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My trusted friend gnome-open (which I call go for short) has ceased working. It interprets any argument given to it as a directory and will not recognize anything else.

I have traced out the somewhat indirect path connecting the gnome menu system which in turn relies upon the XDG subsystem which requires /etc/gnome/defaults.list, /usr/share/application/mimeinfo.cache which itself is generated by update-mime-database(1) which requires that $XDG_CONFIG_DIRS and $XDG_DATA_DIRS be set properly.

Everything seems in order and yet mime-type recognition is not working. This would be tolerable from the shell (because I usually know the mime-type of the file I want to open), but applications like Chrome cannot launch anything properly.

I'm sure I've missed something, and this is on a machine under daily desktop use that was recently updated to Natty Beta 1 (and is current to the repos as of one hour ago). I don't know that the gnome-open failure was caused by the upgrade or followed it during some package installation.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

This seems to be a bug. I've searched launchpad and found a similar report for unity dash

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/unity-place-files/+bug/751374

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Yeppers, that was it. Fortunately, my aged boot disk started reporting imminent failure shortly after posting the question. So a new drive and new installation cleared the problem. Not that I'm suggesting that is the workaround... –  msw Apr 11 '11 at 14:56

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