shared-mime-info: update-mime-database related question

Jerome Leclanche adys.wh at
Mon Dec 30 08:44:58 PST 2013

Packages ship their mime types in /usr/share/mime/packages. The
default mime types are shipped in
/usr/share/mime/packages/ These are xml files
containing all the mime types shipped by the application by its name.
update-mime-database "splits" it into the /usr/share/mime
subdirectories and builds some other cache files and such in that
J. Leclanche

On Mon, Dec 30, 2013 at 3:56 PM, Kostya Berger <bergerkos at> wrote:
> Hi everyone and thank you for your hard work.
> I'm running FreeBSD 9.2 and trying to configure a custom desktop consisting
> of openbox wm,
> pcmanfm file browser, midori web-browser etc. -- a minimalistic desktop
> configuration. No DE: no gnome, no lxde, no kde etc.
> I also installed some gtk themese and icons, including engines and some
> gnome stuff.
> THE PROBLEM: Now what I'm noticing is that some mime type icons are not
> displayed by the file browser, other ones are ugly while better ones are
> installed in the same icon subfolder; so I started digging to figure out how
> this is being determined at all.
> For example: certain icons are used, while other ones from the same icon set
> are not, file browser only shows file name and no icon.
> At that the right-click menu offers the right app to handle the file... So,
> defining a certain "gtk-icon-theme-name" in my .gtkrc-2.0 makes no
> difference, as obviously icons from that theme ARE used, while others are
> not (all icons are PNG images, no difference there either).
> As I understand it, update-mime-database plays its role in the process. But
> there are certain uncertanities, sorry for the pan :)
> It is not clear to me, where update-mime-database utility is drawing its
> information on mime types and corresponding apps??
> The only folder containing FULL info on this is /usr/local/share/mime, with
> "application" subfolder having all the *.xml files defining each mime-type
> with an app to handle and icon to be used... Yet these are actually CREATED
> BY update-mime-database itself, as well as all files in the
> /usr/local/share/mime dir. So, everything in this dir is a direct RESULT of
> that utility, not the source it's drawing from.
> WHERE does update-mime-database draw its data from when creating all these
> files, can anybody please tell me?
> Because whatever files I HAVE found on my system so far, which would be more
> or less related to this, is all a RESULT of this utility, not the source of
> its "inspiration" so to say.
> With kindest regards,
> Kostya Berger
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