Why doesn't Ubuntu have their Recycle bin/Trash function the same as Windows.

In Ubuntu there is Trash folder, which functions exactly as a folder. There is no disk space difference after a file has been Trashed. However In Windows, it appears available memory will increase if I move file(s) to the Recycle bin.

  • 1
    Also in windows, the physically free memory does not increase!!! It might just be calculated as free, however, if you then intend to use it, you will have to delete it.
    – Michael K
    Jan 11, 2012 at 10:09
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    "But in windows totally differnt, Memory will decrease in Recycle bin." No, you THINK it decreased cuz Microsoft deducts the amount but the files are still there (and thus take up space). Your complaint should be: why does a Windows system lie about the amount of free space?
    – Rinzwind
    Jan 11, 2012 at 11:12
  • @Rinzwind: I recall the opposite used to happen when I used to run Windows. That is, it works just the same as Ubuntu.
    – Hippo
    Jan 11, 2012 at 14:12
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    @Rinzwind Just sent ~500MB to the Win7 Recycle Bin, freespace wasn't changed until I emptied it. I vaguely recall a feature where windows would automatically clear the recyclebin if space was needed for new files. The reporting you're seeing could reflect that behavior. Not sure if it was removed in Win7 or just that MSes assumptions about what would be least confusing changed. Jan 11, 2012 at 14:57
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    "Why Linux/Unix don't have Recycle bin/Trash as like Windows os." I am so tempted to answer with "Because it is not Windows os"
    – rlemon
    Jan 11, 2012 at 15:34

4 Answers 4


I am a bit puzzled. Ubuntu does have a recycle bin (called either Trash or Rubbish Bin).

When you delete a file or folder from Nautilus, it goes to the Rubbish Bin. You can go to the bin and right-click and restore. Or, you can empty your Rubbish Bin if you wish to reclaim the space.

Windows is just the same. When you put something in the recycle bin, your hard disk space is not reduced, because it's still there on the disk. Your disk space is reduced only when you empty the bin.


Try putting the location


into the file manager (Nautilus). For example, from the command prompt:

$ nautilus trash:///

will open up the file manager at that location.

The physical location of the file is:


(i.e. /home/username/.local/share/Trash)

There are two subfolders, files and info, which contain the files, an the information about them (original location, deletion date/time).

This works pretty much the same way as in Windows

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    The files can also go to /media/DISK/.Trash-USERID for mounted partitions (both external and internal), for example /media/System/.Trash-1000
    – Lekensteyn
    Jan 11, 2012 at 16:19

Windows simply lies about the remaining disk space, the space isn't actually cleared until you empty the bin. As a challenge, find a small hard drive and install windows. Fill 98% of the remaining space with a large file and then send it to the recycling bin. Windows will report that the free space has been reclaimed, yet the file is still in the bin and can be restored.

Now create another large file and recheck the recycling bin, notice something missing? Windows silently removes items from the recycling bin when there isn't enough free disk space to continue its deception.

A la Microsoft: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/136517


Ubuntu does have a Recycle Bin, it's called the Trash.

Also, I'm not sure what you mean by "memory" in this case. Memory (as in RAM) is not used with file operations like moving things to the Trash.

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