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Where can I set the default programs/applications on Ubuntu 11.10 in order to set VLC as the default video player (and not manually associate each file format with VLC)?

I'm on GNOME Shell.

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Open up System Settings by searching for it in the Activities view, then go to "System Info" (in the bottom row).

Here you can select Default Applications and pick your favourites.

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+1. Not a really intuitive place to find for such a setting though... – Scorchio Dec 3 '12 at 11:39

Unfortunately you can't change the standard for opening pdfs there.

For that you can right click on a pdf file, choose 'Properties -> Open With', and then 'Make default' (someting like that, I use other than english lang ;)).

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Find System Info in Unity Menu by search (It is really in system settings)

Then choose Default Applications

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The asker said they are using GNOME Shell, not Unity. Still, same general idea. – Christopher Kyle Horton Oct 20 '11 at 15:08
  1. Go to System Settings on the left-hand-side toolbar.
  2. Press System Information
  3. You will see " default programs" on the left hand side in the window.
  4. Press on it and and change default programs.
  5. Close the window.
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The asker said they are using GNOME Shell, but that is the application they are looking for. – Christopher Kyle Horton Oct 20 '11 at 15:07

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