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Thread: Ubuntu 11.10 Open File with other "Custom" Application

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Ubuntu 11.10 Open File with other "Custom" Application

    OK, so whoever decided to remove the feature to use any application to open a file was a bonehead.

    I have a text file called ocean.ocn that I want to open with nedit.....this was easily changed until now. I can't seem to find an easy way to do this, any suggestions?

    I feel like I need to vent my frustration with ubuntu 11.10, making what used to be an easy task complicated. I have already had to spend several hours to get my computer back to where it was. If it wasn't for evolution supporting exchange sever 2010 I never would use this version. Am I the only one that thinks Maverick was awesome and simply improving the applications inside it was all that was needed?

    Last edited by cookacounty; October 17th, 2011 at 03:31 PM. Reason: typo

  2. #2

    Re: Ubuntu 11.10 Open File with other "Custom" Application

    fairly easy - nedit's .desktop is missing something to allow it to be shown in the r. click context menu

    gksudo gedit /usr/share/applications/nedit.desktop
    find the Exec= line & add a %f to end, leave a space between nedit & %f - ignore the untitled document 1 that also opens - close it without saving, do save the nedit.desktop
    [Desktop Entry]
    Exec=nedit %f
    GenericName=Text editor
    GenericName[en]=Text editor
    GenericName[nl]=Tekst verwerker
    Then you'll find it by right clicking on your file > open with > other applications
    After that it will be shown directly in the r. click menu

    If you wish to set nedit as default for all text files then use the right click > Properties > open with instead
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Padova, Italy
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Ubuntu 11.10 Open File with other "Custom" Application

    I have the same problem (on ubuntu 11.10 with XFCE) I appended %f to the exec line in the .desktop related file and that does not work. (not even after rebooting).
    And in the "open with another application" window beside the "Show other applications" button there is only a "find applications online" option (and not a button for manual search among the applications installed in the system (as there was in older versions of ubuntu).
    What can I do?


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Re: Ubuntu 11.10 Open File with other "Custom" Application

    [QUOTE=mc4man;11357219]fairly easy - nedit's .desktop is missing something to allow it to be shown in the r. click context menu

    gksudo gedit /usr/share/applications/nedit.desktop
    find the Exec= line & add a %f to end, leave a space between nedit & %f - ignore the untitled document 1 that also opens - close it without saving, do save the nedit.desktop...

    Well, I ran into the same problem, but with DOSBOX.
    I have an old special CAD software that runs on DOS, and until 11.10 I have just ticked DOSBOX in the "open with" dialog.
    I installed DOSBox and I can open the DOS window without problem, so the program works. But it doesn´t show up in the Openwith-list or Other programs-list.
    I opened the dosbox settings in usr/share/applications the way you suggest, but then the dosbox file is... totally empty! No line to add the %f to.
    So, please, is there anyone who can help me put DOSBOX in the "open with" or/and "other programs" list?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Re: Ubuntu 11.10 Open File with other "Custom" Application

    Sorry, I was too quick...
    I didn´t write dosbox.desktop...
    When I did the code was there, I added the %f and saved the file.
    And now IT WORKS!!!

    But I still consider this a bug. If I install a program, I probably want to use it... And if I like it, I probably want it to automatically open the corresponding files i click on. So... why are Gimp, reader, K3b and a lot of other programs automatically added to the list, but not DOSBox?
    It was installed in exactly the same manner (using the Ubuntu sofware center). It is an annoying inconsistency that was not there before 11.10. Hope the Ubuntu team fixes this.
    However... Thanks again for your help!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Angry Re: Ubuntu 11.10 Open File with other "Custom" Application

    I agree that this is an annoying change/lack.

    I liked that in the older versions you could choose your application with a command line box that includes browsing to the application.

    THANKS for the directions on editing the /usr/share/applications desktop files. At least this is one way to get them to show up in the list of applications. It worked like magic. Great tip.

    Now I can manually make sure the applications I need, do show up in the list.

    I'd suggest trying to see if there is a dosbox.desktop file in the directory /usr/share/applications. If you see the format of the others you might be able to make a template for dosbox, that is if there isn't something already there.

    1. cd to the directory /usr/share/applications
    2. use 'grep -i dosbox *' this will search for the name dosbox ignoring case.
    3. if it's not there make one from one of the smaller ones.
    4. I used sol.destop and copied it to my own fake app to test.
    5. Don't forget the %f, this shows that the application can be passed a file name, it has to be there to show up in the list.

    sudo cp sol.desktop fake.destop
    gksudo gedit fake.desktop

    [Desktop Entry]
    Name=Fake Application Test
    Comment=Do some fake stuff
    Exec=/bin/bash %f
    This worked for me. Fake application with the sol icon showed up in the list of applications.

    I set the Terminal=true here so I'd see some results. /bin/bash needs to be replaced with the real dosbox executable, and Terminal=false would probably be the choice.

    You'll have to find the icon you want.
    Last edited by gtgrover; November 4th, 2011 at 04:34 PM. Reason: More answers

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Re: Ubuntu 11.10 Open File with other "Custom" Application

    Waw, great job.... Something that was pretty fast to do now takes a lot of time and gets more complicated. That is exactly the way OS's should evolve....

    Sorry, but I am really not able to see the reason behind this kind of changes.... Many times I have the feeling that we are moving backwards. Can it be that some designers/developers are trying to make open source world "explode" from the inside?

    And for those who might defend this partial solutions, I may tell you that for a long time I had a very old computer that could not run hd videos, and the only way I could play my flipcam made videos (from a user friendly interface) was using a custom execution command that would open mplayer with lots of options like frameskipping and more

    I have the feeling of loosing freedom where I think I should have exactly the opposite one.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Re: Ubuntu 11.10 Open File with other "Custom" Application

    I'm with you Aaron. Whoever removed the ability to manually enter the "open with" application should be sent to purgatory at Microsoft.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Re: Ubuntu 11.10 Open File with other "Custom" Application

    I totally agree, snecci. I used to hawk Ubuntu to Linux wannabe-newbies because it is so easy to transition to. But when someone comes back to me with an issue like this, and I have to open a command line and perform (what appears to them to be) a foreign program language, I see their eyes glaze over with "Dear God What Have I Done!" and conversion back to Windows or OSX may not be far behind.

    What a shame. What a stupid ridiculous shame. Especially since this post started in 2011 and it is now 2013 and this is still the case. Nothing has reverted.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    The Netherlands
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Ubuntu 11.10 Open File with other "Custom" Application

    The annoying simplification that @cmcanulty mentions makes Ubuntu more and more not unlike the OSX that @vcell mentions and the (former) OSX users love. Canonical is not crazy. For every tech-savvy user that they **** off, they gain 10 new 'dumb' users.

    Also, although you have to do abacadabra in the command line, know that most fixable problems, however small infuriating, are unfixable on OSX by the average OSX user. They have to go back to a service point, complain to the developers, or just deal with it.

    Furthermore, Ubuntu has been more like a smart-tv since about 12.04 and nobody likes those smart-tv-menus. So if you want to recommend anything to friends who are new to Linux, give them Linux Mint Cinnamon edition.

    Linux Mint is Ubuntu "what it should be". All stupid decisions (more and more) are rolled back. No 'political' decisions to hold certain packages back. And Cinnamon is a Gnome-Shell fork "what it should be". Modern, yet normal. No crazy shell or silly unity.
    Windows 7 for Media Production, Ubuntu 12.04/Cinnamon for other work.
    Xubuntu 12.04 as Media Center, CentOS 5.6 as server.
    Linux Mint on my casual laptop, Maemo 5 on my Nokia N900.

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