Fedora 22 Broken ‘Open File’ Dialog in Firefox

July 3, 2015

Update: Newer versions of GTK3 do work better, so with the upgrade to Fedora 23, the search file chooser is functional…it just operates differently than the old search. See below ‘GTK Filechooser and Fedora 23’ section at bottom of post.

After updating to Fedora 22, the File Chooser in Firefox XFCE, like you would see when you click ‘Open File’ or upload a file, was broken.

Specifically, while the open file dialog does open and let you select files, the quick find was not working properly. Normally, you can start typing the first letter(s) of a file name and the file browser will jump to files that start with that letter in your current folder. However, this was not working for me in Firefox and instead typing a letter did nothing. Further, the files were not grouped by folders, but rather displayed files/folders together(although this might not be a setting.)

It turns out this isn’t a bug with Firefox, but rather a problem with GTK3’s Filechooser Dialog. A bug is currently open here, so hopefully it will be addressed soon.

In Fedora 22, Firefox is compiled to use GTK3 instead of GTK2, along with Gedit and I would imagine a few other programs. So, anything using GTK3 has this bug for me.

A Temporary Solution: Since this makes using Firefox and selecting files incredibly painful, a quick fix is to uninstall Fedora’s version of Firefox and install Firefox separately(by downloading or compiling.) The version available directly from Mozilla does NOT use GTK3, so works fine. Just make sure to stay on top of updates and keep an eye out for when Fedora updates GTK3, as this will probably get fixed soon.

Hopefully, this will save someone the amount of time I spent trying to figure out why it was broken…

The GTK3 Filechooser, shown on right, does not currently work correctly in Fedora 22.

The GTK3 Filechooser, shown on right, does not currently work correctly in Fedora 22.

GTK Filechooser and Fedora 23

The upgrade to Fedora 23 brought a functional GTK Filechooser, although it operates in a different manner than the older GTK2 version. I like it better in some ways, although not 100%. In terms of searching files, the search works against the entire file name, not just the start of the name. So for instance, if you type test it will pickup the file test.txt as well as file_test.txt. It also sometimes searches sub-folders, which can be a bit of a pain if you have a ton of similar naming files…but it does actually search now…

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