How to open files without default application using xdg-open file_name? xdg-open file_name opens the file in default application. To play video files, it always opens with vlc which is set to default. If I want to open with media player, what will be the xdg-open code?

  • Just a side note, since it's already been answered that xdg-open will only open the default application for the file type. Check out manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/cosmic/man1/xdg-open.1.html especially the links to xdg-mime and xdg-settings for info on how to list the default types and change them from the command line.
    – SudoSURoot
    Jul 4, 2018 at 5:47

1 Answer 1


If you want to open a file with a specific application, use that application's command directly instead of xdg-open. xdg-open's purpose is to open the file with the associated application.

For example, with the default media player, Totem, the command is totem, so you'd do:

totem path/to/file.avi

If you want to use mplayer, do:

mplayer path/to/file.avi

and so on.

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