nautilus does not count files to replace before showing "not enough space"

Bug #264585 reported by Saivann Carignan on 2008-09-04
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
One Hundred Papercuts
nautilus (Ubuntu)
Ubuntu Desktop Bugs

Bug Description

Binary package hint: nautilus

When you want to update a file on a destination that contains less space than the file that is to be updated (overwritten), nautilus gives you a error message saying "There is not enough space on the destination". However, nautilus didn't consider that you don't add anything on the destination, you only overwrite existing file, thus the error message is wrong.

In this situation, to avoid complex codes, nautilus should probably count size of files that are to be replaced ONLY if it detects that there's not enough space on the destination.

If nautilus does not get errors due to missing space, it should do as it already does, copy files "on the fly" without making such verifications. This way, this bug can probably be fixed without having a negative impact on nautilus performances.

Steps to reproduce :
1. Have a USB key with say... 50 Mb left.
2. Copy a file of 40Mb on that USB key.
3. Try to copy again the 40Mb file on the USB key.

Result : You get a error saying that there is not enough space on the device.

What should actually happens : No additional space needs to be taken, so nautilus should simply overwrite the file without a word, and it should in fact calculate :

if ("there is not enough space") {
if ("size available on device" < "size of files to copy" - "size of files that will be replaced") {
"Cancel file transfert and show :"
"There is not enough space on the destination drive";

Changed in nautilus:
status: Unknown → New
Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

thank you for your bug report, no need to report upstream bugs on launchpad i you already opened those on

Changed in nautilus:
assignee: nobody → desktop-bugs
importance: Undecided → Low
status: New → Triaged
Changed in nautilus:
status: New → Confirmed
Martin Albisetti (beuno) wrote :

This would improve usability quite a bit.

Changed in hundredpapercuts:
status: New → Confirmed

Can someone comment on whether or not this is easy to fix? It does not appear trivial enough to be considered a paper cut.

Changed in hundredpapercuts:
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
A. Walton (awalton) wrote :

Not really a paper cut, no. This would require enumerating the destination directory and comparing files, which Nautilus doesn't do while copying/moving; we just handle errors/exceptions as they occur and use early outs like free space to determine whether to continue.

Nhorning (neilhorning) wrote :

In the interest of the plethora of newbs this project it attempting to attract, I think it best to post a workaround.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

To skip all overwrites:
cp -n -r -v <filesource> <filedestination>

To overwrite all files:
cp -f -r -v <filesource> <filedestination>


Nhorning (neilhorning) wrote :

...To be prompted if overwriting or not

cp -i -r -v <filesource> <filedestination>

Mahmood (saghaei) wrote :

I think including a "Try to Copy" option in the "not enough space" dialogue may be more practical than intensive overwrite size calculation. Also another nice addition to this dialogue would be a "Calculate with Overwrite" button. This way the extra overwrite size calculation will not be performed routinely in all copy operations.

Vish (vish) wrote :

Thank you for bringing this bug to our attention. However, a paper cut should be a small usability issue, in the default Ubuntu install, that affects many people and is quick and easy to fix. So this bug can't be addressed as part of this project.

- Marking Invalid as per comment #4
For further information about papercuts criteria, please read

Don't worry though, this bug has been marked as "Invalid" only in the papercuts project.

Changed in hundredpapercuts:
status: Incomplete → Invalid
Changed in nautilus:
importance: Unknown → Medium
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