This is not like one of the cases addressed before - I've checked them all.

I've suddenly begun getting that message "... can't be put in the trash. Do you want to delete it immediately?" this morning in my Home directory only.

I have a Home partition (ext4, mounted properly) with symlinks for user folders like Downloads, Documents, etc. to folders with the same names in a Data partition (ntfs, mounted properly).

For example, I cannot move a file in Downloads folder to Trash when I try via Home, but no problem if I try via Data partition, although the file in question has the same ownership and permissions at both locations.

Also no problem at all with files in my Home folder, including sub-folders like Public that are not symlinked to my Data partition.

Interesting puzzle for me...

PS: Just upgraded to 15.04 but I don't think it matters... On second thought, it might perhaps be something to do with upgrading from Nautilus 3.10 to 3.14?

PPS: This bug has been finally resolved some time later in version 16.10, and no longer exists under Ubuntu 17.04.

  • Thanks for updating and the note it has been fixed however what was the real problem then? I can not update the core system in the moment.
    – Thomas
    Aug 29, 2017 at 9:02
  • @Thomas it's not something that can be fixed without updating the system files (i.e. glib2.0 package) associated with this bug, at least without risking some other problem (e.g. omitting one of the patches added to the upstream a while ago). However, you might like to consider this by following the information here: bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/nautilus/+bug/1449112
    – Sadi
    Aug 29, 2017 at 15:27

2 Answers 2


This is a bug in nautilus, since the same doesn't happen in Trusty (as you found out by yourself); the explanation for this behavior might be that nautilus always tries to delete the files reached through the /home path as being physically located in the /home partition even when they're reached through a symbolic link to a folder physically located in another partition: in this case "trashing" the file like usual fails because the target file cannot be be moved to the user's Trash, hence the prompt to delete it immediately instead.

  • Thanks, but is this suggestion still valid given this: "no problem with files in my Home folder, including sub-folders like Public not symlinked to my Data partition" (which should I guess show that there are no ownership or permission problems)? BTW my Trash folder is owned by me with "rw" permissions for me and my group as well as "r" permissions for others -- which should be more than enough, if not too much ;-)
    – Sadi
    Apr 27, 2015 at 12:22
  • @Sadi No it's not, I missed that part. Anyway you can't do so, just because it would be very silly. See the update
    – kos
    Apr 27, 2015 at 13:30
  • But I don't understand, I've been using this configuration for a long time now and I don't think this is the first time I'm trying to delete a file in this way... How come I've never had this problem??? My guess is perhaps the system merely accepted them as files on my Data partition and put them in that Trash folder... Perhaps I should make a bug report about this then?
    – Sadi
    Apr 27, 2015 at 14:39
  • @Sadi Maybe that's the case instead, or maybe that's exactly due to the update, because I tested this on Vivid as well and I received exactly the same prompt. I agree that to just put the deleted files in the .Trash-1000 folder of the same drive in which the files were located without any prompt would be much more convenient, perhaps this is a bug and it's not the intended behavior, altough it partially makes sense for the reasons explained above. Anyway check the new update also, I think now the actual problem is explained even better.
    – kos
    Apr 27, 2015 at 14:49
  • Thank you kos, I understood the point you're making when I first read it actually. What I didn't understand was how come this didn't happen to me before although I've been using this configuration since I don't remember when ;-) Nautilus must be able to tell what's a symlink and what's a real file/directory and move it to the Trash folder there. I'll test this with a live USB session of Ubuntu 14.10...
    – Sadi
    Apr 27, 2015 at 15:15

I have just done a fresh install of Ubuntu 18.4 with /home on the same hd and had the same problem: files could not be sent to the trash. I could only delete them completely. Looking at /home/current_user.local/share/Trash I saw the owner was root and I had to change the owner to the user for /Trash and both files inside: /files and /info. I prefer to do this through nautilus as root (Terminal: sudo nautilus) and now it works. Thank you all for your helpful posts.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .