Many answers on Ask Ubuntu direct to links like this that in Xubuntu opened in Ubuntu Software Center. In Lubuntu I get this error message:

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In Firefox-Preferences/Applications cannot see something resembling to apt to associate to a program etc.

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Opening the same link in Chromium or Opera I get:

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Clicking "I'm running Ubuntu" results in an error message like in Firefox.

What's the remedy? Can I install Ubuntu Software Center?

  • use apt://skype for example and install USC - Ubuntu Software Center
    – penreturns
    Sep 3, 2012 at 9:51

5 Answers 5


Point the select application to:


This sould solve the problem.

Don't forget to check "Remember".

  • 1
    Use the command sudo apt install apturl-common to install the apturl tool if not already installed, then reload the apt: page
    – Zac
    Nov 6, 2016 at 15:06
  • I cannot change the apt link association once I clicked "remember", any idea how to undo it??? Mar 27, 2018 at 19:17

All you need to do is install the (Ubuntu) Software Center in Lubuntu.

Open a terminal, and type sudo apt-get install software-center. Then, the first time you click on a APT link in Firefox should give you the below popup, after which such links should open automatically:

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Beside Ubuntu Software Center, a much lighter application (AptUrl) can be used to handle "apt://" protocol/links: see this answer to a related question.

  • well, thnx, i already got that a few sec before. but i have a new question: askubuntu.com/q/183517/47206
    – user47206
    Sep 3, 2012 at 9:10
  • Oops, sorry, didn't notice that since I was already typing :) I'm looking at the other question.
    – ish
    Sep 3, 2012 at 9:17
  • If he is on 12.04, is it not possible to use Lubuntu software-center instead?
    – jokerdino
    Sep 3, 2012 at 10:39
  • LSC does not support the apt handler. (notice there are no MimeType lines in lsc.desktop)
    – ish
    Sep 3, 2012 at 10:42
  • Considering that Ubuntu 13.10 software center doesn't have this functionality anymore by default, I doubt this will work.
    – NoBugs
    Dec 12, 2013 at 4:37

The issue is solved after installing Ubuntu Software Center, which was not installed.

sudo apt-get install software-center

Now, after opening that link in Firefox, it offers the normal option to open that link in Ubuntu Software Center, and to remember that option. Also, following this, apt appears in the list from Firefox' Preferences/Applications:

Preferences/Applications Screenshot


Here is what Firefox support page says about this:

The Applications panel has limited functionality for editing. You can change the action for an existing file type but you cannot add or remove file types. Entries are added automatically when you download files and select actions for them.

However, in your case you can try modifying you ~/.mozilla/firefox/\*\*\*\*.default/mimeTypes.rdf. Here is a link to mine: http://pastebin.com/4HhX6xSE

  • see my question text: In Firefox-Preferences/Applications cannot see something resembling to apt to associate to a program. now i added images. also: Can I install Ubuntu Software Center?. i guess i can, and i'll try to
    – user47206
    Sep 3, 2012 at 8:38
  • up-vote for your responsiveness thnx, but you see i got the simplest way. the problem was simple: Lubuntu doesn't come with Ubuntu Software Center
    – user47206
    Sep 3, 2012 at 9:02

I solved this issue in lubuntu 14.04 by opening the link using the path /usr/bin/apturl I changed it in my firefox preferences for future use.

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