nautilus popup menu highlighting using copy and paste incorrect (items displayed unactive when they are not)

Bug #973491 reported by Tobias Quinn on 2012-04-04
This bug affects 112 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Fix Released
Linux Mint
gtk+3.0 (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

When an item is right clicked and cut or copy are selected, at the time of paste (using right click) the menu doesn't reflect that there is an item available to be pasted. While the paste is still possible, the menu line is grayed out.

If another nautilus window is opened then the Paste menu item is correctly enabled and not greyed out.

When nautilus is restarted and there is nothing availble to be pasted the menu item is greyed out and not selectable.

This is with Precise 12.04 beta 2 using gnome-shell

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

Thank you for your bug report, I can't confirm that here. Does it happen all the time in any directory? Did you change anything to your nautilus configuration (using list mode for example)? Does it happen in a guest session?

Changed in nautilus (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
status: New → Incomplete
Tobias Quinn (tobias-quinn) wrote :

Hi, I can recreate it using a guest session...
I've attached a screen capture video showing how to reproduce.

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

it's a bit similar to bug #970763

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

Thank you for taking the time to report this bug and helping to make Ubuntu better. The issue you are reporting is an upstream one and it would be nice if somebody having it could send the bug to the developers of the software by following the instructions at If you have done so, please tell us the number of the upstream bug (or the link), so we can add a bugwatch that will inform us about its status. Thanks in advance.

Changed in nautilus (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Confirmed
Hanine HAMZIOUI (hanynowsky) wrote :

It's not only PASTE in my case. Sometimes: when opening an extra pane in nautilus , COPY to MOVEE TO are grayed, even though I click on a file with the mouse's right button.

Changed in nautilus (Ubuntu):
importance: Low → High
tags: added: precise
Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

Did anyone get the issue using other themes (i.e the GNOME one, adwaita)

Hanine HAMZIOUI (hanynowsky) wrote :

I am frequently using different themes and still having the issue.

Hanine HAMZIOUI (hanynowsky) wrote :

Seems to me that gksudo nautilus /somepath triggers the bug.

In the screencast you can see that I open a folder using gksudo, copy a file and paste it on desktop. The Paste menu item is grayed but not action-disabled. Same for Resize Icon and Restore Icon's original size.

Doug McMahon (mc3man) wrote :

This has been going on in nautilus for over 2 months, reported here with screenshots & screen captures by sam_, so this bug shouldn't come as any surprise or something that recently emerged
Bug 933744

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

Upstream thinks it's that issue: and that "the theme information does not get invalidated properly"

affects: nautilus (Ubuntu Precise) → gtk+3.0 (Ubuntu Precise)
Changed in gtk+3.0 (Ubuntu Precise):
status: Confirmed → Triaged
Changed in gtk:
importance: Unknown → Low
status: Unknown → Confirmed
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

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

Changed in light-themes (Ubuntu Precise):
status: New → Confirmed
Changed in light-themes (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
affects: lightdm (Ubuntu Precise) → light-themes (Ubuntu Precise)
no longer affects: light-themes (Ubuntu)
no longer affects: light-themes (Ubuntu Precise)
Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

Ok, so upstream says that about the issue

"so this bug happens because GTK messes up when CSS properties are set to inherit from the parent
by default, the color property is set to inherit
so you can say GtkMenuitem { color: green } and all the widgets inside the menuitem will be green (labels, symolbic icons and so on)
 without having to set it explicitly for all of them
 color is the most important of the inherit-by-default properties (the font properties are like that, too, but they usually never change)
 so the way to work around this is to explicitly assign a color to labels
 or to labels inside menuitems"

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

suggested workaround:

"--- cvs/light-themes/Ambiance/gtk-3.0/gtk-widgets.css~ 2012-04-07 18:36:48.832073000 +0200
+++ cvs/light-themes/Ambiance/gtk-3.0/gtk-widgets.css 2012-04-19 19:05:43.158282563 +0200
@@ -1126,7 +1126,8 @@
  * menuitem *
-.menuitem {
+.menuitem * {
     color: @fg_color;

<Company> should workaround this problem in menuitems - of course, similar workarounds are needed elsewhere :/
<Company> what this does is it explicitly defines a color for all widgets in menuitems
 instead of just making them copy from their parent
 so whenever the parent is not the menuitem and defines a color, this will override it
 i'm not aware of anyone putting any intermediate widgets into menuitems, so I don't think there will be side effects
 hrm, cases where the menuitem changed the color would also be effected
 like the different menuitem style in unity 10 lines down
 comboboxes have that workaround already it seems
 so i guess yes, there might be side effects"


"you'll potentially see that problem everywhere where someone changes a menuitem from insensitive back to sensitive and does not recreate the menu, but just hides it"

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

Cimi, do you think would could use that workaround in the theme for nautilus? That's where the issue is the most visible...

I'm not really happy about it but upstream seems to think that there is good chance the issue will not get fixed in GTK 3.4 since it would impact on performances which are already not so good in 3.4, they plan to improve things and fix that in 3.6 :-(

summary: - nautilus popup menu highlighting using copy and paste incorrect
+ nautilus popup menu highlighting using copy and paste incorrect (items
+ displayed unactive when they are not)

&nbsp;summary &nbsp;"nautilus popup menu highlighting using some functions incorrect (items displayed inactive when they are not)"


Andrea Cimitan (cimi) wrote :

That workaround could potentially add regressions.

Changed in light-themes:
status: New → Won't Fix
status: Won't Fix → Invalid

I'm sorry, but just because of one possible workaround you're marking the whole bug as invalid?


