ElementaryOS 5.1.7 Hera plus whatever daily updates since the Fri Aug 28th drop. // default file manager (I think it's just called Files)

The first time it happened I had opened "New Window As Administrator".


The reason I had done that was because I was copying a folder structure from one external drive to another and I figured out that only in the Administrator variation was I able to see a progress window.

The non-admin universe provides no progress window, no error reporting, and no way to know if it's done.


Copying a folder structure only works if it's not "too big". (admin or non-admin mode)

I can drag/drop the folders one by one, and if I'm lucky, they are all small enough that they won't just stop in the middle with no error reporting. (admin or non-admin mode)

Which really messes up any "drag/drop, say "yes to all" a few times, go to bed, everything happily copied by morn'."

It's "spend inordinate amts of time tracking down what copied and what didn't and trying again hoping maybe this time life would be happy and wonderful."

(Have yet to run across any sort of error logging system.)


Notifications from the Files app aren't helpful if you're needing to drag/drop multiple file structures at a time.


  • open 2 windows - to and from
  • drag toFld\folder1, drop it to "to"
  • drag toFld\folder2, drop it to "to"
  • do this for a bunch of folders
  • walk away and eat some delicious food
  • return
  • get all excited at the red notification indicator
  • get all sad that they all say "copy completed" and you can't tell which ones works, if any of them failed
  • spend the next bit of your life laboriously checking each folder one by one to see if the "Properties" #files/totalSize match


Search sends Files into lala land.

I am usually searching an external drive. It's a 2terabye drive, but only has maybe .5 terabytes used.

Some times it's happier than others. Sometime's its just taking a while. Other times it's gone into a coma.

4a: there is no visual indicator to help me understand "I'm still thinking" vs "nothing was found"

4b: but in recent iterations of ElementaryOS it more often than not locks up that window, and other open Files windows, and any new Files windows

The first time I encountered this I had opened it in Administrator mode. Non-admin mode continued to work, but by the end of the day, I had to give up and reboot to close the Admin-Mode Files window.

Now it's happening in non-admin mode as well.

Granted, I have never found a stable File Manager in linux. And some of the ones in the AppCenter don't even launch (non-curated, so not entirely unexpected). I know everyone just hops on over to the terminal and runs their fancy commands.

I am open to learning the fancy commands, I do look them up. But as reported in a separate question, the current state of the terminal colors makes it impossible to do that.

I love so many things about ElementaryOS. I don't want boot to DOS and run "dir /s". No no no!

My Questions Are This:

  1. Is there a known stable version of ElementaryOS?

It's entirely possible I have myself accidentally mixed up in a dev / fast iteration version of a linux universe.

  1. Is there a known stable File Manager that will handle bulkier file operations and play happily in the Elementary OS universe? (so far the AppCenter isn't bringing what I'm looking for // entirely possible I'm using DOS terms in a linux universe and don't know what to call things)
  • "bulkier" = I frequently have several "Files" windows and tabs open, across multiple "multitasking views"
  • "bulkier" = I frequently search a larger drive for stuff
  • "bulkier" = I frequently move large files and extensive folder structures around

I know bugs don't always make it to the "verified to exist, deemed important enough to spend time on, tested and ready to ship" phase.

I know it's entirely possible I am the only person on the planet ADHD'ing their way through life, not "living in the cloud" and/or all of this sounds like a cavewoman rolling rocks up a hill. I do multiple things at once and have lots of old gear trying to talk to lots of other old gear. It's just my world right now.

2 Answers 2


I am no expert, but in the multiverse of Linux distros, being able to manage files via the SHELL is probably your best option. Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) come only so-close to peforming at the level of the Command Line Interface (CLI); a GUI would be unwieldy were it to contain all the possible commands available on the CLI.

Very simplistically, the Shell is a layer above the kernel; the kernel executes commands that runs the various aspects of the operating system; the CLI is the means by which communication with the kernel is facilitated externally. You are communicating directly with the brain.

There is a bit of a learning curve where SHELL scripting is concerned, but it is, by far, the most efficient way of managing files, directories, devices - a computer - if you have some knowledge, know what you are doing and are careful. There are no warnings; the shell assumes you know what you are doing.

In the meantime, you might try moving smaller sizes of data until all data is where you want them located; it might increase the overall time of file transfer, but it may also be more successful.


It is known that Files has never been really suitable for handling large file transfers (I think most of your issues all relate to those) at least partly due to it maintaining an undo stack which gets increasingly inefficient with large numbers of files processed. There also some outstanding regressions in particular to do with progress handling which hopefully will be fixed. I would strongly recommend using specialist gui apps like grsync for moving/backing up large numbers of files.

The search facility also struggles with large volumes especially as it does not display results until the search is finished. Specialist gui apps like catfish (Gnome) or kfind (KDE) may help.

Do report issues at https://github.com/elementary/files/issues (after checking that they have not already been reported - many have). Contributions of fixes from any developers are encouraged.

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