I am running manjaro linux which is built on top of Arch Linux. I use cinnamon desktop environment occasionally and Awesome for the rest.

I am trying to figure out how I can get the system to choose the defaults differently when I install several packages that support a certain mime-type. For example, on my system I have pcmanfm, nemo and sunflower all of which handle inode/directory. By default, the update-desktop-database generates a line like below in /usr/share/applications/mimieinfo.cache which makes sunflower the default.


I can override this by adding entries in .config/mimeapps.list but my question is about if I can influence the order of the entries in the system-wide defaults.

In this case, e.g, I like sunflower a lot but when I am opening folders from other applications (e.g., deluge) I want them to be opened in PCMan File manager. Ultimately these apps use xdg-open which uses the mimeinfo.cache or one of the overrides to launch the right handler.

How can I change the order in which these applications are listed in the mimeinfo.cache ?


You can not change the order (see also https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=71932).

To change the default application system-wide you have to create a file /usr/share/applications/mimeapps.list. For example if you want that all PDF files will be opened with MuPDF add:

[Default Applications]

I am not sure if you are still looking for an answer but I asked myself the same question and thought that my findings might also help others.

  • If you have an ancient Linux installation, try defaults.list instead of mimeapps.list. – Palec May 13 '17 at 12:21

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.