I have many users using a Debian system through thin clients and I'm looking for a way to setup file associations globally for all the XFCE4 desktop environments.

Is there a way to setup the associations for Thunar or another file manager and the xfce desktop icons so that they are all the same accross all users?

2 Answers 2


To do that system-wide you need to create /usr/share/applications/mimeapps.list as follows

[Default Applications]

Use xdg-mime to find out the mime-type of your files:

xdg-mime query filetype /etc/passwd

You can find available applications with ls /usr/share/applications/*.desktop


Use mimeopen tool. It provides you nice options and the saved option is written to ~/.local/share/applications/defaults.list so that your selected option is saved as default.

   mimeopen -d /path/to/myfile

Reference: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/default_applications

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.