Change default app via console

Charlie Kravetz cjk at
Sun Mar 16 00:50:51 CET 2014

On Sat, 15 Mar 2014 16:13:16 -0700
Grant <emailgrant at> wrote:

>>>> You can copy/create *.desktop file in ~/.local/share/applications
>>>> And modify it as you wish.
>>>>> > I do not use gnome and evince but i think you can check desktop
>>>>> > files in /usr/share/applications and find file(s) with
>>>>> > 'Exec=evince-previewer %U' And change it to 'Exec=evince %U'
>>>>> >
>>>>> >> I'd like to have PDF documents opened with the full evince app
>>>>> >> instead of evince's "GNOME Document Previewer" since I can't get
>>>>> >> copy/paste to work from the previewer.  How can I make that change
>>>>> >> via console?
>>>>> Ideally I would be able to edit the app/filetype associations in the
>>>>> userdir.  Which files there control that?
>>>Great, it looks like ~/.local/share/applications/mimeapps.list should
>>>do it.  Where are exo-web-browser.desktop and exo-file-manager.desktop
>>>- Grant
>> At least exo-file-manager.desktop is defined as a desktop file
>> in /usr/share/applications. It is called "File Manager", and there may
>> be more than one with that name. Listing them in terminal shows the
>> actual file names.
>I have that file but there doesn't seem to be a file manager defined
>in that file.  Settings Manager -> Preferred Applications displays
>Chromium, Thunar, and Xfce Terminal, but they aren't listed anywhere
>in /usr/share/applications/*exo*.
>- Grant

I think the exo*.desktop files all define a separate file used
by /etc/alternatives when called from dpkg-reconfigure . This is the
way you change the preferred browser, file manager, terminal,
etc. It takes a bit to learn to use these, but once you start doing it,
it makes everything else work properly. The command 
sudo dpkg-reconfigure --all 
lets you see all configuration changes that can be made by the user. It
might be quite extensive, though, so if you run it, you need more than
a minute or two. If you simply hit enter on an entry, it does not
change from the current setting.

Charlie Kravetz
Linux Registered User Number 425914
Never let anyone steal your DREAM.   []

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