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In Ubuntu, is there any way to obtain a list of file associations for applications that haven't yet been installed? I'd like to find the files that a not-yet-installed software application (e.g. google-chrome or firefox) can open.

I currently don't know of any feature in the Ubuntu Software Center (or another application) that can list the filetypes associated with a specific application - does such a feature exist?

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The file associations for installed applications can be found in usr/share/applications, but I don't yet know how to find the file associations for applications that aren't yet installed. – Anderson Green Nov 30 '12 at 20:25
You can just modify your original question at… – Goddard Nov 30 '12 at 20:29
@Goddard These are really two separate questions - this one is asking whether it's possible to obtain a list of file types for a specific application, while the other is asking how to obtain a list of applications for a specific file type. – Anderson Green Nov 30 '12 at 20:36
1 might help. – Mateo Nov 30 '12 at 20:47
up vote 4 down vote accepted

PackageKit allows you to search for applications by mime-type. Sadly, the Ubuntu devs haven't put much effort into integrating PackageKit with Ubuntu by default, but it still works surprisingly well.

First, make sure you've installed the graphical toolkit for PackageKit, gnome-packagekit-tools Install gnome-packagekit-tools.

Then, run gpk-install-mime-type on the command line, followed by a mime-type. For example:

gpk-install-mime-type text/plain


First gpk-install-mime-type confirmation dialog

Dialog listing applicable packages

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Is there a command-line interface for packagekit? I want to find out how to obtain a list of applications associated with a specific mime type. – Anderson Green Nov 30 '12 at 21:10
There is a program called pkcon for this specific purpose: – Anderson Green Nov 30 '12 at 21:17
If you can figure out how to use it for this purpose, please edit my answer or add your own. – Flimm Nov 30 '12 at 21:27

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