Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'd like to have certain file extensions to be opened with some specific programs. What are the files the edit ? I have found in /usr/share/appplications/default.list but it doesn't work.

share|improve this question
up vote 13 down vote accepted

Have a look at the file $HOME/.local/share/applications/defaults.list

There is a section [Default Applications] to specify the programs for particular mime types. You can add for example:


The .desktop files can be found in /usr/share/applications/ or you can create your own files under $HOME/.local/share/applications/. To find out the mime type of the files, run

file --mime-type <some_file>

Alternatively, in KDE one can accomplish the same in GUI in File Associations inside System Settings.

To register a MIME type for an extension see freedesktop.org - AddingMIMETutor and stackoverflow - Register file extensions / mime types in Linux.

share|improve this answer
I have modified the mime type `MimeType=image/x-exr;image/tiff;image/png;image/jpeg;image/dpx;' in the .desktop file. – igor012 Jun 20 '12 at 14:47
On my version Fedora release 18 (Spherical Cow) running xfce, the file was named mimeapps.list, not defaults.list. JTYSK – nook Aug 4 '13 at 21:22
This can be used to set the application based on MIME type, but what about file extension (as per the original question)? For instance, Processing sketches have the MIME type text/plain ("plain text document"), but they can be told apart by their .pde extension. I'd like to set them to open in Processing, but have not been able to do so without affecting .txt's and others as well. – appas May 19 '15 at 16:55
@appas First you register the file extension to a MIME type. Then you assign an application to the MIME type as depicted in this answer. – Marco May 19 '15 at 17:11

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

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