[lug] thunderbird doesn't honor default KDE browser

Davide Del Vento davide.del.vento at gmail.com
Fri Dec 16 09:16:00 MST 2011

On Thu, Dec 15, 2011 at 13:33, Simos <blug at chinesetearoom.com> wrote:
> On Thursday 15 December 2011 1:19 Davide Del Vento wrote:
>> >> I have KDE (I finally gave up on GNOME, but that's a different story)
>> >> Platform Version 4.7.2 (4.7.2) and my default browser is firefox
>> >> (firefox says so, and SystemSettings->DefaultApplications->WebBrowser
>> >> confirms). When I click on a link in the console, it opens firefox.
>> >> When I click on a link in Thunderbird (v8.0) it opens Chrome.
>> >> Thunderbird doesn't have any browser "choice" and it should honor
>> >> system default, do you have any clue of what could be wrong here?
>> > Assuming you are running some sort of Debian variant (e.g. Ubuntu), then
>> > run the following commands in a terminal:
>> >
>> > update-alternatives --list x-www-browser
>> > update-alternatives --list gnome-www-browser
>> >
>> > I'm betting one of them will come back with Chrome on top of the list.
>> Thanks, but nope:
>> ddvento at cisl-augusta:~$ update-alternatives --list x-www-browser
>> /usr/bin/firefox
>> /usr/bin/google-chrome
>> /usr/bin/rekonq
>> ddvento at cisl-augusta:~$ update-alternatives --list gnome-www-browser
>> /usr/bin/firefox
>> /usr/bin/google-chrome
> Well, shoot...
> The only other thing I can think of to check:
> ls -al /etc/alternatives | grep -i chrome

Kind of bingo, but really not :-(

ddvento at cisl-augusta:~$ ls -al /etc/alternatives | grep -i chrome
lrwxrwxrwx   1 root root    22 2011-11-29 11:39 gnome-www-browser ->
lrwxrwxrwx   1 root root    22 2011-11-29 11:39 x-www-browser ->

(sudoing to replace them with firefox)

ddvento at cisl-augusta:~$ ls -al /etc/alternatives | grep -i fox
lrwxrwxrwx   1 root root    58 2011-11-29 09:57 firefox-flashplugin ->
lrwxrwxrwx   1 root root    16 2011-12-15 13:46 gnome-www-browser ->
lrwxrwxrwx   1 root root    16 2011-12-15 13:46 x-www-browser ->
ddvento at cisl-augusta:~$ ls -al /etc/alternatives | grep -i chrome
ddvento at cisl-augusta:~$

But still Thunderbird uses chrome.

> Also, in Gnome 2 (not sure about Gnome 3) there was a Preferred Applications
> settings dialog in gnome-control-panel that allowed you to pick a web browser
> for Gnome apps (even if you were running KDE). Not sure if it's still there in
> Gnome 3.

I don't have anything gnome-related installed. Gnome-(TAB) only brings:

ddvento at cisl-augusta:~$ gnome-
gnome-help         gnome-open         gnome-www-browser
ddvento at cisl-augusta:~$ gnome-help
Segmentation fault
ddvento at cisl-augusta:~$ ls -l `which gnome-www-browser`
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 35 2011-11-29 11:39 /usr/bin/gnome-www-browser
-> /etc/alternatives/gnome-www-browser
ddvento at cisl-augusta:~$ ls -l /etc/alternatives/gnome-www-browser
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 16 2011-12-15 13:46
/etc/alternatives/gnome-www-browser -> /usr/bin/firefox
ddvento at cisl-augusta:~$ gnome-open
Usage: gnome-open <url>
ddvento at cisl-augusta:~$ gnome-open www.google.com
Error showing url: Error stating file '/home/ddvento/www.google.com':
No such file or directory
ddvento at cisl-augusta:~$ gnome-open http://www.google.com
ddvento at cisl-augusta:~$ Created new window in existing browser session.

Grrr Chrome opens. Why on the heck gnome-crap is installed in a
pure-kde environment?

ddvento at cisl-augusta:~$ dpkg --search /usr/bin/gnome-open
libgnome2-0: /usr/bin/gnome-open
ddvento at cisl-augusta:~$ sudo apt-get remove libgnome2-0
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
The following packages will be REMOVED:
  libbonoboui2-0 libgnome2-0 libgnomeui-0 python-gnome2
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 4 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
After this operation, 3,363 kB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]?
(Reading database ... 169330 files and directories currently installed.)
Removing python-gnome2 ...
Removing libgnomeui-0 ...
Removing libbonoboui2-0 ...
Removing libgnome2-0 ...
Processing triggers for libc-bin ...
ldconfig deferred processing now taking place
Processing triggers for man-db ...
ddvento at cisl-augusta:~$
ddvento at cisl-augusta:~$ gnome-open
bash: /usr/bin/gnome-open: No such file or directory
ddvento at cisl-augusta:~$

Cool :-)

But still Thunderbird uses chrome (even after a restart).

It looks like I'm not alone, see
and especially http://hsmak.wordpress.com/2009/09/03/howto-force-thunderbird-to-open-links-in-firefox/
(with the long list of comments).
None of their suggestions work, including

sudo update-alternatives –config x-www-browser

And yes, I've manually tried what Eddie suggests, namely to put that
stuff in the user.js file (the gui-based way described above, put them
in prefs.js).

No way - it does not work, this stubborn Thunderbird opens links in chrome.

It is really really annoying and frustrating for somebody used to have
linux working fine on laptops since the late 90s to see these "just
works (tm)" desktop environments and/or distributions breaking
everything once again - GRRRRRRR


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