How to test Caja-Actions on Ubuntu MATE 14.04 and 14.10

[Caja-Actions] ( will be fully integrated in Ubuntu MATE 15.04. Caja-Actions allows you to create custom extensions/actions for the Caja filemanager and has functionality very similar to Automator on Mac OS X.

To that end I have been working on packaging Caja-Actions and I’d like to get some testing feedback. I’ve back ported my changes to 14.04 and 14.10 and built everything you need into a PPA.

If you are feeling brave, let the destruction begin :anguished:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-mate-dev/crazy-mate
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get install caja-actions

You’ll find Caja-Actions Configuration Tool under System -> Preferences.

debian Package

You can find the source to my debian package here:

Known issues

  • None
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Is caja actions a kind of gui to build something akin to macros in your desktop enironment?

Yes. You can create context menus for Caja with it that can associate with scripts or programs.

Gonna try this out when I get home. Thunar Custom Actions is probably the only thing I really miss from XFCE so I’m hoping this will fit the bill!

UPDATE: Sweet, now I’ve got the ability to edit a file in pluma or open a folder in caja window as root by just right-clicking like I did in Thunar! B-E-A-UTIFUL!

Pretty much. It lets you evoke scripts from the Gui. What makes it particularly useful is you can bind it certain file types, for example, I've got one that I use to build markdown documents to HTML5 and PDF using a MultiMarkdown, wkhtmltopdf and zenity. Zenity adds user interactivity to enter file names and customise the PDF output.

@Wimpy. Where are they? I'll do it, me and docbook go back a long way.

If you try and request the help contents you’ll get an error and a path to the doc. Says they are invalid. Wondering if I’m missing some in the package build. Wrong version of docbook for the package perhaps?

Source is here:

@Wimpy I’ll have a look – I’m already ‘watching’ that repo on my github account… I’ll replace my binary caja-actions with your ppa on my dev machine and test it there.

There’s a couple of versions of docbook floating in the wild these days (4.x and 5) and they don’t play nicely together.

If I fork the git hub repo and do a pull request, will your PPA pick up the changes?

My fork won’t pick up changes, but the Caja-Actions maintainer is one of the other MATE devs so no problem collaborating :smiley:

Cool! So do you have a preference what I fork? His or your repo?

No need to fork anything! The XML file wasn't validating because the external references were missing. I copied the missing XML files from the source project:




Restarted the Caja Actions Config Tool and help now works, as shown in the screen shot.

I've also run the docbook files through a validator and confirmed they are valid docbook.

I'm not sure if your repo copies these files elsewhere (and it's symlink issue) or if they didn't copy across when you forked the repo.

Thanks. Does this imply that my Debian packaging is not copying all the files to the correct location?

If you extract the actual deb files, are the missing files included but just in the wrong path?

I've checked inside caja-actions-common_1.7.1-1~trusty5_all.deb and the xml files are not there where they should be i.e /usr/share/help/C/caja-actions-config-tool/ (see screenshot)

I can't find them anywhere inside the deb. They are however included in the caja-actions_1.7.1.orig.tar.gz file inside your PPA bundle.

Appologies, I'm new to the inner workings of deb packages. I'm trying to work out how the payload is deployed to save you the effort but my eldest kid is throwing a major bathtime tantrum!

I can’t coerce the Debian packages to install those files where I want them. I’ll discuss this with my Debian Developer friends and find a solution.

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I wish I knew more about Debian packaging! I want to learn, however. Can you recommend a good introduction?

Excuse my ignorance but can you add some kind of (post-installation) script to the installer that copies the files where they are meant to go? My apologies if that sounds like a dirty hack.

Oh I meant to add too that that even if you install the deb file directly from project’s github page, the installer fails to copy the help files to the correct location.

I’m going to build it myself from source and see if I can get it work.

EDIT: I built from source (both original and your fork) and had the same problem with the help files not being included where they are supposed to go.

Yep, I looked at the make files. They need a patch to install the xml files.

@Wimpy I’m pretty sure the offending file is docs/cact/ and the following line is incomplete:

HELP_FILES = index.docbook legalnotice.xml

If we add the rest of the XML files in the docs/cact/C directory to that list, I’m guessing that will work. I’m not on my dev machine at the moment so I can’t test it. Will re-build it again when I get home tonight. If it works I’ll patch it and do a pull request unless you beat me to it!

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Thanks for reporting the issue.
I’ve upload a fixed 1.8.0 tarball at fedorapeople :wink:


@raveit65 You’re very welcome. Thanks very much for patching it. I managed to build it with my modified patch and it worked but I haven’t had the chance to push it to my fork on github - you’ve saved me the effort!

@Wimpy is that enough for you to get it into your ppa?

EDIT: Nevermind, I just realised that @raveit65 and NiceandGently are the same person!