Xdg-open

From ArchWiki
Revision as of 20:23, 10 November 2012 by Roi (Talk | contribs) (Correct user default config file)

Jump to: navigation, search

xdg-open is a desktop-independent tool for configuring the default applications of a user. Many applications invoke the xdg-open command internally.

Inside a desktop environment (e.g. GNOME, KDE, Xfce, etc.), xdg-open simply passes the arguments to that desktop environment's file-opener application (gvfs-open, kde-open, or exo-open, respectively), which means that the associations are left up to the desktop environment. When no desktop environment is detected (for example when one runs a standalone window manager, e.g. Openbox), xdg-open will use its own configuration files.

Installation

xdg-open is part of the xdg-utils package available in [extra]. xdg-open is for use inside a desktop session only. It is not recommended to use xdg-open as root.

Configuration

The config file

xdg-open uses configuration files located at $XDG_DATA_HOME/applications/mimeapps.list (for a single user; $XDG_DATA_HOME defaults to ~/.local/share) and /usr/share/applications/defaults.list (system wide). Its format is as follows:

[Default Applications]
mimetype=desktopfile1;desktopfile2...

For example,

[Default Applications]
text/html=firefox.desktop
inode/directory=kde4-dolphin.desktop;Thunar.desktop;nautilus.desktop

The best way to look up the MIME type is to read the MimeTypes list in your application's .desktop file (see Desktop Entries for details).

Some tools are available to edit the configuration files:

xdg-mime

To make Thunar the default file-browser, i.e. the default application for opening folders.

$ xdg-mime default Thunar.desktop inode/directory

to use xpdf as the default PDF viewer:

$ xdg-mime default xpdf.desktop application/pdf

This should create an entry in your local MIME database:

~/.local/share/applications/defaults.list
[Default Applications]
application/pdf=xpdf.desktop

Your PDF files should be opened with xpdf now.

Drop-in replacements and useful tools

run-mailcap

The .mailcap file format used by the mutt mail program is way easier to read and write. The run-mailcap package from the AUR provides a executable that could be easily symlinked to /usr/bin/xdg-open, but that parser is unable to handle directories or links. The simplest solution would be to install mimeo from the AUR too and create a /usr/bin/xdg-open with the following content:

  #!/bin/sh
  run-mailcap $1 || mimeo $1

Then use the defaults.list at ~/.local/share/applications/ to associate URLs and folders with applications and the .mailcap file for normal mimetypes.

mimetype

mimetype in perl-file-mimeinfo package can display some mimetype-related information about a file.

For example:

$ mimetype file.ext

returns the mimetype of a file,

$ mimetype -d file.extension

returns a description of that mimetype.

mimeo

mimeoAUR and xdg-utils-mimeoAUR in AUR provide xdg-utils and contains a xdg-open script patched to make use of mimeo the same way gnome-open would be used. Mimetype<->application associations can then be customised easily in $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/mimeo.conf (i.e.~/.config/mimeo.conf)

Environment Variables

Some environment variables such as BROWSER, DE and DESKTOP_SESSION will change behaviour of xdg-open. See Environment Variables for more information.

See also