I would like to be able to click on SSH links that look like ssh://user@servername and have a gnome-terminal open that runs SSH inside of it.

After reading up on the XDG stuff I did the following:

I created a shell script in $HOME/bin/ssh-terminal with the following:

gnome-terminal -e "ssh $dest" &

This works from the command line.

I created $HOME/.local/share/applications/ssh-terminal.desktop with:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=SSH Terminal
Exec=ssh-terminal %u

I ran update-desktop-database ~/.local/share/applications/

Now when I try to run xdg-open ssh://user@hostname I get the following error:

$ xdg-open ssh://buildbot@
gvfs-open: sftp://buildbot@ error opening location: The specified location is not mounted

I don't want to open it as a sftp mount and I cannot seem to find where that is set!

Where do I go from here?

2 Answers 2


Writing a .desktop file is not enough. You also need to change the default setting for the mime type.

You can get the current default value with

 xdg-mime query default x-scheme-handler/ssh

and can change it with

 xdg-mime default ssh-terminal.desktop x-scheme-handler/ssh

The corresponding configuration file could be $HOME/.config/mimeapps.list or $HOME/.local/share/applications/mimeapps.list depending on your OS version.

  • Sorry about the late accept. This didn't work at the time I asked the question but I just tried it lately and it does now. Thanks.
    – Zan Lynx
    Oct 28, 2014 at 21:54
  • 1
    To keep this excellent answer temporally relevant, in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, the corresponding configuration file is now in $HOME/.config/mimeapps.list. At least for me, the one listed here in ~/.local/share/applications is 0 bytes. Mar 4, 2020 at 18:43
  • @MichaelCampbell thanks, I updated the answer.
    – jofel
    Mar 23, 2020 at 9:25

None of this worked for me until I edited the following file and removed the SchemeAlias line on /usr/share/gvfs/mounts/sftp.mount

# SchemeAliases=ssh
  • For anyone who encounters this (I did), you have to restart Gnome/Unity/Cinnamon for this to take effect. If you don't know how, restarting your computer should do the trick.
    – ocket8888
    May 17, 2018 at 15:32

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