I can't find out how to make Firefox open magnet-links in Transmission.

There is no option to make it the standard program for magnet-links in its properties, and as I am not experienced with the filesystem so I can't add it as the standard program in Firefox either.


6 Answers 6


Open up Firefox and its preferences window. Go to the "Applications" tab and you should see "magnet" on the list. Click on "Always ask" and if Transmission does not appear as an option then click on "Use other" and navigate to /usr/bin on your file system. Look for "transmission" or "transmission-gtk" and click that.

Update: Firefox has changed so the above no longer works. Instead, when you click on a magnet link, a "Launch Application" window will appear, from which you can choose to always associate an application (make sure to check the checkbox at the bottom to always use the chosen app). To find the torrent app, choose "file system" on the left side, and then navigate to /usr/bin as described above.

  • 7
    In my case, "magnet" didn't show up in the applications tab, so I had to do this via about:config as explained here Dec 10, 2012 at 23:11
  • 2
    Thanks! If the magnet does not appear in the list of applications click on any magnet link, choose an application, type "/usr/bin/transmission-gtk". Works on Xubuntu 14! Apr 30, 2014 at 14:37
  • Note in transmission the torrent comes up with a question mark, but it still continues to download. Just discovered this as I download Germany demolish Brazil. Jul 12, 2014 at 0:30
  • Unfortunately in recent Firefox there is no "magnet" entry in "Applications". Also "Launch Application" window doesn't appear when the link is clicked.
    – user502144
    Nov 8, 2017 at 18:16
  • 1
    In ubuntu 21.10, try setting firefox > preferences > applications > magnet to "Use System Handler (default)" and see what that does (it obviously depends on the system :-) ). When I tried setting /usr/bin/transmission-gtk as the handler, clicking on magnet links did absolutely nothing. Setting firefox to "use system handler (default)" however did work.
    – michael
    Nov 12, 2021 at 7:59

How to set default apps in Chromium / Chrome / Firefox / Ubuntu Linux

Situation: You hate the default app that opens when you double click a file or when you open it with chromium browser and you want to change it.

  1. In Unity (and probably Gnome 3 Shell), some default apps can be changed through gnome-control-center: System settings > System info > Default applications

  2. You can also right-click on a file > select Properties > Open with. See what applications/programs are listed there. You can also add them and set them as default.

  3. If none of the above work, you can use xdg-utils (xdg-mime) to set a default application for a specific Mime Type

First, you have to figure out what text string to use as a "mime type". An easy way to find it is to look into the default application's desktop file.

Example: Chromium opens magnet links and bittorrent files with transmission-gtk by default. You want to use deluge. The .desktop files are usually in folder /usr/share/applications/. We use the cat command to look into the file /usr/share/applications/transmission-gtk (a line that starts with "MimeType"):

$ grep 'MimeType' /usr/share/applications/transmission-gtk.desktop

Bingo! x-scheme-handler/magnet and application/x-bittorrent are the mime types we're after.

How to use the xdg-mime command? Simple: xdg-mime default myapp.desktop mymimetype

..where we substitute myapp.desktop and mymimetype with the values from above.

Following the example above, we want magnet links and bittorrent files to open with Deluge (deluge-gtk) application. First you have to install the deluge-gtk package (otherwise the .desktop file won't exist). Then you have to execute:

xdg-mime default deluge.desktop x-scheme-handler/magnet
xdg-mime default deluge.desktop application/x-bittorrent
grep -i deluge ~/.local/share/applications/*

The last command (grep) should return "application/x-bittorrent=deluge.desktop" and the other mime type for magnet. Otherwise, something went wrong (maybe the desktop file didn't exist?).

And that's about it! Close and open chromium-browser again (or logout/login).

For the sake of documentation, the files that have to do with mime types and default apps are:


I tried a couple of approaches and the only on that worked for me is described here: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1012864#answer-609391

All you have to do is to open about:config in Firefox, and add boolean value network.protocol-handler.expose.magnet with value false. The next time you click on a magnet link, you'll be prompted to choose your favorite application to open the link.

I'm using Ubuntu 17.10 and Firefox 56

  • has this been deprecated? Useful answer but might need updating. Jan 12 at 7:21

For me, with transmission-daemon the solution was the following (according to this documentation).

  1. Create an executable file /usr/local/bin/magnet with these commands:

    sudo tee /usr/local/bin/magnet >/dev/null <<EOF
    exec transmission-remote -n yourTransmissionUserName:YourTransmissionPassword --add "$1"
    sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/magnet
  2. Then go to Firefox preferences (Alt + E + N) and select it after finding the magnet file type on the Applications tab:

    Firefox preferences


For a solution that worked for me:


"Click on the help menu and select "Restart with Add-ons Disabled" and then select the reset option in the dialog box."

Follow the on-screen prompts. Then restart Firefox.

When you click on a magnet link the usual "Choose a program" type of dialog box appears. Browse for /usr/bin/transmission-gtk

Works in Ubuntu 13.04


If you use Transmission for torrents the only thing you must do is when the window opens and ask you with which program you want that Firefox open magnet links with, you drag & drop the transmission icon from your side bar in the Firefox dialog box and that's all. I have Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr), and it works fine.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .