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I looked through this question about setting the default pdf reader to evince. None of it seems to help for my install of debian 10.3 with the cinnamon desktop. I had a poke around and could find this:

$ cat /usr/share/applications/x-cinnamon-mimeapps.list | grep pdf
application/pdf=evince.desktop;
application/x-ext-pdf=evince.deskto;

and this:

$ cat .config/mimeapps.list 

[Default Applications]
x-scheme-handler/tg=telegramdesktop.desktop
application/pdf=evince.desktop
application/x-ext-pdf=evince.desktop

and all other possible places:

$ grep -rnw /usr/share/applications/ -e pdf
/usr/share/applications/mimeinfo.cache:16:application/pdf=libreoffice-draw.desktop;gimp.desktop;inkscape.desktop;org.gnome.Evince.desktop;
/usr/share/applications/mimeinfo.cache:165:application/x-ext-pdf=org.gnome.Evince.desktop;
/usr/share/applications/mimeinfo.cache:359:image/pdf=display-im6.q16.desktop;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:178:Keywords=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;document;presentation;viewer;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:179:Keywords[ar]=pdf;ps;بوستسكربت;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;مستند;عرض;عارض;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:180:Keywords[be]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;дакумент;прэзентацыя;праглядальнік;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:181:Keywords[ca]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;document;presentació;visualitzador;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:182:Keywords[cs]=pdf;ps;postscript;postskript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;dokument;prezentace;prohlížeč;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:183:Keywords[da]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;dokument;præsentation;fremviser;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:184:Keywords[de]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;Dokument;Präsentation;Betrachter;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:185:Keywords[el]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;έγγραφο;παρουσίαση;εφαρμογή προβολής;document;presentation;viewer;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:186:Keywords[en_GB]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;document;presentation;viewer;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:187:Keywords[es]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;documento;presentación;visor;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:188:Keywords[fi]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;document;presentation;viewer;asiakirja;katselin;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:189:Keywords[fr]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;document;présentation;visionneur;visualiseur;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:190:Keywords[fur]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;document;presentazion;visualizadôr;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:191:Keywords[gl]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;documento;presentación;visor;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:192:Keywords[hr]=pdf;ps;postskripta;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;dokument;prezentacija;preglednik;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:193:Keywords[hu]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;dokumentum;prezentáció;nézegető;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:194:Keywords[id]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;dokumen;presentasi;peninjau;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:195:Keywords[is]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;skjal;kynning;skoðari;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:196:Keywords[it]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;documento;presentazione;visualizzatore;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:197:Keywords[kk]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;document;presentation;viewer;құжат;презентация;көрсету;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:198:Keywords[ko]=pdf;ps;postscript;포스트스크립트;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;document;문서;presentation;프리젠테이션;viewer;뷰어;보기;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:199:Keywords[lt]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;dokumentas;pateiktis;prezentacija;žiūryklė;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:200:Keywords[lv]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;dokuments;prezentācija;skatītājs;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:201:Keywords[nb]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;dokument;presentasjon;visning;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:202:Keywords[nl]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;document;presentation;presentatie;viewer;weergave;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:203:Keywords[pl]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;dokument;prezentacja;przeglądarka;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:204:Keywords[pt_BR]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;documento;apresentação;visualizador,visualização;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:205:Keywords[ro]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;document;presentation;viewer;prezentare;vizualizator;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:206:Keywords[ru]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;документ;презентация;просмотр;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:207:Keywords[sk]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