Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. 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 am using Ubuntu 12.04 64 bit, Firefox 16.0.01.

Whenever I try to open a webpage in a browser from within any application, the browser opens but nothing gets loaded.

For eg: From DropBox if I click Launch DropBox Website, Firefox opens but all I get is the Firefox Home Page.

How can I solve this problem?

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

After experimenting for some time, I finally figured out the problem.

Ubuntu somehow does not use the gconf key for handling URLs, but rather uses the Exec entry in the firefox.desktop file.

So change the Exec entry in your firefox.desktop to firefox %u.

share|improve this answer

Open the terminal and execute these commands:

gconftool-2 --set /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/http/command --type string 'firefox %u'
gconftool-2 --set /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/https/command --type string 'firefox %u'

This command tells your file-manager to open links using firefox. %u basically stands for the url to be opened. You can read more about it here.

share|improve this answer
I tried out your suggestion, but am still faced with the same problem. – Hashken Oct 17 '12 at 18:38
Type "firefox" in termianl. Does it open the google page?Also I have modified my answer, please have a look at it first. – ignite Oct 17 '12 at 18:50
I've figured out a way to solve the problem. Check out my answer. Thanks a lot for your time. – Hashken Oct 17 '12 at 19:01

Firefox updates as of late seem broken in Ubuntu. not sure if its a Mozilla issue or a Ubuntu issue. my guess if Mozilla, given the frequency of there updates.

recommended solution? reinstall Firefox completely. open a terminal and type:

sudo apt-get purge firefox firefox-globalmenu firefox-gnome-support

then type:

sudo apt-get install firefox firefox-globalmenu firefox-gnome-support

these 2 commands will wipe out Firefox, then reinstall it to the latest version. it resolved a lot of issues I had.

share|improve this answer
apt-get install --reinstall firefox ...? – Marco Scannadinari Oct 17 '12 at 17:47
that will work, but purging guarantees a complete wipe of any configurations. – jmartin2279 Oct 17 '12 at 17:50
Oh, ok. Cool___ – Marco Scannadinari Oct 17 '12 at 17:51

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.