While trying to make vim default instead of gedit, I found this could be done two ways:

Use defaults.list and make text/plain (and others) point to vim.desktop (what is the format for creating .desktop files?)

Use update-alternatives and change gnome-text-editor (right now it has only one alternative, so I guess I have to install one more. How to do that?)

and which is the better way to do it?


2 Answers 2


OP fixed the problem here:

Ok, I have created vim.desktop in ~/.local/share/applications and modified defaults.list (in the same dir) to include


After that, sudo update-mime and its working! (I am not sure whether this step is require)

Clicking on a text file opens vim, not gvim, in terminal and :q closes the terminal too.


For a graphical environment I use something like this:

Open Nautilus-RightClick on desired File-Properties-Open with...-Select

Then point to a simple wrapper, e.g.

gnome-terminal.wrapper -e vim $*

It's not a global solution, though.

  • 1
    @N 1.1: Would be nice to leave a comment to explain the reason for downvoting. Or better comment before downvoting to give a chance to improve the answer. Maybe I misunderstood your question, but it works for me.
    – Clausi
    Apr 8, 2011 at 8:06
  • I agree with you but in fairness the -1 could have come from anybody with enough reputation. Not neccessarily N 1.1
    – Oli
    Apr 11, 2011 at 13:22

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