After running sudo update-mime-database /usr/share/mime my gnome doesn't recognize any file types anymore. In Nautilus all files are now text/plain type and all now open with gedit by default. Gnome-commander does the same.

I guess that it's not that file associations are broken but rather file type recognition problem.

Tried to (not in that order):

  • rerun update-mime-database several times
  • reinstal package gnome-mime-data
  • delete ~/.local/share/applications/*
  • logout and login many times
  • reboot

Nothing helped so far.

My system:

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx)
Gnome 2.30.2


I had a similar problem and I solved it reinstalling the shared-mime-info package with

sudo apt-get install --reinstall shared-mime-info

Try to use assoGiate program - a file types editor. To install it from Terminal, use next command:

sudo apt-get install assogiate


  • Done that already. File types database is in place and seems to be correct. – Andrew May 9 '13 at 18:32
  • Some additional details. $ file --mime-type -k 144408743.jpg 144408743.jpg: image/jpeg $ xdg-mime query filetype 144408743.jpg application/octet-stream $ mimetype --all --debug 144408743.jpg > Data dirs are: /home/alomaka/.local/share, /usr/share/gnome, /usr/local/share, /usr/share > Checking inode type > Checking globs for basename '144408743.jpg' > Checking for extension '.jpg' > Checking all magic rules > File exists, trying default method > First 10 bytes of the file contain control chars 144408743.jpg: application/octet-stream $ – Andrew May 9 '13 at 18:42
  • It looks like my GNOME doesn't look at system-wide file types database. Only in my personal ~/.local/share/mime. – Andrew May 9 '13 at 18:44

Running update-mime-database as root removes 'other' access from some mime database files. Running

chmod -R o+r /usr/share/mime

afterwards will fix this up.

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