since some days my Files lens opens only nautilus but not the correct application which is associated with the file extension. For example, if I choose a PDF file, Nautilus is openend, pointing to the directory there the file is (and the file is selected) but Adobe Reader is not opened.

Then I do the same in the terminal with

xdg-open sample.pdf

only Nautilus is opened too.

xdg-mime shows me this info:

$ xdg-mime query default application/pdf

The /usr/share/applications/acroread.desktop file:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Adobe Reader 9
GenericName=PDF Viewer
Caption=PDF Viewer

The same with other file types like images, music files and office documents.

Then I doubleclick the file in Nautilus everything is ok and the correct applications are opened.

I assume this behaviour has something to do with Thunar which I've installed some days ago but deinstalled after these problems.

Any suggestions?


I had the same problem when I installed xfce (my question can be found here).

My problem was solved after uninstalling all xubuntu*, xfdesktop4* and xfce4* packages (and thunar).

Perhaps you should start by typing:

aptitude search xfce xfd xubuntu | grep ^i

in order to see which packages are installed in your system.

Then proceed with their uninstallation.

  • Pavlos, thank you, this is the solution. Awful, that the deinstallation of Thunar don't remove all dependencys, which are installed due of it.
    – che---
    Jul 15 '11 at 16:08
  • Glad to hear that it worked ;) I agree that it's kind of messy though...
    – Pavlos G.
    Jul 15 '11 at 16:28
  • This bug still happens in 12.04. :(
    – NoBugs
    Apr 11 '12 at 22:30
  • I could track it down to the 'exo-utils' package, where I probably have used exo-preferred-applications from once. In ~/.local/share/applications there is the following entry, which appears to cause it, if exo-file-manager is installed: "mimeapps.list:x-scheme-handler/file=exo-file-manager.desktop"
    – blueyed
    Dec 9 '13 at 23:08
  • Ran into this issue on a system that had been originally installed using the xfce-based mythbuntu distro CD. Uninstalling the xfce related packages worked. If it still doesn't work, try manually setting the default browser
    – TrinitronX
    Jan 10 '14 at 4:32

I had the same issue with the files-lens as well as in Chrome browser. I removed all xfce4 related packages and it fixed the issue. Thanks!

This is what I did,

sudo aptitude purge xfce4 desktop-base exo-utils gtk2-engines-xfce libexo-1-0 libexo-common libgarcon-1-0 libgarcon-common libthunarx-2-0 libtumbler-1-0 libxfce4ui-1-0 libxfce4util-bin libxfce4util-common libxfce4util4 libxfconf-0-2 orage tango-icon-theme thunar thunar-data thunar-volman tumbler tumbler-common xfce-keyboard-shortcuts xfce4 xfce4-appfinder xfce4-mixer xfce4-panel xfce4-session xfce4-settings xfce4-utils xfconf xfdesktop4 xfdesktop4-data xfwm4 xfwm4-themes

I found this information here


It is a bug in exo-utils / exo-file-manager.desktop:



This is a bug, but one way of solving (working-around) the problem is to make your own version of xdg-open:

mkdir -p ~/bin
cp /usr/bin/xdg-open ~/bin

You will need to make sure you have ~/bin added to your path. Your ~/.bashrc file should contain something like the following in it (it may already be there):

if [ -d ~/bin ]; then
    export PATH=~/bin:$PATH

Now you need to edit ~/bin/xdg-open and add the following line after the line which only contains the text detectDE in it (around line 525 in my version of the script):


After logging out and back in, documents should open with their associated handlers, instead of with Nautilus.


I solved deleting (or commenting with a #) this line from file ~/.local/share/applications/mimeapps.list:


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