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Re: emacs and xdg-open

From: Philipp Haselwarter
Subject: Re: emacs and xdg-open
Date: Mon, 09 Jan 2012 23:26:04 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.110018 (No Gnus v0.18) Emacs/24.0.92 (gnu/linux)

Eric Abrahamsen <> writes:

> I'm running archlinux, stumpwm and emacs, and have had pretty resounding
> success using dired as my only file manager: in dired I've bound 'e' to
> a command that passes files to xdg-open, and by dint of copying
> /usr/share/applications/mimeinfo.cache into
> ~/.local/share/applications/default.list, the right external
> applications open files out of dired.

Thanks for sharing, fits my setup quite well!

What command you use to call `xdg-open'?

Some programs (eg. mplayer) exit uncleanly when their stderr and stdout
are closed, which causes xdg-open to reopen the file with the default
application for unknown mime types, as it appears.
And allocating a buffer to every started program....

> The one iffy thing is getting other applications to pass directory
> references to emacs (ie clicking the dropbox applet icon in the system
> tray and having the dropbox directory open in dired). Pointing
> the inode/directory MIME type at emacs works, but starts a new emacs
> instance. I created a "emacsclient.desktop" file:
> [Desktop Entry]
> Name=EmacsClient
> MimeType=inode/directory;x-directory/normal
> Exec=emacsclient -n %F
> Type=Application
> Terminal=false
> And this nearly works, except that the '-n' flag to the emacsclient exec
> doesn't appear to be respected: emacs still tells me "Press C-x # when
> you're done editing this file" (this being a dired buffer), and if I
> kill the buffer it asks: "Buffer `Dropbox' still has clients; kill it?"
> I guess this is a long shot, but does anyone have a guess as to why the
> '-n' flag is ignored, and how to fix it? If not, please consider this a
> (nearly-functional) tutorial on using emacs as your only file manager on
> linux systems without a proper desktop environment. :)
> Yrs,
> Eric

I wrote a quick test script, and it looks like it's not Emacs' fault,
arguments are just not passed on.

Actually, it the Exec line seems not to be honored; instead simply the
basename of the .desktop gets executed (ie. just emacsclient).

So in order to make everything work, you need to create a script with a
new name (and also beware of applications that don't call emacsclient
with an argument, it'll fail):

[ "$@" ] && emacsclient -n $@ || emacsclient -n ~/

Leave out the -n in the desktop file and rename it accordingly:


Philipp Haselwarter

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