Nautilus (and Nemo) trying to save file with directory name instead of opening directory

I’ve searched the forum, and online, and can’t find the answer to this one. Probably because it’s kind of hard to describe in a short sentence.

I’ve got a weird problem with Nautilus. And I also have Nemo installed. If I change the default file manager to Nemo then it does exactly the same thing.

When I’m saving a file, whether it’s a .txt, or a .odt or a .ods, this is what happens (sometimes - not always).

  • In the application (libreoffice for example) I hit save as.
  • File picker opens.
  • I click down onto the list of folders area, or hit ctrl+F, and start typing the first few letters of the directory I want, so that Nautilus, or Nemo, jumps to that directory. Let’s say the directory in question is called “My files”.
  • At that point I should just be able to double click the directory, or hit return, and the directory should open, letting me see the sub-directories or folders inside.
  • Instead, nautilus (or nemo) will warn me that the directory “My files” already exists, and it asks if I want to overwrite it. If I say yes, it saves a file with the same name as the directory.

But this does not always happen. Sometimes it works as it should.

I’ve never seen this happen before. I have been on Linux for 3 years solid now. I started with Mint, and nemo never did this in Mint. Since then I’ve had the desktop computer on Manjaro KDE Plasma for about 2.5 years, and dolphin never did this. I’ve run gnome on the laptop before, and I’ve never seen this behaviour in gnome before either.

Something I’ve done in dconf? I have not done much though.

I do have various extensions installed, and I am wondering about these.

I hope someone knows what’s going on here, as I do not have a clue.

Using the ‘Save as’ dialog, if you click on an existing file or folder, that becomes the name of the file that you wish to save. You have to make sure the name of whatever file or folder you click on doesn’t transfer to the ‘save file name as’ (or whatever) box. You have to be more observant; watch out for this when it happens, and correct it.

This might mean manually typing the name you wish to save it as, so that it’s different from any file or folder you clicked on.

I hope this helps.

Thanks for replying. :+1:

But I’ve done this thousands of times over 3 years, and never has this happened before, in Plasma, Mint, or Gnome.

I know what you are talking about. That behaviour exists on Windows too, if I remember right (it’s been a while).

But that happens when you click on a file, not a directory.

Linux doesn’t save a file with the exact same name as an existing directory.

You can check this afterwards with:

ls -lA


This doesn’t address your issue, but just to clarify: a file dialog (or file chooser/picker) is not the same as a file manager (nemo, nautilus, dolphin, etc.). Your choice of default file manager does not generally affect a specific application’s file dialog. I believe that your problem is with the GTK file dialog.

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Yes. The problem is with the file picker.

And it’s not standard behaviour. It’s acting weird. :grinning:

My point was that it’s not a new issue. Though I don’t recall specifically which software I might have been using, I have also experienced what you describe.

I suppose it tends to be more noticeable when using a file manager not intended for the DE; because it’s made for one DE, there’s no guarantee to will perform as expected in another (though, they usually do).

It’s annoying, I know; even moreso because you can’t positively predict when it will happen. Do you remember when selecting a file in Nautilus would select the extension aswell? That was a few years ago, and it was about the same time I first noticed what you describe. Again, only occasionally.

Do you notice it more when using Flatpak apps?

I don’t know. i have some flatpaks installed, but the important stuff I use for work (creating and saving files) is all from the standard repo. So I haven’t noticed if it exists in my flatpaks.

I did note that it happens even when the file name at the top, in the file name box, for example “my new file.odt” is totally different from the directory name.

It’s weird.

I’m using to using dolphin more than anything else these days and in dolphin I’m very fast at navigating my hard drive to save files where I want them. In gnome, due to this weird issue, I keep getting stopped in my tracks.

I fixed this problem. 100% solution. I installed Manjaro KDE Plasma.

Every time I try another version of Manjaro, or another distro, I stick with it for a short while and then come back to Manjaro Plasma. It seems to be the one I get on with best. :smiley:

And by the way, I’ve noticed that with my gtk apps, when I’m on manjaro plasma, the file picker looks exactly the same as the nautilus one from gnome. I’d guess that’s exactly what it is.

But the problem I experienced on gnome, that provoked this thread, does not happen in manjaro plasma. I would be interested to know why? What is going on? Surely gnome’s default file picker should work better in gnome than in kde plasma, no??

While that’s not a solution at all, I’m glad you’re not suffering the issue any longer. :wink: I believe you’ll come to appreciate KDE. Cheers.