On archlinux with gnome 3.16.1, in some directories, for example /srv/http/website/public/img/ I don't have options to delete a file , or move to trash, in the rightclick context menu . I have to use shift+del to delete a file.

In others, like /home/username/ I have these options.

It also seems, that I am the owner of the files in both cases and have rwx permissions. What else could be the reason?

  • That's right. And with the file manager thunar, I have delete and move to trash in the context menu. But both actions only lead to delete. I think that is because I don't seem to have a trash outside of the /home/ partition. Thunar shows the options, but nautilus doesn't . Perhaps it is a nautilus or gnome issue.
    – haheute
    Apr 30, 2015 at 10:45
  • Works fine here - same distro, same gnome version (no thunar though) - but I have no /srv dir, maybe nautilus is treating srv as a special backend... I don't know what to say... Apr 30, 2015 at 13:20

4 Answers 4


My situation may be similar.

I have two Ubuntu gnome systems, one desktop and one laptop. Both have Apache installed in the default location of /var/www. On both I set myself to owner, and sometimes www-data as group.

I was perplexed that, using Nautilus, I could not delete file on the desktop using the delete key, but I could on the laptop. The desktop required right-clicking, and choosing delete. I later find out shift-delete would work, and neither method used the trash bin.

After much hair-pulling (well, not that much, as I don't have much), I realized the difference... my desktop has /var mounted in a separate partition.

It seems that Nautilus won't move a file to trash from a different partition, possibly only if you are not the owner of the root of that partition, so it can access the trash file on that partition. I don't really want to be the owner of the /var partition, so I never tested this out. Perhaps there is a way to mount the partition that would allow it. There is some discussion about a similar problem on launchpad.

One problem with having a trashcan outside the user's directory that is r/w by normal users may be that other users may be able to see each other's files.

I hope at least to point out the possible reason, if not the solution.


This could happen because you'd not have the permission to the "Trash" folder for that particular partition. Every partition has a hidden folder by the name .trash-### (where the hashes denote some number). Perhaps you don't have the permission for that folder. Try changing permissions of that folder.

sudo rm -rf /home/yourusername/.local/share/Trash && 
    mkdir /home/yourusername/.local/share/Trash
  • 2
    Welcome to Unix & Linux at Stack Exchange! In order to make your answer more useful... Can you explain why you think this would solve the reported problem? Also, use formatting markup, for instance indent lines with commands or contents of files by 4 spaces so they show up with monospace font and no wrapping other than the one you create (the {} button can do that for you.) See formatting help for more tips.
    – filbranden
    May 5, 2018 at 5:18

I encountered somewhat similar problem in Gnome Files.

For all folder and files in my home dir, Gnome Files shows Move to Trash in context menu. But for files/folder in another device the context menu shows Delete Permanently. For example, if folder /orange is mounted on a separate partition/disk then for all files/folders under it the Move to Trash is not enabled.

This is because Files auto creates Trash dir under $HOME/.local/share. However as there is no Trash for /orange mount point the Move to trash is not enabled for /orange. To overcome this create Trash folder for each user in /orange. If uid of user foo is 1000 then create /orange/.Trash-1000 and change its owner to foo.

sudo mkdir /orange/.Trash-1000
sudo chown foo:foo /orange/.Trash-1000

Now Move to Trash is enabled in context menu of all files/folders under /orange.

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