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Thread: Possible to change Nautilus drag and drop behaviour?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Possible to change Nautilus drag and drop behaviour?

    As the title suggests I was wondering how, if possible, to change to behaviour of the drag and drop in nautilus? I'm dual booting Ubuntu 11.10 and Windows Vista, and I have most of my files stored on the Windows partition (for easy of access between OS's). Now within Ubuntu when I drag and drop files between directories it's like a cut and paste action, but moving files from my Ubuntu partition to the Windows side it acts as a copy and paste, leaving the original file for me to delete. I would like to change this so wherever I move my file it won't leave the original. I am comfortable using terminal but not very experienced with it, and already am aware of the "mv" command within terminal. I just prefer the gui. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Possible to change Nautilus drag and drop behaviour?

    You can achieve exactly what you want with keyboard shortcuts. The important thing to remember is that the default behaviour for a drag and drop within a partition is a move, whereas a default drag and drop behaviour between partitions is a copy - both of which you have discovered. One partition does not have to be a Windows one. Any two partitions will see a copy rather than move with drag and drop.

    However, you can modify this behaviour by holding down either the shift or the ctrl key when dragging and dropping.

    shift = move
    ctrl = copy

    Obviously, holding shift when dragging and dropping between folders in one partition is superfluous, but doesn't affect the result. Similarly with ctrl and different partitions

    Have a try with the various combinations.

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  3. #3
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    Re: Possible to change Nautilus drag and drop behaviour?

    Thank you for the fast response! The keyboard shortcuts will/do work. Is is possible though to change the mouse gesture by itself to default to always cut and paste? Maybe an internal file that could be edited?

  4. #4
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    Re: Possible to change Nautilus drag and drop behaviour?

    Quote Originally Posted by tcmct View Post
    Thank you for the fast response! The keyboard shortcuts will/do work. Is is possible though to change the mouse gesture by itself to default to always cut and paste? Maybe an internal file that could be edited?
    That's an interesting question and I don't know the answer - perhaps someone else does.

    For what it's worth, the reason I've never looked for an answer is that I don't 100% trust automatic file moves (what you call cut and paste) between physical locations. Why? I've seen them go wrong with data loss. Which is why I prefer to copy and then delete the originals after I am sure that the copy has finished successfully.

    Please do not PM me about your forum account unless you have been asked to. The correct place to contact an admin about your account is here.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Re: Possible to change Nautilus drag and drop behaviour?

    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecat View Post
    That's an interesting question and I don't know the answer - perhaps someone else does.

    For what it's worth, the reason I've never looked for an answer is that I don't 100% trust automatic file moves (what you call cut and paste) between physical locations. Why? I've seen them go wrong with data loss. Which is why I prefer to copy and then delete the originals after I am sure that the copy has finished successfully.
    Amen to that. As I just made a huge mistake with dragging and dropping to Dropbox and lost hours of scripting in Conky.

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