CPU T2080 @ 1.73 GHz, 1 physical processor; 2 cores; 2 threads. When I installed lUbuntu 18.04 in 2019, as far as I could determine the next latest version at the time (which was version 20.04, I think) required a 64-bit machine and a faster processor than my machine has. was i under a wrong impression?
    – Hotspur
    Jan 16, 2021 at 9:35
  • Yeah you're out of luck, reading ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/29740/… implies to me it's i386 only Lubuntu's last LXQt desktop for i386 was 19.04 (alpha only) so 18.04 LTS makes the most sense for you.
    – guiverc
    Jan 16, 2021 at 10:01

1 Answer 1


You can add this missing feature in LXDE, emptying the trash can using a menu thanks to the file manager actions, the easy way (it should be compatible with all versions of PCManFM except maybe Qt based builds, for now). Just open a LXTerminal and use these five commands:

sudo apt-get install trash-cli

mkdir --parents $HOME/.local/share/file-manager/actions

wget -O $HOME/.local/share/file-manager/actions/ask-trash-empty.desktop https://raw.githubusercontent.com/NicolasBernaerts/ubuntu-scripts/master/lubuntu/trash-empty/ask-trash-empty.desktop

sudo wget -O /usr/local/bin/ask-trash-empty https://raw.githubusercontent.com/NicolasBernaerts/ubuntu-scripts/master/lubuntu/trash-empty/ask-trash-empty

sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/ask-trash-empty

enter image description here

Now re-log in again, and that’s all.

This is just a copy/paste from https://lubuntu.me/pcmanfm-empty-trash-menu/, so all thanks should go to RedWolf

Note: A user at the Lubuntu site also mentions in comments (which I can't test as I already have zenity installed)

"You first need to install zenity (sudo apt install zenity)

  • Thank you, Norbert and guiverc. Let me say first that as I recall i've always been able to empty the 'Rubbish Bin' that's on the Desktop in lUbuntu (via left click menu). My question here is not about that 'Rubbish Bin'. My question is about how I can empty the trash folder called .Trash-1000 in my external USB HDD. In any case, I performed the five Terminal commands, and then rebooted the machine (assuming that's what's meant by "re-log in again"). Unfortunately, there is still no obvious way to empty the trash folder for the external USB HDD.
    – Hotspur
    Jan 16, 2021 at 9:52
  • I don't know how to install zenity - so I will look for a program called zenity in the Software facility on lUbuntu - tomorrow as its v. late here now.
    – Hotspur
    Jan 16, 2021 at 9:54
  • I would use sudo apt install zenity ; but you'll find it more likely in synaptic (the package manager, rather than Software store).
    – guiverc
    Jan 16, 2021 at 10:02
  • By now, following the above directions, I've done the command to install zenity. I'm guessing that zenity was installed all right. Next, I re-did the five Terminal commands recommended by Norbert. Then I re-booted the machine. I'm not seeing any obvious difference in the file manager (PCManFM), and I don't see how to empty the trash folder (.Trash-1000) in the USB HDD.
    – Hotspur
    Jan 16, 2021 at 22:26
  • What file-system exists on your external drive? I just had a test of it, and it worked. I mounted an external drive, copied files to a different directory on external drive, then moved (copies) to the trash, then went to trash and right-click had a "Empty Trash Can" option which cleared files (including on external drive). Note: external drives can be a little tricky, in that if you empty trash & drive isn't mounted .. they can't be erased.. you can always remove them manually at terminal (they'll be located in .Trash-1000/ (file in files/ and details in info/) but it worked for me.
    – guiverc
    Jan 16, 2021 at 23:39

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