I'm trying to set up Conkeror as my default browser. However, in the Preferred Applications menu, this is not an option, nor do I see a method of inputting a custom setting/command.

Does anyone know a way round this?

[Edit: I've tried (1) using sudo update-alternatives --config x-www-browser as well as using gconf-editor to edit /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/http, /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/https, /desktop/gnome/applications/browser/exec. Neither of these seems to work. ]


sudo update-alternatives --config x-www-browser

Result shoud be:

There are 3 choices for the alternative x-www-browser 
(providing /usr/bin/x-www-browser).

  Selection    Path                       Priority   Status
* 0            /usr/bin/xlinks2            69        auto mode
  1            /usr/bin/chromium-browser   40        manual mode
  2            /usr/bin/firefox            40        manual mode
  3            /usr/bin/xlinks2            69        manual mode

Press enter to keep the current choice[*], or type selection number: 

But you will have conkeror too.

Result after choosing 1:

update-alternatives: using /usr/bin/chromium-browser to provide /usr/bin/x-www-browser (x-www-browser) in manual mode.

  • 1
    Yes, tried that before, and conkeror was already set as default. It isn't, however, what shows up in the Dash as the preferred browser. And whatever browser shows up in the Dash as the preferred browser is actually what the system seems to end up using as the preferred browser... – emacsomancer May 29 '11 at 19:27
  • That's not what you asked. Your comment is a bug/regression: bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+bug/775422 and not something AskUbuntu can help with. – Rinzwind May 29 '11 at 20:00
  • @BeSlayed You should update your question with the different things you've tried, that way people can update their answers with new information. – Jorge Castro May 30 '11 at 18:38

On my 10.10, there are a number of gnome configuration key called


which you can change to a point to a different browser. Use gconf-editor to make the changes. I can't say if the same applies to 11.04. What you could try is to search for "firefox" (or whatever is set as your default browser), again in gconf-editor, and change all the relevant entries.

  • Thanks, this definitely allows me to alter the configuration directly. I'm still having trouble getting conkeror in particular to be set as default. I'm not sure why. (I can set it (e.g. conkeror %u) but it just uses another browser instead).) – emacsomancer May 29 '11 at 21:07
  • I have added a third key and more instructions - perhaps more luck now? – loevborg May 30 '11 at 8:09
  • Still no luck. I think it has to do in part with the way that Conkeror is set-up. – emacsomancer May 30 '11 at 18:39

Since I have the same problem and no one mentioned it, I am going to mention setting:

update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/gnome-www-browser  gnome-www-browser conkeror

That is what is used by /usr/bin/sensible-browser, the default in:


Conkeror still doesn't show up in the default applications dialog though.

EDIT: Solved it with this .desktop file:

#!/usr/bin/env xdg-open

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Emacs like Web Browser
GenericName=Web Browser
Exec=conkeror.sh %u

From here:



  • Thanks! This was driving me crazy, and I didn't notice the end of the MimeType line at first, starting with the x-scheme-hander stuff: that was the crucial addition in my case. (Ubuntu 12.10, using openbox as the WM.) – jon Jan 23 '13 at 21:07

Click the off button very right on the panel. The dropdown menu shows system setting, open it and navigate to personal, preferred application.

  • This method takes me to the Preferred Applications menu, just the same as typing in "Preferred Applications" in the Dash does. – emacsomancer May 29 '11 at 19:39

Can you set it in Konqueror? In Google Chrome for example, you can pick to have it as the default web-browser, after which the Dash is automatically updated to reflect this.

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