Xdg-open

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Revision as of 05:33, 9 January 2012 by Fengchao (Talk | contribs) (Configuration: Merge in xdg-open configuration info from artical Chromium)

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Reason: please use the first argument of the template to provide a brief explanation. (Discuss in Talk:Xdg-open#)

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

Installation

xdg-open is part of the xdg-utils package available in extra:

pacman -S xdg-utils

Configuration

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

The config file

xdg-open use configuration files located at ~/.local/share/applications/defaults.list(for a single user) 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.

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.

mimetype

mimetype in perl-file-mimeinfo package is more intuitive.

To select default application for a given extension (you need a sample file):

$ mimetype -d file.extension

For me it only worked as normal user - as root I had problems because no directories for the local MIME times were created. See also this thread.

Environment Variables

export BROWSER=chromium # this will make xdg-open use chromium for any kind of URLs
export DE="xfce" # This will make xdg-open use the more user-friendly exo-open, because it assumes it is inside Xfce. Use exo-preferred-applications for configuring.

See also