Can I now rename/remove the ~/Ubuntu\ One directory?

Asked by Brian

Now that Lucid Lynx (10.04) is out, is it possible to remove/rename the ~/Ubuntu\ One folder? I know that other folders can now be synchronized, but I'd also like to remove/rename that folder. I simply refuse to be required to have idiotic folder names on my system.

Ubuntu One would be a potentially useful bonus, but if I can't get rid of that folder it will irritate me every time I see it. Therefore, the negatives will outweigh the positives over time.

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Joshua Hoover (joshuahoover) said :

Hi Brian,

We keep the ~/Ubuntu One folder there for more than just legacy reasons. We use the "Shared with Me" folder there to hold any folders that are shared with you by other users. So, the folder won't go away as we need it to provide sharing functionality, whether you use that functionality or not.

If you don't like the folder name due to the space and problems that causes you, please let me know. We are dedicated to helping fix any software that doesn't support legitimately named folders like ~/Ubuntu One.

Thank you,


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Brian (x-brian) said :

Thanks for the answer. Yes, I don't like the folder name due to the space and the annoyance that causes me, especially at the command line. I do not have any software that is unable to handle a filename with a space, I just think it's a really bad idea to name a directory ~/Ubuntu\ One and the irritation will outweigh any benefit the service provides.

Once you provide a way to change the folder name I will consider keeping Ubuntu One on my system.

By the way,
~/Ubuntu One
is _not_ a valid folder name:

$ cd Ubuntu One
bash: cd: Ubuntu: No such file or directory

Valid folder names are:
~/"Ubuntu One"
~/Ubuntu\ One

THAT is the reason the folder name decision was bad. It only took Microsoft from 1996 to 2007 to realize default folder names with spaces are a bad idea. Please don't take that long to realize you're on the wrong path.

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jzacsh (jzacsh) said :

Is this *actually* answered, or is this just dodged? Brian made the point that its not *software* that will have trouble using this folder-naming, but himself the _user_. I feel the same way. I keep all of my folders very short and single-worded. I feel "Ubuntu One" right in the middle of my home folder brings me back to my Mac OS X days.

I'd hate for this to just stay a "just deal with it, or don't use Ubuntu One"-answer... I'd think in this software community this would be the last place I'd have to explain why this is a bad idea.

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Brian (x-brian) said :

@jzacsh: I think the question is answered. The answer is: "We haven't yet learned from Microsoft's mistakes, and intend to make them ourselves."

As I said, I hope it doesn't take Ubuntu as long to realize their folly. And remember, those poorly chosen folders _could_ be renamed in MS Windows, though it was a bit of a pain. I'd suggest that not being able to rename the folder at all is a bug, rather than a (poor) "usability choice." Maybe I should submit a bug report?

The GNOME people have made some terrible choices along the same lines (see gnome-screensaver vs. xscreensaver), but it appears some similar thought processes have been inflicted on Ubuntu as well. Nice think about Linux is that I don't have to use a package that doesn't function properly!

sudo apt-get purge ubuntuone-client* python-ubuntuone-storage*
(Of course you also have to remove all the folders still.)

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Brian (x-brian) said :

Brian suggests this article as an answer to your question:
FAQ #778: “How do I completely remove and reinstall the Ubuntu One client software?”.

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Brian (x-brian) said :

Hmm that should be:
FAQ #778: “How do I completely remove the Ubuntu One client software and send it to the dustbin of history?”.

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Tim Cole (tcole) said :

Unfortunately, guilt trips don't pay developers. Being able to rename the folder isn't a bad idea, it's just not something we have the developer resources to pursue right now (versus other issues that more users are clamoring to have addressed).

The project *is* open source, so conceivably someone in the community could implement it.

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Brian (x-brian) said :

@Tim Cole: I don't mean to send the devs on a guilt trip--please accept my apologies if it was taken that way.

I agree, being able to rename the folder would be nice. What would be nicest is for the next Ubuntu release to choose a different default folder name, the way MS changed their defaults when Vista was released. Of course that would require making it possible to rename the folder since in-place upgrades would have to be handled (I guess the upgrade process could include automatic renaming of the ~/Ubuntu\ One folder--although that might be confusing to relatively new users). Speaking of new users, what would happen if someone just renamed the folder, maybe to something typical of command-line-phobic users like ~/My\ stuff\ that\ I\ put\ in\ the\ cloud? That's awfully easy to do from Nautilus (and seems to happen without any warning).

I brought up this issue when Ubuntu One was included with Karmic, and some progress has been made (now other folders can be shared as well). I think it was a bad decision when someone came up with the idea of naming the folder ~/Ubuntu\ One in the first place, but you may be stuck with it until it can be customized due to the in-place upgrade issue.

Mainly I want the devs to be aware of this issue, and understand that choosing a name like that in the first place was a bad idea. I don't want this kind of thing to spread. If I start seeing ~/My\ Documents and ~/My\ Pictures I will definitely run (screaming) to another distro!

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Michael Mikowski (kfocus) said :

Those who do not know history's mistakes are doomed to repeat them. This is a horrible name for all the reasons provided. I too am very tempted to remove Ubuntu One because of the hourly annoyance of this name.

"Just because you *can* put a space in a filename doesn't mean you *should*" What was wrong with "Ubuntu1" or "UbuntuOne"?

Guys, I think UbuntuOne has fantastic promise, but it needs to get up to Google-Music level of polish. And the KDE experience is pretty awful (e.g. it doesn't really exist). With the Unity/Gnome3/Shell mess underway right now, it would seem like a good thing to support.

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Andrew Goh L K (andrewgohlk) said :

The FAQ instructions is for Ubuntu Linux 10, but my version is Ubuntu 12.04.
I don't seem to be able to follow the step to "Open Applications->Accessories->Passwords and Encryption Keys".

I created a AskUbuntu Question "Credential Error when launching Ubuntu One".
But no one has replied yet.

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axel (x.) said :

altough this originally refers to an outdated version of Lucid Lynx (10.04) but because it came up repeatedly during my research for using a different location and name for my u1-sync root-folder than 'Ubuntu One' i want to add that this is possible with 12.04 as desribed in

outline of the solution:
- close nautilus instances
- stop u1-sync-daemon
- edit /etc/xdg/ubuntuone/syncdaemon.conf
- start u1-sync-daemon

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dobey (dobey) said :

You should not edit /etc/xdg/ubuntuone/syncdaemon.conf.

You should instead create a ~/.config/ubuntuone/syncdaemon.conf file, and specify any settings changes you wish to make for your user, in it.

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axel (x.) said :

good to know, rodney, thanks!
so i guess the settings in ~/.config/ubuntuone/syncdaemon.conf (if present) will override the ones in /etc/xdg/ubuntuone/syncdaemon.conf? so you know if this should work for all values (especially root_dir.default)?

regards, x