Ubuntu Linux File Associations

After trying different Music/Media Players in Ubuntu Linux, I decided that my favorite one is Amarok. It has a lot of good functional features for music fanatics like me (over 7000 MP3s) that need good collection management. Its Collection/Library works similar to Winamp’s Media Library, although some improvements can be made to it (that’s another post).

My problem was that if I was browsing my MP3 files and decided to start playing a song from a Nautilus window by double-clicking the file, it would open in Xine. No thanks, that’s not what I want! The file association wasn’t what I wanted. Thinking that I could simply access File Association settings like in Windows, I set out to find these settings. Of course, there wasn’t anything similar to this.

This plagued me for a couple of weeks and in the back of my mind, I knew it would be the simplest stupid setting somewhere that I just couldn’t find. So I set out to find the answer…

Although, in this post, I’m specifically talking about MP3/OGG files, these steps should work with any file-type and any application that can open those file-types.

I knew that I could simply right-click on a file, point to Open With and select an application from the list.

Ubuntu Nautilus Open With Context Menu

Amarok wouldn’t show in that list! Once I selected “Open with Other Application…” and selected Amarok, it then showed in the list of Open with applications.

So every time I wanted to open an MP3/OGG file, I would have to right-click, point to Open with and select Amarok.

That’s still not good enough. I need to double-click only!

After reading a certain post on the Ubuntu Forums, the answer was so obvious, I literally slapped my forehead!

  1. Right-click on a file of the type you wish to set a default application to open it with
  2. Select Properties
  3. Select the Open With tab (all makes sense, now, doesn’t it??)
  4. Select the application you want associated with that file-type
  5. Click OK

Wow… that was easy! Double-click the file to see if it opens in your application. Funny thing is, I saw that tab before and used it for another file-type and for some reason, I thought that it would set the default for that file only! Doh! I didn’t notice the message at the top of that tab:

Ubuntu Nautilus File Properties Open With Tab

Who knew it was that easy??? Stupid @#$*$%&@#!!!



93 responses to “Ubuntu Linux File Associations”

  1. Matt says :

    Thanks a lot! I was really frustrated, but I’m happy the solution was so easy!

  2. Anonymous says :

    That’s a ‘doh’ from me too

  3. Michael says :

    Thanks for this, I was about to get my balls licked when I stumbled upon this.

  4. Anonymous says :

    But the doh for Linux developers is “why when you right click – choose “open with” choose “other application”, choose the one you want and then check the “Remember this application” box it doesn’t change the association?” Windows can get this right

  5. Anonymous says :

    Many thanks for posting this little nugget of insight.

  6. sdf says :

    Now how do you do the same thing in terminal..

  7. Y78930981764 says :

    Thanks.. Once I read your directions I remember figuring this out before in Ubuntu :\

  8. Klaus says :

    As though this hasn’t been done a million times already… quit dumbing ubuntu down.

  9. jwbales says :

    Unfortunately, if Amarok had not been on the list of applications supplied by the Open with tab, you would be SOL.

    I have been editing my LaTeX files using Kile but want to switch to TeXMaker. Unfortunately, TeXMaker is not on the list of ‘other applications’ and there is no option on the “Open with” tab to select an application not on the supplied list, nor is there an option to add an application to the supplied list. I know that this was possible to do in the past. Evidently it was decided to remove this ability in Ubuntu 11.10. Or perhaps this is now done in some different, non-obvious way.

  10. jwbales says :

    The problem seems to be with my installation. I am using the Classical Gnome with Ubuntu 11.10 and had to add gnome-panel. When right-clicking on a tex file and selecting Properties>OpenWith the Add button it present, but it is grayed-out and non-functional. So evidently Nautilus is missing something which will make the Add button available. But what?

    It is irritating to have to right-click and select TeXMaker from the context menu every time I want to open a LaTeX file rather than just clicking on the file.

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