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PCManFM doesn't remember view-mode for specific folders. The pcmanfm.conf file in:

/home/user/.config/pcmanfm/default

saves view_mode=[0,1,2,3] for all folders. Default being 0 (icon view), I chose not to change it. Now, I made a new config file called album and created a shortcut on PCManFM desktop (removed nautilus recently) called videos (which is a folder).
Since videos are better viewed as thumbnails, I set view_mode in album to 2. Here's the Exec line in videos.desktop file:

Exec=pcmanfm --profile=album "/home/user/Downloads/videos"

This works fine when PCManFM desktop isn't running. But if it is, no such settings or configs works! So, I was wondering if there was a workaround for this.

NOTE: I've tried this many time by killing pcmanfm desktop process and opening videos folder. It only works when desktop isn't running!
ubuntu version 12.10
pcmanfm version 1.0.1

  • Have you tried it via sudo Exec=pcmanfm --profile=album "/home/user/Downloads/videos" ? Worth a shot, because if certain programs are set up right, they might have a protective lock that keeps unprivileged users from executing stuff on it and its files. That does seem unlikely though, as it just PCManFM – RPiAwesomeness Oct 3 '13 at 17:52
  • Tried and failed. – Python Student Oct 3 '13 at 17:54
  • Same problem, or something different? – RPiAwesomeness Oct 3 '13 at 17:56
  • I've tried it before, it's the same problem. Have you faced such a similar issue? – Python Student Oct 3 '13 at 17:57
  • No, just thinking in general terms of how linux works. – RPiAwesomeness Oct 3 '13 at 17:59
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From http://standards.freedesktop.org/desktop-entry-spec/desktop-entry-spec-latest.html#exec-variables:

The Exec key must contain a command line. A command line consists of an executable program optionally followed by one or more arguments. The executable program can either be specified with its full path or with the name of the executable only. If no full path is provided the executable is looked up in the $PATH environment variable used by the desktop environment. The name or path of the executable program may not contain the equal sign ("="). Arguments are separated by a space.

So, because of that equal sign from --profile=album, I think you have a problem. What you can do is to use a simple script like this:

#!/bin/bash

/usr/bin/pcmanfm --profile=album "/home/user/Downloads/videos"

Don't forget to make the script executable:

chmod +x /path/to/script

And finally add in your videos.desktop file this line:

Exec=/path/to/script

This method worked for me all the time.

  • Jeez, there must be something wrong with my computer! This isn't working. Perhaps, it could be about something else that hasn't crossed my mind yet. Also, what about -p instead of --profile? It didn't work for me, obviously. I was wondering if the running desktop process is loading the default config file thereby applying it to all child processes; like the videos folder for instance. – Python Student Oct 3 '13 at 20:54
  • Today I tried out LXDE and lxde XFce interfaces, both using pcmanfm. There is the same problem there too. – Python Student Oct 7 '13 at 16:54

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