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I find this command

sudo update-alternatives –config x-www-browser

I choose Chrome. It works for xpdf, but Evince still starts Firefox after click.

I feel Linux is not standard. I use Linux Mint 8 (Helena) LXDE.

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this question is not well phrased , what do you mean that evince starts firefox ? Having seen this, now I am not so sure about my answer. –  g24l Dec 16 '11 at 0:12
    
I think the question is about which browser starts if you click on a URL in a PDF document. –  erik Oct 24 '13 at 9:51
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6 Answers

Solving your issue is like voodoo, even when there are "protocols" regarding how and which applications are supposed to open a specific kind of file. You'll see that they're very inconsistent between systems and different desktop environments.

So there's no really a "right" answer. I had a similar problem with firefox, so I'm giving you my solution:

  1. Create a ~/.local/share/applications/defaults.list if it doesn't exist
  2. Add the following

    [Default Applications]
    application/pdf=evince.desktop;
    

    ...or just the last line if there's something before.

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As far as I understand LXDE uses xdg to do calls to applications. This command should fix your issue:

To find out which application opens a pdf file :

xdg-mime query default application/pdf

To set the application to evince

xdg-mime default evince.desktop application/pdf

This should work if your application is registered to the desktop (i.e. if there is a launcher)

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this should actually be xdg-mime default evince.desktop application/pdf –  xubuntix May 14 '12 at 17:26
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You can edit your $HOME/.local/share/applications/mimeapps.list file. If this file does not exist, create one.

For illustration's sake, if you want Chromium to be the default browser, add the following line:

x-scheme-handler/http=chromium.desktop

That's all.

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Worked like a charm on Arch Linux. –  Rudy Matela Jul 10 '13 at 2:35
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I had a reverse problem - I want firefox to open the links, but evince started chromium no matter what.

I used strace -o /tmp/output evince to see what functions are called and found this in the log:

open("/home/koniu/.local/share/applications/firefox.desktop;", O_RDONLY|O_LARGEFILE) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
open("/usr/local/share/applications/firefox.desktop;", O_RDONLY|O_LARGEFILE) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
open("/usr/share/applications/firefox.desktop;", O_RDONLY|O_LARGEFILE) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
open("/home/koniu/.local/share/applications/chromium.desktop", O_RDONLY|O_LARGEFILE) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
open("/usr/local/share/applications/chromium.desktop", O_RDONLY|O_LARGEFILE) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
open("/usr/share/applications/chromium.desktop", O_RDONLY|O_LARGEFILE) = 16

No idea why there's a semicolon included in the firefox.desktop but I created /home/koniu/.local/share/applications/firefox.desktop with the following content:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Firefox
Exec=/usr/bin/firefox %U
Terminal=false
X-MultipleArgs=false
Type=Application
Icon=firefox
Categories=Network;WebBrowser;
MimeType=text/html;text/xml;application/xhtml_xml;x-scheme-handler/http;x-scheme-handler/https;
StartupNotify=true

And now evince starts firefox as desired.

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To change Gnome applications you need to use gconftool:

$ gconftool -s /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/http/command -t string 'chromium-browser %s'

To check the changes:

$ gconftool -g /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/http/command

Other Gnome applications:

/desktop/gnome/url-handlers/chrome/command
/desktop/gnome/url-handlers/https/command
/desktop/gnome/url-handlers/http/command
/desktop/gnome/url-handlers/ftp/command

Reference:

http://www.salixos.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1376&view=print

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you keep telling the guy to setup gnome, but he is using LXDE... –  g24l Dec 16 '11 at 0:00
1  
@g24l: Evince is a GNOME program, though. (However, it doesn't use GConf for URL handlers anymore.) –  grawity Dec 16 '11 at 0:17
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Set the default browser in Gnome applications with gnome-default-applications-properties.

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you almost killed my system! after apt-get gnome-control-center, the system is almost broken. –  chenge Jun 14 '10 at 9:22
    
define "almost broken" –  msw Jun 14 '10 at 11:10
3  
The issue may be you are telling him to install gnome stuff when his window manager is probably LXDE. –  Dan Jun 14 '10 at 17:40
    
i report it: forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=50017 it write file .xsession-errors with "fcitx signal 11", and eat the hd space. –  chenge Jun 15 '10 at 10:40
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@Dan keep in mind that evince is "gnome stuff", and has gnome dependencies; that said, I don't know what the right answer here is. (Also, LXDE is a desktop environment, not a window manager, not that matters here.) –  frabjous Aug 31 '10 at 2:31
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