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Thread: Firefox is not the default browser

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Firefox is not the default browser

    Hello all,

    Despite my efforts, I cannot set Firefox to be my default browser in Ubuntu 10.10.
    It used to be the default until I installed Chromium last year. Since then, Ubuntu Software Center, LibreOffice, EverNote (through Wine) and probably other apps open links in Chromium instead of Firefox.

    I tried several solutions to no avail :
    - System > Preferences > Preferred Applications : Web Browser = Firefox
    I tried with the custom command too : "firefox %s" => still opens Chromium.
    - Firefox internal preferences : firefox = default
    - Chromium internal preferences : chromium is NOT the default
    - stuff like "sudo update-alternatives --config x-www-browser" set to firefox => another fail
    - uninstalling Chromium : that works, Firefox opens all the links. Obviously it is not the desired solution as I want to use Chromium too.
    - in Gnome Configuration Editor, there are no mention of chromium and /desktop/gnome/url-handlers/http/command = firefox %s

    I briefly hoped that I would get a solution from this [SOLVED] thread :
    but the OP finds a magical solution which he cannot describe and thus I cannot use it .

    Anyone having a hint or a suggestion is welcome!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Obscurial Springs
    Ubuntu Budgie Development Release

    Re: Firefox is not the default browser

    When you attempted to reinstall Chrome did you remove all the files as well ? While looking for an answer I read that this needs to be done or the old profile settings just return.

    It looks like you may have tried something similar to this , but I will post a link anyway.
    "Our intention creates our reality. "

    Ubuntu Documentation Search: Popular Pages
    Ubuntu: Security Basics
    Ubuntu: Flavors

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Re: Firefox is not the default browser

    Thanks for your help but none works.

    I removed Chromium and the folder ~/.config/chromium
    As mentioned above, all links open in Firefox at this point.
    Then I reinstalled Chromium and it steals links opening again.

    I checked again the "update-alternatives" and here are the results :

    /usr/bin$ ll gnome-www-browser x-www-browser www-browser chromium-browser abrowser firefox
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root    7 2011-03-25 19:52 abrowser -> firefox*
    -rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 3438 2011-03-24 23:59 chromium-browser*
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root   32 2011-03-25 19:52 firefox -> ../lib/firefox-3.6.16/*
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root   35 2011-02-26 12:44 gnome-www-browser -> /etc/alternatives/gnome-www-browser*
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root   29 2010-10-01 20:22 www-browser -> /etc/alternatives/www-browser*
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root   31 2011-02-26 12:45 x-www-browser -> /etc/alternatives/x-www-browser*
    /usr/bin$ ll /etc/alternatives/gnome-www-browser /etc/alternatives/www-browser /etc/alternatives/x-www-browser
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 16 2011-02-26 12:44 /etc/alternatives/gnome-www-browser -> /usr/bin/firefox*
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 17 2010-10-01 20:22 /etc/alternatives/www-browser -> /usr/bin/lynx.cur*
    lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 16 2011-02-26 12:45 /etc/alternatives/x-www-browser -> /usr/bin/firefox*
    To be more precise, here are the results when opening an http URL from different applications with the hope that it will make any sense for someone :
    - Ubuntu Software Center, LibreOffice Writer, Evernote (wine), Terminal : chromium
    - Thunderbird, Tellico : firefox

    When trying to understand how Terminal open links, I stumbled upon two commands : gnome-open and xdg-open.
    Both open Chromium when I feed them an URL.
    Do you know how they work ?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Re: Firefox is not the default browser

    Alleluiah ! I found the solution !

    Based on this post :, I edited all firefox.desktop files I could find, namely :
    to add the MimeTypes found in chromium-browser.desktop :
    But it failed, even after a restart.

    So I headed back to xdg-open which launches gvfs-open (gnome-open can be used if gvfs-open is not found).
    Based on, I tried
    xdg-mime query default x-scheme-handler/http
    which returned nothing.
    Then I did this to handle http with Firefox :
    xdg-mime default firefox.desktop x-scheme-handler/http
    And tada, it works !
    All links open in Firefox !

    NB : Just for fun, I tried to set Chromium as my Preferred Browser and guess what, all links still open in Firefox... anyway I don't care, it's just that all these settings are overlapping each other in an all too complicated way.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    New York
    Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

    Re: Firefox is not the default browser

    That did the trick! Thanks!


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