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I'd like to set Google Chrome as the default application for opening files on Ubuntu. How can I change the default file manager to Chrome, instead of Nautilus (which I believe is the default file browser?)

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You have to edit the mime-types. Open /usr/share/applications/defaults.list search for directory.

Change the value nautilus.desktop to google-chrome.desktop

But Chrome wont provide you the rich features provided by Nautilus.

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Which features does Nautilus have that Chrome doesn't have? – Anderson Green Oct 13 '12 at 21:13
That's worth for another question, @AndersonGreen. Nevertheless your question would be closed. Anyway, Google Chrome is intended as a web browser, a File Browser must offer different features. I wonder how do you delete a file without going to the trash can in Google Chrome. If you have such answer please let me know. I may be encouraged to do this brilliant change in my system. (BTW: Shift-Del in Nautilus deletes a file without reaching the trash can) – Geppettvs D'Constanzo Oct 13 '12 at 22:38
@GeppettvsD'Constanzo Why would the question be closed? Is it because such a question would be too narrow/esoteric to be of any practical use? – Anderson Green Oct 14 '12 at 1:14
"too localized" means something like: "This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, see the FAQ.", that's why I mentioned it WOULD be closed. However, I would try to answer your new question. :) Good luck! – Geppettvs D'Constanzo Oct 14 '12 at 2:07

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