xdg-open/gnome-open opens blank firefox

Bug #1035221 reported by Greg A on 2012-08-10
This bug affects 6 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
libgnome (Ubuntu)
xdg-utils (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

xdg-open http://google.com
gnome-open http://google.com
result in a new Firefox window, with a single "empty" tab.

This is not the expected result - I expect the page to open in a new tab/window. Running
firefox http://google.com
gives the expected result.

Whilst I am seeing the bug under quantal (regression from precise) the packages xdg-utils and libgnome2-0 are the same version in both cases.

"/desktop/gnome/url-handlers/http/command" is set in both cases to "firefox %s"
ApportVersion: 2.4-0ubuntu6
Architecture: amd64

DistroRelease: Ubuntu 12.10
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 10.04 "Lucid Lynx" - Alpha amd64 (20100217)
NonfreeKernelModules: nvidia
Package: xdg-utils 1.1.0~rc1-2ubuntu6
PackageArchitecture: all
 PATH=(custom, no user)
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.5.0-9.9-generic 3.5.0
Tags: quantal running-unity
Uname: Linux 3.5.0-9-generic x86_64
UpgradeStatus: Upgraded to quantal on 2012-04-14 (117 days ago)
UserGroups: adm admin cdrom dialout lpadmin plugdev sambashare

Greg A (etulfetulf) on 2012-08-10
tags: added: apport-collected running-unity
description: updated
Greg A (etulfetulf) wrote :

It's worth noting that this bug doesn't exhibit itself in a guest session.

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in libgnome (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Changed in xdg-utils (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed

I have this on precise...

Changing the default browser under "System settings - Information - Default-Applications - Web" has effect, although changing back to firefox does not fix it.

Changing the command in the gnome property browser under "/desktop/gnome/url-handlers/http/command" does not have any effect on gnome-open, so it seems this is not used and there are actually at least two places, where this is configured...

After a lot of digging into the various involved components including some "stracing" I found out why it didn't work and how to fix this:

It seems the default applications are found via .desktop files in /home/<user>/.local/share/applications. I had some older entries in there, probably from Ubuntu editions from a few years back (I am not a fan of re-installing and usually update from one to the next version). There were several firefox entries in there, when I removed all of them, I could not select firefox any more as default application in the system settings, however when I copied over the firefox.desktop entry from /usr/share/applications/ and re-selected firefox as the default application, I can now open http-links from all the applications again.

Not sure who or what is to blame here, somehow my deleted-files folder does not show the removed .desktop files any more, so I cannot post them to allow for closer analysis, maybe the original reporter with the same problem can post the files.

Martin Gasparek (martin-gaspo) wrote :

Thank you Dominik, I had the same problem with google-chrome browser and this helped me. I removed ~/.local/share/applications/google-chrome.desktop and replaced it with /usr/share/applications/google-chrome.desktop

Martin Gasparek (martin-gaspo) wrote :

Actualy, I just realized the problem was in parameter "exec" in that desktop file.. Old one had google-chrome , or /usr/bin/google-chrome and the new one has

Exec=/usr/bin/google-chrome-stable %U

Jochen Seidel (x+launchpad) wrote :

I started to see the same behaviour after the last update under Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS trusty. So far I was unable to fix it with the suggestions from above.

Jochen Seidel (x+launchpad) wrote :

The proposed package fixed the bug for me

For me, this was caused by my custom .desktop file. I downloaded Firefox, unpacked it to my home and created a .desktop file for it in ~/.local/share/applicaitons as so:

    #!/usr/bin/env xdg-open
    [Desktop Entry]
    Name[en_US]=Firefox latest
    Comment[en_US]=Firefox directly from tgz
    Name=Firefox latest
    Comment=Firefox directly from tgz

The issue was caused by my Exec line. I had to update it to this:

    Exec=/home/local/ANT/naddeo/firefox/firefox %u

Then external link clicks starting working again. I found that out by looking at the .desktop file that the Firefox in the ubuntu repos uses at /usr/share/applications/firefox.desktop and copying that.

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