I've installed Sublime Text 3 from the .deb found here: http://www.sublimetext.com/3

Now, how to set it as the default text editor in place of gedit in Mint 16?

4 Answers 4


Open /usr/share/applications/defaults.list in Sublime:

sudo subl /usr/share/applications/defaults.list

Search for all instances of gedit and replace them with sublime_text. Save the file, quit Sublime, log out and back in, and you should be all set.


While the above instructions should work with any .deb-based system (I use Ubuntu), apparently there is an issue with Mint where changes to /usr/share/applications/defaults.list are lost upon reboot. To work around this, do the following:

  1. Create a new file (if it doesn't already exist) called ~/.local/share/applications/defaults.list in Sublime. The first line should be [Default Applications].
  2. Open /usr/share/applications/defaults.list in Sublime. Hit CtrlF to open the Find dialog and type gedit into the search box.
  3. Hit AltEnter or click the Find All button to select all the instances of gedit in the file.
  4. Hit CtrlL to expand the selections to the entire line, then hit CtrlC to copy the lines.
  5. In ~/.local/share/applications/defaults.list, hit CtrlV to paste the lines containing gedit.
  6. Hit CtrlH to open the Replace dialog. Search for gedit and replace with sublime_text. Hit CtrlAltEnter to Replace All (or click the Replace All button) and you're all set.
  7. Save ~/.local/share/applications/defaults.list, log out and back in, and Sublime Text should now be your default text editor.
  • It works at first, but after rebooting, defaults.list gets reverted, gedit back in place of sublime_text. What can I do to prevent this?
    – Mica
    Jan 19, 2014 at 23:58
  • 1
    Apparently this is an issue with Mint which can be circumvented by using .local/share/applications/defaults.list instead. So, I've copied/pasted/edited the gedit lines to this file, and they're now successfully overriding their counterparts in /usr/share/applications/defaults.list, even after a reboot.
    – Mica
    Jan 20, 2014 at 1:13
  • @xichael - thanks for the info. I've updated my answer to describe exactly how to set things up to work around this issue. I usually use Ubuntu, where my original solution works fine, and since Mint is quite similar I figured it would work!
    – MattDMo
    Jan 20, 2014 at 16:31
  • You're missing a small step: the first line on ~/.local/share/applications/defaults.list must be "[Default Applications]" for this to work Sep 17, 2014 at 13:55
  • @Alexandre thanks for that, I'll update the answer. As an Ubuntu user, I've only worked with existing files, so I kinda missed that detail :)
    – MattDMo
    Sep 17, 2014 at 15:58

so I just figured out a less complicated way to do it.

Step 1: Select any file that you want to open with Sublime. Right-click on it.

Step 2: Go to Properties.

Step 3: Go to Open With

Step 4: Select Sublime

Step 5: Set as Default

  • 1
    The accepted answer should be this. Jun 21, 2021 at 9:23

If you don't want to edit system files yourself, you can simply go to "Preferred applications" in settings.


Matt's answer worked for me too, many thanks for the clear instructions!

Just to state the obvious, in case it helps someone: if you want a different default editor, then:

  • ensure it's executable name, eg vim replaces gedit in the ~/.local/share/applications/defaults.list file

  • ensure export EDITOR=path\executable is included in the appropriate config file for you (~\.profile or ~\.bashrc or whatever)

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