In earlier versions of Ubuntu (10.10-) there was an option in the "open with" tab in the properties window, to add a custom command to open a file. However, this is no longer the case in Ubuntu 11.10. Is there any way that I can add these file type associations with a command of my choice rather than the applications detected by the system.
As aneeshep's answer explains, the key is creating an appropriate
.desktop "launcher". But there's a simpler way than doing it by hand; in many cases, you may not even need to edit the
Solution: Use Ubuntu Tweak
- Ubuntu Tweak is a utility, which among other things, allows you to associate file types to be opened with a custom command. Behind the scenes, it creates a
.desktopfile which you can edit further for your needs, e.g. if you are using a command-line editor or program to open, etc.
In this how-to, we look at how to set up Nautilus to open
.php files in the free Komodo Edit GUI text editor, which comes with a shell-installer that installs it in your home directory by default; the program/command is then
1. Install Ubuntu Tweak
Add its PPA, update and install Ubuntu Tweak from the terminal with:
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:tualatrix/ppa sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak
Update: Check this question for updated instructions for newer Ubuntu releases
2. Find the MIME description for your file extension
- Before using Ubuntu Tweak, we need to find the MIME description for the file extension we're interested in.
Open Nautilus, find one of the files we want (here,
.php), right-click on it and click on Properties:
In the Properties window which comes up, note the text shown just after Type:; that's the MIME description we're looking for (here, "PHP Script"):
3. Add a custom program to open your filetype
Start Ubuntu Tweak from the Dash, and click on the Admins tab on top; then click on the File Type Manager entry on the bottom:
After the File Type Manager opens, click on All in the left sidebar, and uncheck the Only show filetypes... box at the bottom:
Select any filetype on the right side, and begin typing the first few letters of the MIME description from Step 2 to automatically search and select your filetype:
Double-click on your filetype, which is now selected, to edit its associated commands.
- Click on Add, and in the Add Application window, expand the Custom Command option on the bottom
- Type the command/program you want or use the Browse button to navigate to it and select it; here we have selected the Komodo-Edit editor from my home folder:
- Click on Add, so the new command is now the default, and then click Close:
PHP files will now open in Komodo by default, as seen in the Properties below; press the Reset button to go back to the default for that filetype:
There is a workaround for this issue. as an example i am adding sublime(an ide) to the list.
1). Open a terminal and run this command:
cp /usr/share/applications/gedit.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/sublime.desktop
2). Edit the new file and make necessary changes
vim ~/.local/share/applications/sublime.desktop [Desktop Entry] Name=sublime2 GenericName=Sublime2 - IDE Comment=Edit text files Exec=/home/aneesh/Sublime2/sublime_text %U Terminal=false Type=Application StartupNotify=true MimeType=text/plain; Icon=/home/aneesh/Sublime2/sublime.jpeg Categories=GNOME;GTK;Utility;TextEditor; X-GNOME-DocPath=gedit/gedit.xml X-GNOME-FullName=Sublime2 X-GNOME-Bugzilla-Bugzilla=GNOME X-GNOME-Bugzilla-Product=gedit X-GNOME-Bugzilla-Component=general X-GNOME-Bugzilla-Version=3.2.0 X-GNOME-Bugzilla-ExtraInfoScript=/usr/share/gedit/gedit-bugreport X-Ubuntu-Gettext-Domain=gedit
Please note that you might end up with duplicate launchers in your dash with this method. To prevent this you can add
NoDisplay=true to your newly created launcher.
Save the file . That's it, done.
The trick is to add " %U" in Exec command of the .desktop file. Then the program will appear in available programs list to open a file with. You can create/edit desktop files easily with alacarte. Type "alacarte" in terminal to run it, or if it is not installed you will get notified about this and asked to install it first.
This may do it. Try Ubuntu Tweak's file type manager.
Go to the 'admins' section, open the File Type Manager, Select 'All' file types, find and select your file type in the long list, choose edit, choose the Add button, click on the 'custom command' twisty at the bottom and type the custom command you need it to use to open the file the way you desire.
For 11.10 and newer:
You open nautilus, right-click on your file, select properties. In the properties window, there is a "Open With" tab. Go there, choose your application from one of:
- Default Application
- Recommended Applications
- click on "Show other applications", then select one of the "Other Applications"
- to make it the default program, click on the "Set as default" button or
- to add the program to the "Open With" list, click on the "Add" button.
Another way of modifying file type associations is through the
mimeapps.list file found in
~/.local/share/applications. The advantage of this method is that a.) it doesn't depend on third-party applications b.) you don't have to modify existing system files.
Here's how to add an association or edit an existing one:
1. Finding the right
Make sure the program you want to use has a
.desktop launcher associated with it. Look through
/usr/share/applications to find the correlating
.desktop file for your program, e.g.
mplayer.desktop. If there is no
.desktop file for your application, you can easily create one following the instructions provided in this answer.
2. Identifying the mimetype
Using nautilus right click on a sample file, head to properties and copy the mimetype listed under
mimeapps.list in gedit
Search for the mimetype you copied above. If it exists, append your
.desktop file to the list of associated programs, e.g.:
If your mimetype wasn't included in the first place, add it as a new line and, again, append your
At the top of this add a heading with
[Added Associations] if it isn't there already. So, for an empty file which is just created, it will looks like
[Added Associations] audio/mpeg=mplayer.desktop;
That's it, your application should now appear in the "Open with" dialog.