Is it possible to reinstall the default browser on ubuntu-touch?

Although I did not uninstall the browser, it seems it somehow disappeared. When trying to start the browser, it seems the app will start, but shortly after the newly opened window just closes. I also cannot find the browser any more in the installed programs.

I don't use the browser very often and found an alternative in the Ubuntu-Store, but trying to open links in web apps would start the default browser, which does not work any more.

Any help is welcome.

Note: I don't think this is important, but I am using ubuntu-touch on a bq aquaris 4.5 phone.

PS: Result of troubleshooting as per Velkans suggestions (promts are omitted as I write this by hand).

dpkg --verify webbrowser-app
??5??????   /usr/share/lintian/overrides/webbrowser-app

I deleted the contents of /home/phablet/.local/share/webbrowser-app/ to no avail.

webbrowser-app --desktop_file_hint=/usr/share/applications/webbrowser-app.desktop

rebooted my device, the first time, returned nothing the second (it just gave me the promt as if the command had exited successfully) and rebooted the device the third time (after a short lag). No error messages are shown, I don't know where to search for log files.


The original problem could have been a corrupt QML cache, which presents the symptom described where the app doesn't start but the window may appear briefly. To remedy that remove the cache, for example:

rm -r .cache/QML/Apps/webbrowser-app/

then start the app.

The same applies for any app that doesn't start, just delete the cache folder for that app.

Note that an update for the app will also trigger recreating the cache.


It's not installed as a click package. It's a *.deb package, so it's inside the 'OS image' and not updated separately.

To check the integrity of this package run dpkg --verify webbrowser-app in the terminal (it should only complain about /usr/share/lintian/overrides/webbrowser-app). The OS image is read only after the install, so it's very unlikely that the problem is there.

Other location to check is /home/phablet/.local/share/webbrowser-app/ - the directory with settings and cache. Move it to some other place and launch the browser, that will reset something.

If it doesn't help, try to launch the webbrowser-app from terminal:

webbrowser-app --desktop_file_hint=/usr/share/applications/webbrowser-app.desktop

And read the error logs.

  • Thanks for the hints, I updated my question with the results. Where are the error logs? I expected to get an error message with the last command, but it restarted my phablet. – Bruni Nov 9 '15 at 19:34
  • @Bruni, I've seen that already. It's not going to work from the terminal-app directly because the launch of the browser sends to sleep the terminal-app too early and something deadlocks. Possible workaround is to enable SSH and do ssh localhost in the terminal-app before other commands (that way it'll all pass through the SSH daemon that is free from the stop/sleep behavior). – Velkan Nov 9 '15 at 20:23
  • +1 for the instructions on how to launch per terminal...I did not manage to launch via SSH, but since the OTA update today, stock browser is working again. – Bruni Nov 20 '15 at 12:17

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