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Thread: Is it a known Ubuntu 13.10 bug where BACKSPACE no longer works in Nautilus ("Files")?

  1. #1
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    Is it a known Ubuntu 13.10 bug where BACKSPACE no longer works in Nautilus ("Files")?

    On every other operating system I've ever used, including other Linux's, the keyboard BACKSPACE key conveniently moves up the menu hierarchy in the file browser.

    Pressing the keyboard BACKSPACE key is fast, quick, and natural, especially when your hand is already on the keyboard moving a trackpoint or touchpad.

    However, I just moved from RHEL6 to Ubuntu 13.10, and I'm shocked that there is a nasty bug where my BACKSPACE key no longer moves up one level in the hierarchy. When I'm in Nautilus (aka "Files"), pressing the keyboard BACKSPACE key does ... well ... um ... it does nothing.

    Huh?
    I'm shocked if this was missed in the testing for Ubuntu 13.10 - so - that's why I first ask if it's just on my system.
    I'm not sure if this missing-backspace-key bug is specific to my laptop or to Ubuntu 13.10 in general.

    Q: Does YOUR backspace button work (to go up one level in the hierarchy) in Nautilus?
    If not, do you know how to fix or workaround this bug?
    Or, is it a setting that was accidentally turned off somewhere in the Ubuntu 13.10 defaults?

    Please advise, as it's absolutely unthinkable for the keyboard BACKSPACE key, which in all other operating systems on the planet moves up one level in the hierarchy when browsing graphically, to do nothing on my PC.
    backspace.gif
    EDIT: Clicking around furiously, I found that the weird two-handed combination of alt and left arrow works, but, that's as crazy as not having a BACKSPACE button.
    Is the missing BACKSPACE functionality bug just on my keyboard or is it on yours also?
    Last edited by Jim_Granite; October 23rd, 2013 at 02:28 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Is it a known Ubuntu 13.10 bug where BACKSPACE no longer works in Nautilus ("File

    Gnome decided to go with alt+arrow keys so they don't consider this a bug, just a design decision
    In most cases you can enable it by editing a local file
    Code:
    gedit .config/nautilus/accels
    at the bottom add this (no ; like other entries
    Code:
    (gtk_accel_path "<Actions>/ShellActions/Up" "BackSpace")
    kill nautilus with nautilus-q then open nautilus & ck. (or log out/in

  3. #3
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    Re: Is it a known Ubuntu 13.10 bug where BACKSPACE no longer works in Nautilus ("File

    Quote Originally Posted by mc4man View Post
    you can enable it by editing a local file
    That worked perfectly!
    Code:
    $ vi ~/.config/nautilus/accels
    ADD:
    (gtk_accel_path "<Actions>/ShellActions/Up" "BackSpace")
    $ sudo reboot
    Now the backspace works in the file manager.
    Thank you for that suggestion; it's pure genius!

  4. #4
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    Re: Is it a known Ubuntu 13.10 bug where BACKSPACE no longer works in Nautilus ("File

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim_Granite View Post
    Please advise, as it's absolutely unthinkable for the keyboard BACKSPACE key, which in all other operating systems on the planet moves up one level in the hierarchy when browsing graphically, to do nothing on my PC.
    It can't really be that unthinkable, mate... I never even knew that backspace went up a directory. On any operating system.

    It's a Gnome decision not an Ubuntu one. It makes sense when you think about it - Backspace is used to delete things, so it's not very consistent as a navigational key.
    I try to treat the cause, not the symptom. I avoid the terminal in instructions, unless it's easier or necessary. My instructions will work within the Ubuntu system, instead of breaking or subverting it. Those are the three guarantees to the helpee.

  5. #5
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    Re: Is it a known Ubuntu 13.10 bug where BACKSPACE no longer works in Nautilus ("File

    Quote Originally Posted by 3rdalbum View Post
    It can't really be that unthinkable, mate... I never even knew that backspace went up a directory. On any operating system.
    <smile> Well, it's unthinkable to me! And, to this guy (who doesn't yet know the fantastic fix from mc4man above).
    * Seven Things I Hate In Ubuntu 13.04 *

    Quote Originally Posted by 3rdalbum View Post
    It's a Gnome decision not an Ubuntu one. It makes sense when you think about it - Backspace is used to delete things, so it's not very consistent as a navigational key.
    Hmmm... I've been using the backspace key ever since I learned to type on a keyboard to "go back" one space. So, while I don't remember what decade it was that I learned that the backspace key went up in the hierarchy, but, ever since then, it's a natural and fast slap, to go up one level, slap-slap-slap to go up three levels of the hierarchy, etc.

    Since I'm on dual boot Windows & Linux, having the backspace key do the same thing in both is what I've come to expect.

    It may matter more to me that I don't use a mouse, so, my hand is always on the keyboard pushing that "erasure" in the middle of the keyboard. Dunno, but, not having the backspace key work right is as unthinkable as if they removed the zero key, and expected you to type "shift + o" instead. Sure, the alt + left arrow might work; but it's not what my "muscle memory" has been doing for about 3 decades and counting.

    There should be a list of "Ubuntu 13.10 annoyances & solutions" somewhere ... where we can add this wonderful solution from mc4man.
    Last edited by Jim_Granite; October 25th, 2013 at 03:46 PM.

  6. #6
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    Re: Is it a known Ubuntu 13.10 bug where BACKSPACE no longer works in Nautilus ("File

    What's the best way to mark this solved thanks to your help?

  7. #7
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    Re: Is it a known Ubuntu 13.10 bug where BACKSPACE no longer works in Nautilus ("File

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim_Granite View Post
    What's the best way to mark this solved thanks to your help?
    Hi Jim,

    In the Thread Tools at top of page there is a drop down menu - select "Mark as Solved"

    cheers -
    PopularPages: A very handy Documentation Search Tool used by many.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Is it a known Ubuntu 13.10 bug where BACKSPACE no longer works in Nautilus ("File

    Quote Originally Posted by BlinkinCat View Post
    Thread Tools
    Aha! Thanks. I didn't see that before.
    It is now marked as solved.
    Thank you for all the wonderful help.
    Much appreciated.
    I hope, in the future, I can pay this one forward!

  9. #9
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    Re: Is it a known Ubuntu 13.10 bug where BACKSPACE no longer works in Nautilus ("File

    Hi, I have exatly the same issue, but BACKSPACE key did not started wokring and the.config/nautilus/accels file somehow restores to the previous version after reboot. Ubuntu 13.10

    Any other ideas?

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