Thunar behaves inconsistently with USB flash drive FAT32 partitions

Bug #1332623 reported by Richard Elkins on 2014-06-20
This bug affects 5 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
glib2.0 (Ubuntu)
thunar (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

I installed Xubuntu 14.04 and performed no customizations or reconfigurations.

Observation: Thunar 1.6.3 ("File Manager" from menu) on Xubuntu 14.04 handles write permission to inserted USB flash drives inconsistently:
* I am able to create a nil file on the flash drive with Thunar and edit it. Clearly, the flash drive is not read-only.
* Using Thunar, I cannot copy an existing file (E.g. ~/.profile) and paste it on the flash drive - "destination is read-only" (not true!).
* However, in a terminal window, `cp` with the flash drive as a destination succeeds.

I tried this on drives by different manufacturers and with differing capacities and on two different Xubuntu 14.04 installations.

There might be a configuration change for Thunar to allow paste to flash drives. If so, this should be enabled when Thunar is installed as this behaviour is what users expect.

Note: I created the FAT32 partition with `gparted` on Linux. I also got the same results after creating a FAT32 partition using an MACOSX system.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 14.04
Package: thunar 1.6.3-1ubuntu5
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.13.0-29.53-generic
Uname: Linux 3.13.0-29-generic x86_64
ApportVersion: 2.14.1-0ubuntu3.2
Architecture: amd64
CurrentDesktop: XFCE
Date: Fri Jun 20 11:30:40 2014
InstallationDate: Installed on 2014-06-19 (1 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Xubuntu 14.04 LTS "Trusty Tahr" - Release amd64 (20140416.2)
SourcePackage: thunar
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Richard Elkins (texadactyl) wrote :
description: updated
description: updated
description: updated
Richard Elkins (texadactyl) wrote :

Still an issue in Thunar 1.6.3 (Xfce 4.10) of Xubuntu 14.04.2.

Ubuntu QA Website (ubuntuqa) wrote :

This bug has been reported on the Ubuntu ISO testing tracker.

A list of all reports related to this bug can be found here:

tags: added: iso-testing
Richard Elkins (texadactyl) wrote :

Still an issue in Thunar 1.6.6 (Xfce 4.12) of Xubuntu 15.04.

I copied a directory tree to the flash drive with `cp -r` in a terminal windows since I cannot paste with Thunar. I observed that with Thunar, I can delete (bypass trash) the tree on the flash drive and I can also move the tree from the flash drive to the trash.

Humorously, I cannot create by pasting with Thunar but I can destroy with Thunar!

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

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

Changed in thunar (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Richard Elkins (texadactyl) wrote :

Using Thunar 1.6.10 and a FAT32 USB-drive which is automatically-mounted in Xubuntu 16.04.Beta-2:

I can now paste to the USB drive, both files and folders.
With files and folders, I can still delete or move to Trash.
And, I can still edit files.

Finally, the automatically-mounted FAT32 USB-drive behaves exactly the way one would expected.
Thank you!

Changed in thunar (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Fix Released
MDE (mde-bs) wrote :

I've found this bug on Ubuntu 17.10 with Thunar version 1.6.12-1 yesterday, and after a bit digging found the root cause in the gio part of glib:

They have found it using Nautilus earlier and created a fix, which was released in glib-2.55. Unfortunately the newest libglib2.0-0 available in Ubuntu (artful and bionic) is 2.54.1-1ubuntu1 which doesn't contain the fix.

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

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

Changed in glib2.0 (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
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