I recently updated my raspi which is running debian buster (version 10). After the update/upgrade cycle - which took a while since I have not updated my device in quite some time - I noticed an issue with startx.

Once I'm on the GUI and i double-click to open a directory, the directory will open for a second, long enough to see it has contents, but then it closes. This only occurs with directories, I can run a web-browser, text files, image viewers, etc with no problem.

Can anyone help me troubleshoot this please.

  • It sounds like your File Manager is crashing. Nothing related to startx. You should edit your title to something like "file manager crashing"
    – Botspot
    Jun 16, 2020 at 0:34
  • 1
    Actually I'm having this issue too. Will do some troubleshooting.
    – Botspot
    Jun 16, 2020 at 0:34
  • @Botspot thank you for the info. I'm still learning much of linux so I'm not too familiar with what's what
    – CLopes1987
    Jun 16, 2020 at 15:00

1 Answer 1


Here's what worked for me:

rm -r /home/pi/.config/libfm
rm -r /home/pi/.config/pcmanfm
sudo reboot

And then the third one reboots your Pi (necessary)

Those first two rm commands remove the file manager's configuration. See more at my thread question.

  • will removing those directories cause any lasting issues? Will I have to re-add/rebuild them after the reboot? I'm still learning linux so I'm not fully oriented with all of its components.
    – CLopes1987
    Jun 16, 2020 at 15:01
  • Also, reading through the libfm file, is there a way to troubleshoot which line may be causing the error?
    – CLopes1987
    Jun 16, 2020 at 15:04
  • 1
    Good questions. No, you won't have to rebuild your config structure after you delete it. Master copies of the config is mainly located in /etc. To illustrate my point, a never-booted RaspiOS image does not even have the /home/pi/.config folder! It's all generated when you launch the program.
    – Botspot
    Jun 16, 2020 at 19:58
  • 1
    I have no idea what is wrong with libfm's config, or pcmanfm's config. I don't even know if those first two steps are necessary! Maybe just a reboot would have been enough.
    – Botspot
    Jun 16, 2020 at 20:00
  • I can confirm that just a reboot does not resolve the issue. I will try removing the said directories momentarily. Thanks for all the feedback!
    – CLopes1987
    Jun 18, 2020 at 17:22

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