;dokument;prezentácia;prehliadač;prezerač;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:208:Keywords[sl]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;dokument;predstavitev;pregledovalnik;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:209:Keywords[sr]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;document;presentation;viewer;пдф;пс;пост-скрипт;дви;икспс;дежави;тифф;документ;презентација;приказивање;dokument;prezentacija;prikazivanje;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:210:Keywords[sr@latin]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;document;presentation;viewer;pdf;ps;post-skript;dvi;iksps;dežavi;tiff;dokument;prezentacija;prikazivanje;dokument;prezentacija;prikazivanje;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:211:Keywords[sv]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;dokument;presentation;visare;bläddrare;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:212:Keywords[tr]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;belge;sunum;görüntüleyici;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:213:Keywords[vi]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;document;tài;liệu;tai;lieu;presentation;trình;diễn;trinh;dien;viewer;xem;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:214:Keywords[zh_CN]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;document;presentation;viewer;文档;演示;幻灯;查看器;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:215:Keywords[zh_TW]=pdf;ps;postscript;dvi;xps;djvu;tiff;document;presentation;viewer;文件;簡報;檢視器;
/usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Evince.desktop:224:MimeType=application/pdf;application/x-bzpdf;application/x-gzpdf;application/x-xzpdf;application/x-ext-pdf;application/postscript;application/x-bzpostscript;application/x-gzpostscript;image/x-eps;image/x-bzeps;image/x-gzeps;application/x-ext-ps;application/x-ext-eps;application/illustrator;application/x-dvi;application/x-bzdvi;application/x-gzdvi;application/x-ext-dvi;image/vnd.djvu+multipage;application/x-ext-djv;application/x-ext-djvu;image/tiff;application/x-cbr;application/x-cbz;application/x-cb7;application/x-cbt;application/x-ext-cbr;application/x-ext-cbz;application/x-ext-cb7;application/x-ext-cbt;application/vnd.comicbook+zip;application/vnd.comicbook-rar;application/oxps;application/vnd.ms-xpsdocument;
/usr/share/applications/inkscape.desktop:309:MimeType=image/svg+xml;image/svg+xml-compressed;application/vnd.corel-draw;application/pdf;application/postscript;image/x-eps;application/illustrator;image/cgm;image/x-wmf;application/x-xccx;application/x-xcgm;application/x-xcdt;application/x-xsk1;application/x-xcmx;image/x-xcdr;application/visio;application/x-visio;application/vnd.visio;application/visio.drawing;application/vsd;application/x-vsd;image/x-vsd;
/usr/share/applications/display-im6.q16.desktop:14:MimeType=image/avs;image/bie;image/x-ms-bmp;image/cmyk;image/dcx;image/eps;image/fax;image/fits;image/gif;image/gray;image/jpeg;image/pjpeg;image/miff;image/mono;image/mtv;image/x-portable-bitmap;image/pcd;image/pcx;image/pdf;image/x-portable-graymap;image/pict;image/png;image/x-portable-anymap;image/x-portable-pixmap;image/ps;image/rad;image/x-rgb;image/rgba;image/rla;image/rle;image/sgi;image/sun-raster;image/targa;image/tiff;image/uyvy;image/vid;image/viff;image/x-xbitmap;image/x-xpixmap;image/x-xwindowdump;image/x-icon;image/yuv;
/usr/share/applications/gimp.desktop:252:MimeType=image/bmp;image/g3fax;image/gif;image/x-fits;image/x-pcx;image/x-portable-anymap;image/x-portable-bitmap;image/x-portable-graymap;image/x-portable-pixmap;image/x-psd;image/x-sgi;image/x-tga;image/x-xbitmap;image/x-xwindowdump;image/x-xcf;image/x-compressed-xcf;image/x-gimp-gbr;image/x-gimp-pat;image/x-gimp-gih;image/tiff;image/jpeg;image/x-psp;application/postscript;image/png;image/x-icon;image/x-xpixmap;image/x-exr;image/x-webp;image/heif;image/heic;image/svg+xml;application/pdf;image/x-wmf;image/jp2;image/x-xcursor;
/usr/share/applications/x-cinnamon-mimeapps.list:2:application/pdf=evince.desktop;
/usr/share/applications/x-cinnamon-mimeapps.list:9:application/x-ext-pdf=evince.deskto;
/usr/share/applications/libreoffice-draw.desktop:25:MimeType=application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.graphics;application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.graphics-flat-xml;application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.graphics-template;application/vnd.sun.xml.draw;application/vnd.sun.xml.draw.template;application/vnd.visio;application/x-wpg;application/vnd.corel-draw;application/vnd.ms-publisher;image/x-freehand;application/clarisworks;application/x-pagemaker;application/pdf;application/x-stardraw;
/usr/share/applications/libreoffice-draw.desktop:217:Keywords=Vector;Schema;Diagram;Layout;OpenDocument Graphics;Microsoft Publisher;Microsoft Visio;Corel Draw;cdr;odg;svg;pdf;vsd;

That seems to indicate that when you double click on a pdf, it should already launch with evince, but it launches with libreoffice. Any ideas how to fix this?

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+50

If you by double click on a pdf mean opening it from the file manager, than which manager are you using? They can have their own mime-type handling, and for example, in Nautilus you can change it by clicking on the file with the right button, opening properties, selecting Open with tab and setting your application as default.

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  • Omg! I think you did it. Will reboot a bit later and make sure the change was permanent. It was however not that intuitive. Had to go into the "properties" menu upon right click then into the "open with" – cardamom Apr 29 '20 at 13:43

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