Trying to open any file in the XFE file manager, I have to associate the program to its file format, such as PDF format have to inform the evince program, as shown below. I wonder if there is a simpler way to associate all file extensions with their respective programs by XFE.

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2 Answers 2


Try using xdg-open (its full path is /usr/bin/xdg-open and it should be installed by default; no need to install it manually).

xdg-open is a program that "opens a file or URL in the user's preferred application. If a URL is provided the URL will be opened in the user's preferred web browser. If a file is provided the file will be opened in the preferred application for files of that type."

You can find more information at http://www.ubuntugeek.com/xdg-open-%E2%80%94-opens-a-file-or-url-in-the-users-preferred-application.html or by running man xdg-open.

  • Hello @Nick Weinberg, thank you so much for the information! I am Ubuntu novice user, you would know tell me how to use the XFE file manager with xdg-open? Jul 17, 2016 at 0:17
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    In the window in your screenshot, that says "open selected files with..." type xdg-open into the box, and make sure the "associate" checkbox is selected. It should open the file with the correct program (a PDF will open with evince, a URL will open with Firefox, a .odt file will open with LibreOffice, etc). Now, the next time you try to open a file of that type in XFE, it will open it automatically without asking. You will have to do this for each file type (but you can use xdg-open for all of them) Jul 17, 2016 at 0:22
  • I found another problem when you click a picture, to take the test with xdg-open and the image is automatically opened with the gimp program, but I did not want to open it with the gimp, but with the default image viewer of Ubuntu, you could tell me how to do in this case? Jul 17, 2016 at 0:28
  • You'll have to right-click on the image in XFE, choose "Open with.." and type the name of the program manually (eog for Eye of GNOME image viewer or shotwell for Shotwell photo program). If you choose the "associate" checkbox, the next time you open that type of image from XFE, it will automatically open it with the same program. You will need to do the "Open with..." step for each image type. Jul 17, 2016 at 2:38

The default PDF viewer in Ubuntu is Evince. This is located in /usr/bin. So go there and select evince. Then XFE will open PDF files as normal.

  • Hello @luchonacho, thank you so much! It really works, but I associate all programs to their respective file formats? Is there any other simpler way to do this? Jul 16, 2016 at 19:14
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    I'm sorry, I don't understand the question. Can you please elaborate? In the original question, you asked only for PDFs. If you need something else, you could edit the question. Do you want XFE to associate programs for all extensions?
    – user308164
    Jul 16, 2016 at 20:37

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