Not a 'regular file'

I have run into a weird problem. I was attempting to create a file for the next year on Grisbi accounting software, something that I have done for many years, and suddenly there seemed to be a series of quirks. I was ‘cut off’, and when I went back to Grisbi I had a message that ‘it seems not to be a regular file’. I then went to a folder ‘Files’ on my desktop in which Grisbi is located and got the message that /home/my name/Desktop/Files seems not to be a regular file’. I can’t access these at the moment and would appreciate it if someone can tell me what has gone wrong and why.
Many thanks.

Hi @ljohn ,
First of all, do you have a backup?
It might be easiest to restore your home directory to a working state.

Second, is /home/my name/Desktop/Files a directory?
At the command line, what does
ls -l /home/my name/Desktop/Files
return to your screen.
file /home/my name/Desktop/Files
and ,
can you do
cd /home/my name/Desktop/Files
and if you can are there any file in there?
We just need more info.


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Thank you nevj.

In response to your advice, I do have backup, but I’m having problems getting access to it. (It never rains but it pours!).
ls -l /home/my name/Desktop/Files
total 40
drwxrwxr-x 5 4096 Jun 22 12:34 Accounts
drwxrwxr-x 5 4096 Dec 11 16:48 Addresses
drwxrwxr-x 5 4096 Aug 6 17:54 Books
drwxrwxr-x 20 larry larry 4096 Dec 11 11:57 Correspondence
drwxrwxr-x 5 4096 Jun 22 12:37 ‘Data Bases’
drwxrwxr-x 9 4096 Sep 11 10:41 Documents
drwxrwxr-x 2 4096 Aug 23 17:36 icons
drwxrwxr-x 3 4096 Sep 22 09:52 ‘PDF Octopus Files’
drwxrwxr-x 3 4096 Jun 22 12:38 Private
drwxrwxr-x 7 4096 Dec 1 13:53 Recipes

file /home/my name/Desktop/Files
home/my name@Desktop Files is a directory

cd /home/my name/Desktop/Files

I see that Desktop files is a directory, but I have never had this trouble before, and don’t know what I can do if it is a directory and shouldn’t be.

I appreciate your advice.

Hello again Nevj. Having gone to the bother of trying to remove my name, I overlooked some places and have no idea if I can edit. I can’t seem to do right.

That all looks normal. Everything inside the Files directory is a directory too.
Maybe the message in Grisbi does not mean what it seems to mean.
I cant think of what to try next

Maybe you could check for filesystem corruption.
To do that you need to unmount the partition which contains the home directory. You cant do that while linux is running. You need to boot another linux, from Dvd or usb drive. Are you able to do that?
If you can, the partition will be unmounted and you can use fsck to check it and repair any problems.

You seem to be able to access those files with Linux, but not with Grisbi.
Maybe Grisbi or its configuration files are corrupted. You could try a purge and reinstall of Grisbi. I assume you could do this thru your package system. If it is a custom install, that may be difficult.

Sorry, not a lot of help… I am lost for ideas


Yes , as Neville suggests it might be best that you purge Grisbi and re-install by sudo apt install grisbi .
I just installed it for the first time and the app runs well.

Frank (wicklowham) in County Wicklow -Ireland

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Thank you Frank. I think perhaps I haven’t been totally clear. I have used Grisbi for 15 years and never had a problem. A few days ago, I opened the site, intending to prepare a new page for 2023. Something happened, but I wasn’t aware of it, but I suddenly had a message that Grisbi was not a regular file. I then discovered the same message on each of my desktop files that had up to then performed as expected. And, as I wrote earlier, even when I inserted a thumb drive, the message appeared. So it may have nothing at all to do with Grisbi, but presents an even greater mystery.

I have given up and installed Linux Mint21 again on another computer, but what a struggle it has been, since no file will open, so I can’t even access passwords on bitwarden.

I am grateful for all who have tried to help.

That is really strange. If it affects all your files, it may be a filesystem problem , or even a hardware issue.

  • Try using fsck on the filesystem… it has to be unmounted to do this.
    Does fsck fix any errors?
  • Test your hardware.
  • The message ‘not a regular file’ normally occurs if you try to copy a directory without doing it recursively, or if you try to copy some special file like a device file or a link . It should not occur with ordinary files .


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