I installed Ubuntu16.04, and set firefox as default browser, whenever I open links from external apps these are open as blank tabs in new browser window (no actual redirection to site, just a blank tab).

  • Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! Could you please add a little more detail? What are some example applications that exhibit this behaviour when opening URLs in the (default) web browser? What happens when you run the command firefox https://askubuntu.com/ in a terminal? Please edit your post to add information instead of posting a comment. (see How do I ask a good question?) – David Foerster Jul 3 '18 at 10:57
  • @DavidFoerster I have the same problem for years... When I run firefox URL it works as expected (i.e. opens FF on the expected tab, or adds a new tab to the current FF window if it was already open). Any external app shows the same behaviour (from Thunderbird, Evince, Eclipse, ...). Can it be some Ubuntu "default application" settings? – Matthieu Jul 13 '18 at 11:40
  • @DavidFoerster nevermind, I just got it :) I guess your subconcious sent good vibes to mine ;) – Matthieu Jul 13 '18 at 11:57
  • 2
    Possible duplicate of Link clicked not passed to firefox – Matthieu Jul 13 '18 at 12:04
  • 1
    @Matthieu: What helped was probably the same process as in rubber duck debugging. :-] – David Foerster Jul 13 '18 at 14:02

I've had the same problem for years and was finally able to solve it thanks to this strange new fashion of creating YouTube videos instead of writing a blog post (here is the original video).

Basically, you need to add a missing %u parameter in ~/.local/share/applications/firefox.desktop at the end of each Exec= line:

$ grep -B 2 ^Exec= ~/.local/share/applications/firefox.desktop
Exec=firefox %u
Name=Open a New Window
Exec=firefox -new-window %u
Name=Open a New Private Window
Exec=firefox -private-window %u

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