cannot download photos using shotwell via usb

Bug #1400470 reported by Nicolás Lichtmaier on 2014-12-08
180
This bug affects 40 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
shotwell (Ubuntu)
High
Unassigned

Bug Description

I get error message "Unable to fetch previews from the camera:
Could not claim the USB device (-53)" when I try to connect my camera and download photos to the PC using Shotwell. I have also installed gThumb and still same message.

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in shotwell (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
kenden (kenden) wrote :

Confirmed, this happens with my phone (Nexus 5) on Ubuntu 14.04 / Mint 17.1. Shotwell 0.18.0

Workaround, from:
https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/shotwell/+question/157569

"Shotwell is supposed to popup a dialog asking you to unmount, however there are cases where this doesn't work.
You may have to unmount the camera in Nautilus before starting Shotwell."

Unmounting in Nautilus before starting Shotwell works for me.

Adrian King (aking-il) wrote :

Same error message and workaround needed for

Ubuntu 14.10 64 bit
Shotwell 0.20.2
Samsung Galaxy s4

Bitterjug (bitterjug) wrote :

This is still affecting me today
Ubuntu 15.04, 64 bit
Shotwell 0.22.o
Samsung Galaxy Note III

Workaround : unmount in nautilus and re-start shotwell seems to be working.

Metta Crawler (metta-crawler) wrote :

For Android cameras you must also unlock the screen before it will talk to your computer.

ihoru (ihor-polyakov) wrote :

> Workaround : unmount in nautilus and re-start shotwell seems to be working.
Worked for me

Vincenzo Di Somma (vds) wrote :

Same error with:
Ubuntu 16.04 64 bit
Shotwell 0.22.0
Nexus 5x

The workaround works fine.

gadLinux (gad-aguilardelgado) wrote :

The situation got worse with 17.04 ubuntu.

The unmount trick doesn't work anymore and the camera/phone is left in strange status. I get "Can't lock camera. Unspecified error (-1)" If I unmount. I had to kill the gvfs process to be able access.

After killing
/usr/lib/gvfs/gvfsd-mtp

I got it working. but that's not the solution.

Geoffrey Pursell (geoffp) wrote :

I can't get the workaround to work at all with Ubuntu 16.10 and an iPhone 6+/iOS 10.3. I can't find any way at all to actually use Shotwell with my phone.

Simon P. (simpre) wrote :

I get the same error with Ubuntu 16.04.2 and my Moto G4 Play.

Alan Hayes (alanmodimages) wrote :

I tried the workaround on Ubunto Gnome 16.04 LTS. Did not work either. iPhone 7 Plus. When is going to be tackled?

peter (peter0829) on 2017-05-28
Changed in shotwell (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
rikolk@upcmail.nl (kolkvdr) wrote :

solution #8 worked for me

Maraschin (carlo-maraschin) wrote :

It's 2017 and this "feature" still present!
Everyone has a smartphone and when we want to import our pictures we always get into this situation...

Could someone at least create a window in shotwell with instructions about what todo, may be even a button that unmounts or do some action to make it to work...

Bonjour,

 Merci pour votre message.
 Je suis absent jusqu'au lundi 24 juillet, je prend bonne note de votre courriel et vous répondrai dès mon retour dans les plus brefs délais.

 Meilleures salutations.

Jonas G. Drange (jonas-drange) wrote :

Why was this incomplete? If a bug is incomplete, there needs to be some reason as to why. It seems to be very well confirmed by ~30 people.

Changed in shotwell (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Confirmed

Bonjour,

 Merci pour votre message.
 Je suis absent jusqu'au lundi 24 juillet, je prend bonne note de votre courriel et vous répondrai dès mon retour dans les plus brefs délais.

 Meilleures salutations.

I use Ubuntu 17.04 64bit. I have this problem with my Canon 120IS. I do not know how to "unmount" using nautilus as no icon appears to unmount. A complete shutdown-restart did not see the camera until I had done this several times. I tried several available usb ports. Funny, when I initiate playback on the camera it does launch Shotwell. It is just that Shotwell does not show the camera.

Saroumane (saroumane) wrote :

Same problem here with Ubuntu Gnome 17.04
Workaround #2 works, but it's annoying.

For the record this bug has the biggest "Heat score" of all Shotwell bugs (148 at this time, top right of screen), and it has been open for since 2014

And now ?
Importance : Undecided
Assigned to : Unassigned

So what's the point of heat system ? (Real question)

John Pye (jdpipe) wrote :

According to https://git.gnome.org/browse/shotwell/tree/NEWS this issue has recently been addressed by version 0.27.0. Ubuntu 17.04 system only has version 0.22.0. So this is probably an Ubuntu packaging issue.

Davide Marchi (danjde) wrote :

Hi guys,
could you release a patch (or fixed deb package) for Ubuntu 16.04/Gnome 3.18?

Many many thanks!

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :
Changed in shotwell (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
status: Confirmed → Fix Committed
importance: Low → High
Peter Flynn (peter-silmaril) wrote :

This problem is still present: Shotwell cannot access the camera although it is aware of its existence (it is correctly listed in the LH side menu, in my case a Kodak EZ200).

The recommended method of unmounting the device in a file manager seems to be bogus for many people: no device is mounted, so there's nothing to unmount.

Something, somewhere, is grabbing the device when it is plugged in, and nothing seems to be able to detect *what* process is responsible. I'm attaching the syslog from when I plug it in. Perhaps someone with better usb-fu can make sense of it.

SunBear (sunbear-c22) wrote :

I see the following message from Shotwell 0.22.0 in Ubuntu 16.04 every time a iPhone4s is plugged in to my computer usb:

Shotwell
Unable to fetch previews from the camera:
Could not claim the USB device (-53)

I have to click "Ok" to remove this message before I can access Shotwell. This warning has always appeared for a few years. Annoying. It will be great that this warning be removed.

On 09/07/18 17:27, SunBear wrote:
> I see the following message from Shotwell 0.22.0 in Ubuntu 16.04
> every time a iPhone4s is plugged in to my computer usb:
>
> Shotwell Unable to fetch previews from the camera: Could not claim
> the USB device (-53)
>
> I have to click "Ok" to remove this message before I can access
> Shotwell. This warning has always appeared for a few years. Annoying.
> It will be great that this warning be removed.

You are very lucky that clicking OK enables you to proceed like that.

This is a well-known and pervasive bug which has remained unfixed for
many years, for some unknown reason.

"Could not claim the USB device (-53)" means that some other process (I
believe a driver of some kind) has already grabbed the device without
authorization, and will not let go of it.

This kind of usurpation is not really something we want in an operating
system. We need to get to the bottom of it, and delete the process which
is apparently jumping in where it is not wanted. I am guessing — because
I cannot find any concrete information — that it is a kernel driver
installed for some other, perfectly authentic, reason, which is doing
this as an unwanted side-effect, so the author may be completely unaware
that this is happening.

I have already recommended elsewhere that the correct interim solution
is for camera applications (in your case, Shotwell, but in fact almost
anything that needs access to the camera, even a plain file manager) to
be able (with sudo authentication) to kill the current claiming process,
break the lock, and give the application the access it needs.

Long term, it should be possible to identify to the user *what* process
has claimed the USB device uninvited, and allow the user to kill the
process permanantly (ie remove it from whatever autostart procedure it
was spawned from). Until that happens, camera software usage is largely
crippled.

///Peter

Simon P. (simpre) wrote :

Bug still occurring with Shotwell 0.30.1 under Ubuntu 18.10 when trying to access pictures on my Sony Xperia X phone.

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