Importing pictures in shotwell, ghost files

Hi! New here, hope i’m posting in the right place :slight_smile:

I have a question regarding the importation of photos. When i connect my android smartphone, in PTP mode, it appears correctly in shotwell, i see my files, but i have a lot of “ghost” pictures (see screenshot), like more than regular photos. If i import all of them, they appear in shotwell, “real pictures” this time, but they mostly are thumbnails of my photos, cropped in size and with no exif or other metadata whatsoever. Some are from my “pictures” folder. Do you know what causes that and what i can do to avoid that?

To get some context i use a fairphone 3 with /e/, but i had the same problem with another fairphone with a stock Android, and if i remember correctly, i had this issue this spring while using an old samsung galaxy. I had this issue with two computers, with lubuntu and now elementaryOS, so i think i can say it seems to come from shotwell and not my phone or computer. But i could be wrong :slight_smile: (oh, and on elementary, i have this issue with their version as well as with a fresh install of shotwell).
I did not have this issue a while ago, while using an outdated version of linux mint, and therefor an outdated version of shotwell (pre 0.12)

Thanks a lot for your help, and if there are contributors to shotwell on here thanks a lot for this soft, I otherwise love it!
Cheers, Fabien


can you try to run the following:

gphoto2 -l --no-recurse
gphoto2 -T -f $output_from_above 

and see if you get more than one photo?

The missing images are the previews Shotwell gets through gphoto2, so we need to figure out if Shotwell fails to properly show them or if gphoto2 doesn’t get them

Are there any errors in ~/.cache/shotwell/shotwell.log?

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It could also be that we might not be obeying the .nomedia convetion and we actually transfer thumbnails etc. that are on your phone from some app

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Hi! wow, that was quick, thanks :slight_smile:

I get an error with the gphoto2 commands, a “general PTP error”, whether in PTP or MTP mode. Even if i run this as root, with sudo. From the first command i get this :
the folder " / " contains one folder
- store_0001000
But if i put this in the second command i get “the path is not absolute”, and if i put a / in front, i get the PTP general error pre-mentionned.

In shotwell.log i have a list of notifications, skipping DCIM/.thumbnails/… files first, “data area exceeds data buffer, ignoring it” second, but it’s mostly GPS info and my photos are not geolocalised or Directory thumbnails.

But your answer makes sense, from what i see. It looks like my gallery app created thumbnails, which shotwell sees as separate files. I does not explain why they appeared like that on the phone, though. Any idea how i could make shotwell to disregard them ?

I don’t think there’s a quick solution to that. One thing Shotwell should definitely do is to ignore folders that contain .nomedia by default (and make it optional).

Others might be some more advanced filtering on import (e.g. minimum size, has metadata, has a thumbnail, …)

The first one is quite easy to implement but I don’t know if it would help you - can you check (e.g. with the file browser) where the thumbnails are stored?

This is with stock /e/?

I checked with /e/ Nougat (unfortunately the latest my testphone is supported by) and I cannot see that. Which gallery app is this?

This is with /e/ q, with simple gallery, but really, i had this problem with other versions of android and other apps


That is really odd, I’m using Simple Gallery on my main phone and don’t see this

OK, so i did a bit of digging, and it turns out the .thumbnails folder is created not by my gallery app, but by my camera app. It’s a port of the google camera from the pixel series, but apparently, open Camera does it too (on my wife’s phone with the same issues) and the stock camera doesn’t.

I emptied the folder (which of course fills up again when i take photos) and most of the ghost files disappeared. So that’s a workaround for the time being, i’ll just empty the folder before i sync my phone.

Except that i still have some ghost files, which are… the photos taken by the stock camera app, at least on my /e/ phone, i’ll have to look it up on my wife’s phone when i get a chance. I don’t use it much now so it shouldn’t be much of a problem for me right now, but that’s still an issue.

I hope these informations are useful for your understanding of the problem :slight_smile:

I thought the default camera is OpenCamera (or some sort of fork)? Anyway, I manually created a DCIM/.thumbnails folder on my phone and cannot reproduce it, very very odd.

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