Change File Chooser Behavior in 52? (Linux)

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Post Posted October 20th, 2017, 10:50 am


Been using 52.4.0 ESR on Jessie for a bit now, and notice the native file chooser which is invoked for uploading presents a somewhat messy UI: All files and folders are completely intermixed. There appears to be no sort option, as the launched interface is not my usual Thunar window.

Where is the tweak to either sort "folders first" with this UI or to call up the system's default file manager for these duties?

Last edited by DanRaisch on October 20th, 2017, 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: "(Linux)" added to subject line.

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Post Posted October 20th, 2017, 11:19 am

ok, thatfar you are speaking about Linux as yopur user agent points out - please always add "Linux" "Ubuntu" or similar to headline - most issues are under Windows and linux is a minority - with "linux" in title you will get sooner appropriate help.

as no tuxer you speak in riddles to me, that far found about Thunar

is that a default manager in your linux or did you added it by purpose?
can you disable it or switch back to regular file manager?
would that change anything? if yes, it may worth a message ob bugzilla.
but i am not sure if they provide a patch for 52esr when they will provide a patch.

firefox 57 is close to ready, patch may only concern v58 or v59.


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Post Posted October 21st, 2017, 6:07 am

You could try the system file manager for the "folder first" and see how that affects things.

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Post Posted October 21st, 2017, 6:27 am

When I use Alt, File, Open, I get a window with three columns: name, size, modified. When I right-click on the row containing name, size, modified, or even in any blank space in the main pane, I get another small dialog(?) with the following options:
Open with file manager
copy location
add to bookmarks
show hidden files
show size column
show time
sort folders before files

Enable/disable what you want.

***My gtk3 version is 3.18 in case that matters.

The changes you make wrt file/folder sorting are recorded in ~/.config/dconf/user. You can see that by running
Code: Select all
dconf dump /
if you have dconf-cli installed. Part of the output:
Code: Select all
window-position=(275, 0)
window-size=(816, 731)

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Post Posted October 23rd, 2017, 9:21 am

Thanks for the input, everyone...

On all points, my installation of Thunar is indeed configured properly and runs well on Jessie. However, again, the file chooser window which comes up in this case does not appear to be a Thunar process at all: It has no menubar; and it is stripped of all context menuing apart from

Copy Location
Add to Bookmarks
Show Hidden Files
Show Size Column

Indeed, it appears to be a default child window spawned directly from FF.

Is there no config/pref setting which controls whether or not FF directly invokes the default file manager instead of this quick-and-dirty native chooser???

Thanks again --


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Post Posted October 23rd, 2017, 12:31 pm

Look at ui.allow_platform_file_picker see if it's set to true.

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Post Posted October 23rd, 2017, 1:01 pm

Thunar is a GTK2 application, but Firefox is by default GTK3 nowadays. Version 52 can be compiled against GTK2 if you want, but later versions can't be anymore.

Anyway, this to you unfamiliar filechooser is the GTK3 one. You can configure it to sort folders first in the right-click menu. But this setting will only be saved if you have dconf installed and running.

Then there's what Grumpus mentions, the ui.allow_platform_file_picker option in about:config. Setting it to false and will give you Firefox's internal filechooser. This one sorts directories first I think, but is does case-sensitive sorting.

Basically, you have three choices:
- install dconf if you don't have it yet and get used to the GTK3 filechooser
- compile Firefox against GTK2, but note that this isn't possible with versions newer than 52
- use Firefox's internal filechooser, by setting ui.allow_platform_file_picker to false


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Post Posted October 23rd, 2017, 2:10 pm

Firefox has had GTK3 integration on Linux since Firefox 46.0. If you are using a GTK2 theme on OS instead of GTK3 then Firefox will still work only with some things perhaps not themed properly. For example the scroll bar arrows may be missing and Firefox will look unthemed.

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Post Posted October 24th, 2017, 9:53 am

theme: GTK2
dconf: not installed

Therefore, changing "ui.allow_platform_file_picker" from "true" to "false" brought up a UI which does automatically sort folders before files; a huge usability + in this situation.

So, thanks again for the input and insights. Will be moving along to Stretch sometime next year when things have been sorted a bit more at that end ;o)


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