I am aware this doesn't look like elementary-specific but more like a Firefox specific thing, but in fact I only see this with Firefox in elementary OS Loki. It didn't happened in Freya, it doesn't happen with the same Firefox version (49.00) on another ubuntu-16.04-based system I have, and it doesn't happen in other browsers Firefox-forks like Palemoon or Icecat on Loki, but it happens in other versions of Firefox that I tested on Loki, namely thhe nightly build.

Firefox is not able to remember the last download location.

Firefox has two options for downloading: a stable automatic location or the option to ask for the download location each time.

enter image description here

I want it to ask me where to download (instead of automatically downloading in the same location) but to offer me the last used location. (e.g. if last time I have downloaded in Pictures, next time I want to see that as first location offered).

This is the expected behavior, was always the case and it is in other systems as I mentioned.

More details:

I want to download some images one after the other, from different websites, one from each website. (I search Google images for "maps of Greece" and I get multiple images on various websites.) When I download them by 'save image as', the download location proposed is always my home directory, ~./ and I have to go each time deep into my directory structure where I want them saved, while normally the second time (at least when the image is the same format) the last selected location should be proposed.

Creating a new empty profile: the same happens.

Testing with the nightly version: the same happens.

Even downloading multiple times the same image and choosing a different location, the same location is opened by default again and again: the home directory.

enter image description here

enter image description here

I can change this location and download, but next time I am shown this again, instead of the expected last used location.


  • I have tested older versions of Firefox in Loki and the problem is absent. So, there is a problem with Firefox 49.0, but I have it in Loki only and not in Linux Mint 18 (16.04-based too) with this version of Firefox.

  • Firefox version 45.0 and older is NOT affected

  • Firefox nightly 52.0 is also affected

  • Firefox 46.0 is already affected - just like 47, 48, 49, 50 and the present nightly 53.0a1.

  • This only affects Pantheon Files with Firefox version 46 and newer, while other file managers are not affected (as indicated in this answer).

I have made a bug report here.

  • 1
    same problem here – deesnook Sep 27 '16 at 19:03
  • 1
    Same here, tested in multiple other browsers and it works in every single one. I tried playing with about:config settings, namely the browser.download.lastDir.savePerSite, but it didn't help. Tweaking Pantheon files to remember or forget previous locations and tabs also doesn't change anything. – Kristijan Puljek Sep 29 '16 at 13:16
  • 2
    This is problem with Firefox version. You can bring back to older one or another version to get it working for you. Not on Loki OS problem – Kvvaradha Sep 30 '16 at 2:33
  • @Kvvaradha - I only have it in Loki – user170 Sep 30 '16 at 21:42
  • @Kvvaradha - I have tested again the same version of FF on another 16.04 ubuntu system and the problem is absent. I guess this is only Firefox 49 version in Loki. It also affects nightly version 52.0, but indeed older versions that I tested are not affected by this Firefox - Loki problem. I will test to see which version comes with this problem and which latest one is not affected – user170 Sep 30 '16 at 22:11

It is clearly related to pantheon-files, or at least in the file-chooser dialog.

For example, if nautilus is defined as default file-manager in elementary os loki, firefox will display correct behaviour when saving a file: nautilus-file-chooser shows up with last used directory path remembered.

I understand it's just a workaround, but it reveals the issue is specific to elementary loki pantheon-files.

  • Indeed. Testing with PCManFM as default file manager Firefox works as supposed to. On the other hand, panthon-files is not affected by this when testing with somewhat older versions of firefox: 45 and older – user170 Oct 31 '16 at 12:07

This appears to be a bug filed with Firefox: Bug 1270397 - On Linux any downloaded file cannot open with alternate download location

I would track and encourage its processing there unless we can localize it to an elementary OS-specific issue.

  • I t appears only in elementary for me – user170 Sep 30 '16 at 21:41
  • @cipricus, are you able to set an alternate download location? – wolf Sep 30 '16 at 22:03
  • I can set any location I want if I want: (a) I can set to download automatically in any location; or, (b) I can set it to ask me each time, but then it proposes the same location (Home) instead of the last used: but I can manually choose any location and download, and it works, only that expected behavior would be for it to show me this last location next time I download, and then, instead, it shows me first Home. The problem is not with the process of download as such but only with the proposed location. - I have tested more: older versions of FF are not affected. it's ff49+Loki only. – user170 Sep 30 '16 at 22:16
  • I have updated. FF 46.0 is already affected. – user170 Sep 30 '16 at 22:45
  • changing the default file manager the problem disappears. looks more like a panthon-files issue, albeit involving certain versions of Firefox. – user170 Oct 31 '16 at 12:18

This was a bug in Pantheon files and was fixed.