I installed evince on my Arch Linux system as a PDF reader, and everything was fine for a while. And then I installed GIMP. Since then, PDF files have been opening in GIMP. I've tried reinstalling evince, I've tried editing ~/.local/share/applications/defaults.list , I've tried editing /usr/share/applications/mimeinfo.cache, but PDF files still open in GIMP by default.

  • What desktop environment (Gnome, KDE, XFCE, ...) are you using? Jul 30, 2010 at 20:58
  • What DE are you using (if any)? [OOPS!]
    – dag729
    Jul 30, 2010 at 20:58
  • How are you opening the PDF? Nautilus, command-line, browser, etc.? Jul 30, 2010 at 20:58
  • 2
    I am using GNOME. (stupid 10 char limit)
    – Macha
    Jul 30, 2010 at 20:59
  • @Matthew: Broswer and Nautilus, same result.
    – Macha
    Jul 30, 2010 at 21:02

2 Answers 2


A bit of further research found that the offending file was ~/.local/share/applications/mimeapps.lst

  • Nice one! Anyway...what desktop environment are you using?
    – dag729
    Jul 30, 2010 at 20:59
  • GNOME, but the link applies to KDE, so they seem to be the same in this regard.
    – Macha
    Jul 30, 2010 at 21:03
  • thanks for answer and question. i encountered this very problem lately but was to lazy to look into that matter. done now :) Jul 30, 2010 at 21:47
  • Just a note. Under Kubuntu 18.04 I found the file in ~/.local/share/applications/mimeapps.list with .list instead of .lst...
    – Hastur
    Feb 15, 2021 at 6:34

I found that Firefox uses the XDG standard, so using the XDG command line apps to set default applications solved the problem for me.

$ xdg-mime default evince.desktop application/pdf

This tells anything using XDG to use Evince to open application/pdf files.

There's more info where I found this, on the ArchLinux wiki.

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