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What I mean is that on several occasions I was able to successfully run a command in a terminal window opened in a certain folder, but when using a command (run not directly from terminal, but from a Thunar custom action) to do the same - that is: open a terminal in the same folder and run the same initial command - it would not work as expected.

For example, I have a folder that contains a pdf file. I want to save the pdf pages as images.

CASE 1: I open a terminal in that folder and run this command: pdftoppm -png *.pdf prefix. The pdf pages are extracted as png files.

CASE 2: I try to do the same from Thunar custom actions. I create a custom action with the command xfce4-terminal -e "pdftoppm -png *.pdf prefix", Appearance conditions; Directories, but that does nothing. To get more details, it is useful to keep that terminal window open after the command is run, but I do not know how to do that with the Xfce terminal. Using gnome-terminal I create a profile called new1 with the setting "When command exits: Hold the terminal open" then add to custom action this command:

gnome-terminal --window-with-profile=new1 -e "pdftoppm -png *.pdf prefix"

But this gives an error:

I/O Error: Couldn't open file '*.pdf': No such file or directory.

What is the difference between CASE 1 and CASE 2 which triggers the different results?


I have an answer to the question Thunar - Custom actions: save selected pdf as images. The command that works in Thunar custom actions is pdftoppm %f -png %f.png.

But I am curious why a command works in terminal but a different command that opens the terminal and runs that command does not.

  • May be you are missing --working-directory which should be one that containing *.pdf (i.e open terminal here not satisfied) – Pandya Nov 10 '14 at 16:20
  • %f required to selection of files visit this and this can help – Pandya Nov 10 '14 at 16:27
  • @Pandya : thunar action command xfce4-terminal will open the terminal in the folder where the action is run, and there is no error in this way. i was expecting a thunar action command like xfce4-terminal -e <command> to run also <command>in the folder where the action is run, in the same way as when running <command> in the terminal window opened with 'open terminal here' (which works, as tested) – user47206 Nov 10 '14 at 16:57
  • @Pandya - when i get that error message I do not intend to select the file, just run the command in the specific folder – user47206 Nov 10 '14 at 17:14
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On my system, the Thunar custom actions seem to call the command with bash and makes the use of xfce4-terminal superfluous.

Try the following action instead:

cd %f && pdftoppm -png *.pdf prefix

enter image description here

You get the I/O Error: Couldn't open file '*.pdf': No such file or directory. message as your selection is now a directory and the current directory is then one level up.

So you need to first cd into the target before running the pdftoppm command.

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