I'm using xubuntu "precise".

I have set up my preferred applications (Settings/Preferred-Applications or $ exo-preferred-applications):

  • web browser: chromium
  • mail reader: thunderbird
  • file manager: thunar
  • terminal emulator: xfce4-terminal

However, some programs have their own ideas:

  • clicking the terminal icon in the xfce panel opens xfce4-terminal but Thunar's "open terminal here" opens NextStep terminal.
  • clicking a link in thunderbird or the terminal opens it in chromium, clicking a link in a PDF in evince fails with "Failed to execute child process "/opt/google/chrome/google-chrome" (No such file or directory)". Clicking a link in OpenOffice opens firefox whereas alpine prefers to open links in epiphany.
  • "Open containing folder" in evince fails with "Failed to execute default file manager - Failed to execute child process "/usr/bin/Thunar" (Permission denied)." (Doubly odd as said application exists and runs fine on the command line.) Other programs prefer to launch nautilus instead.

What settings to I have to set so that every application that needs a browser/terminal/file manager uses the correct one? Getting evince to open hyperlinks correctly and Thunar my xfce terminal are my priorities, everything else would be nice.


You may have to change "desktop specific" applications (e.g. Nautilus to Gnome, Dolphin to KDE, ...) via the desktop specific control applications.

So for Gnome use gnome-control-center and for KDE systemsettings and set the default applications.

  • Ok, after setting chromium as default in gnome-control-center, ckicling a link in evince fails with /usr/lib/chromium-browser/chromium-browser-sandbox: error while loading shared libraries: libpthread.so.0: failed to map segment from shared object: Permission denied. Chromium is installed and works fine. – user79163 Jun 13 '13 at 10:27
  • There is some bug: bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/apparmor/+bug/964510 – Manuel Jun 13 '13 at 10:38
  • Another note on gnome-control-center: for some reason, when an XFCE session is running, most options in the center don't appear for me. I had to log out and in again with a "GNOME session" to get the settings button to appear in the control center. There doesn't seem to be an option to set the default terminal there though? – user79163 Jun 14 '13 at 11:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy