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I've been struggling this morning trying to associate an application with a custom protocol, namely emacsclient and org-protocol.

I'm calling this protocol from a webbrowser bookmarklet, and I get the following behaviour :

In chromium,
the "Launch Application" dialog comes up, and calls xdg-open org-protocol://... which ends up firing a new chromium frame.

In firefox,
I've tried setting network.protocol-handler.app.org-protocol to an empty string or my emacsclient path, anyhow I get the following error message :
"Firefox doesn't know how to open this address, because the protocol (org-protocol) isn't associated with any program" without even showing any external application selection dialog.

I'm not using any desktop environment, so I need to make this work strictly with xdg, however, despite reading the shared mime info spec etc, I still can't fathom a working configuration.

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2 Answers 2

The XDG method: Create an emacsclient.desktop file that handles the x-scheme-handler/org-protocol MIME type:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Emacs Client
Exec=emacsclient %u

(Note the MimeType= line above, which is for org-protocol: URIs.)

Put the file in ~/.local/share/applications or /usr/local/share/applications.

You might have to open the file ~/.local/share/applications/mimeapps.list and add a line like this:


Add that under the [Default Applications] section.

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it still opens a chrome window for me; anything else? (i happen to be using fluxbox w/out desktop env similar to orig. author) –  assem May 10 '13 at 1:48

At least in Fedora 13 and various Debian-based distros xdg-open opens all URLs that don't have a file:// scheme in a browser if it doesn't run in a supported desktop environment. The way it tries to detect which browser to use depends on the distribution.

As xdg-open is just a shell script you can easily adapt it to your needs.

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Indeed, but it is the configuration that is needed between xdg-open and xdg-mime which is very opaque to me, despite reading the docs... –  julien Jul 12 '10 at 21:32
If opening a file:// URI Ubuntu doesn't call xdg-mime at all but uses run-mailcap if not running under a supported DE, Fedora 13 first tries to find the default app using xdg-mime and if that doesn't work falls back to mimeopen. xdg-mime uses the Shared MIME Info database freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/shared-mime-info –  Florian Diesch Jul 12 '10 at 23:27

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