Documents cannot be opened outside of Documents or Downloads directory

REPRODUCIBILITY (% or how often): 100
BUILD ID = OS VERSION (Settings > About product): 4.1
HARDWARE (XA2, X10, X10 II, …): XA2
REGRESSION: (compared to previous public release: Yes, No, ?): Yes


When trying to open a document, say a PDF file, that’s outside either the Documents or the Downloads directory hierarchy, the Documents application claims that the document is broken. Or in case of an image, the Gallery application claims that the picture cannot be shown if it is outside the Pictures directory hierarchy. It used to be possible to open such files via e.g. the File Browser application, but that behaviour was broken at some point.


A file exists somewhere outside Documents or Downloads directory hierarchies.


  1. Open File Browser application.
  2. Navigate somewhere in the directory tree that is outside of Documents
  3. Select the file.
  4. Try to open the file.


File opens in the Documents application. (Or in the Gallery application, or Media application, etc)


Documents says that the file is broken. Gallery says that the image cannot be shown.


I’ve currently worked around this by symlinking my project trees inside the Documents directory. But this seems silly, as this used to just work the way you’d expect.

Sailjail strikes again (I believe!), there is a workaround posted here very recently, which involves a little bit of editing to /etc/sailjail/.

Please do use the search facility to find it, I can’t recall the question title.

I think it is possible that @peterleinchen gave the answer to editing sailjail for this kind of reason.

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Can confirm this bug when using pull down menu / open. (in File Browser)

But tapping on the icon or the upper right dot on the properties page works fine and opens the PDF.
Exactly the same with .jpg pictures.

If it doesn’t work, try to restart the screen with Hilfsprogramme.

Technically not opens (as in opening externally), just views them in the file browser itself - with its permissions and thus the difference.

And yes; this is all intended SailJail functionality, but it seems it is all the well-known UserDirs plus RemovableMedia that are allowed, just home itself is not. Presumably 3rd-party apps will take a similar hit when sandboxing is turned on by default.

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