Andrea Cimitan (cimi) wrote :

Not the bug invalid, but the light-themes component. It's a bug in gtk+

j-stuffer (j-stuffer) wrote :

This Bug also happens with Ubuntu One functions like "Internet-Verweis kopieren" (German, should be something like "copy internet link" or similar in English)

I have this same problem with Rename on my Samsung N310 with 12.04 up to date.

antonioni (antonioni-rocha) wrote :

Stéphane Guillou, this "rename" problem has occurred here, too.

Khaosaming (borai) wrote :

I have the same greyed out controls in Nautilus Menu (copy-paste, rename). I'm using Ubuntu 12.04 64-bit with Unity, fresh install. Usually closing and re-opening Nautilus (Launcher Home) helps temporarily.

Guy Verrijdt (gverrijdt) wrote :

I have the greyed-out 'rename' issue in Nautilus menu as wel (randomly)
On top of that, sometimes the entire list of filenames is grayed-out, although they are clickable and can be opened.
Text turns black upon hovering over the arrow.
(will attach a few pictures if i can)
I only have this in Nautilus, not other apps

Could this be a Compiz issue?, i have a lot of compiz messages in .xsession-errors:
compiz (decor) - Warn: failed to bind pixmap to texture

one nautilus error log:
(nautilus:2068): GLib-GObject-WARNING **: /build/buildd/glib2.0-2.32.1/./gobject/gsignal.c:2572: instance `0x1c8e2e0' has no handler with id `313296'


Ubuntu 12.04

Guy Verrijdt (gverrijdt) wrote :

2nd screenshot

Guy Verrijdt (gverrijdt) wrote :

just noticed it is highly reproducible when I have file-roller open a directory => all files and directories in the nautilus window are always all grayed out, but everything works

just thought i'd mention

Guy Verrijdt (gverrijdt) wrote :

one snippet from my .xsession-errors log file:

** (nautilus:1960): CRITICAL **: nautilus_menu_provider_get_background_items: assertion `NAUTILUS_IS_MENU_PROVIDER (provider)' failed

Could this be related?

Changed in gtk:
importance: Low → High
ZOkI ZuAn (zoki) wrote :

same here

Changed in gtk:
status: Confirmed → Fix Released

i still have this bug... so i miss the part of "Fix Released". Today i updates the whole system to see this bug fixed.... but still there.
Any real way to fix this?


kroq-gar78 (kroq-gar78) wrote :

It has been fixed upstream, but not in Ubuntu/Debian yet. That's why it
doesn't say "gtk+3.0 (Ubuntu)" is 'Fix Released'.

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

the issue is fixed in the current GTK version (3.6)

affects: gtk+3.0 (Ubuntu) → ubuntu
Changed in ubuntu:
status: Triaged → Fix Released
affects: ubuntu → gtk+3.0 (Ubuntu)
Lonepsi (imho) wrote :

I would just add the bug appears also when you create a new directory or for existing directories.
I have just install U12.04, it is up to date, and I think a patch should be released by the way of the Update manager especially for a LTS release (Version 12.04 (precise) 64 bits Noyau Linux 3.5.0-29-generic GNOME 3.4.2).

Lonepsi (imho) wrote :

Sorry, I mean: The options "rename" and "suppress (=put in the trash)" appears in grey, but works, on directories too.

I was with Ubuntu 12.04.2 updated. The problem occurred.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/themes
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install adwaita-cupertino-gtk-theme

It don't worked. So I did:

sudo ppa-purge ppa:webupd8team/themes

The light-themes package was regressed. So I did:

sudo apt-get upgrade

The light-themes package was updated. And there isn't bug now!

alexandre$ apt-cache policy light-themes
  Tabela de versão:
 *** 0
        500 precise-updates/main i386 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status 0
        500 precise/main i386 Packages

Oops! The problem returned after that I rebooted the machine.

Veikko Mäkelä ( wrote :

I marked this bug as affecting Linux Mint since it followed me from Ubuntu 12.04's Nautilus to Mint 14's Nemo. I haven't tested Mint 15 yet, but I will in the following weeks.

As user hanynowsky mentioned above, the Copy and Paste options aren't the only ones grayed out. For me, when right-clicking on a file, the "Open with [associated program]" doesnt' appear at all. In addition, the following menu items are missing: Cut, Copy, Make Links, Rename..., Copy to, Move to, Move to Wastebasket, Delete. Closing all Nemo windows and then opening a new one seems to fix the problem for a while (no "killall nemo" required).

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

> How about updating to gtk+ 3.4.4?

Does it fix that issue? (seems it doesn't, not sure why you are comenting on that specific bug)

Otherwise, from the news:

"* GtkIconView:
 Fallout from the layout rewrite has been fixed

that's the reason we didn't do updates in that serie, they rewrote widgets in a stable update, creating breakages and regression ... they adressed some but the level of testing and the changes don't give us enough confidence to push that update as a stable update

I use Ubuntu 12.04.2. GTK+ 3.4.4 fixes it? There is a PPA? I don't want GnomeShell, I want the Unity default.

vsespb (vsespb) wrote :

Ubuntu 12.04 with Unity 3d and latest updates - bug exists. ("Paste" menu always disabled in my case, altrought there is file to paste and paste actually works)

Id2ndR (id2ndr) wrote :

The bug still is present in Ubuntu 12.04.4. Is there a chance that it will be corrected one day ?

Valentin Crone (va-crone) wrote :

I don't know, but the bug is fixed on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS....

Mathew Hodson (mhodson) on 2015-09-18
Changed in linuxmint:
status: New → Invalid
To post a comment you must log in.