recommendations for install of applications and update of MIME cache

Carnë Draug carandraug+dev at
Mon Mar 2 12:15:41 PST 2015

I understand that, and I have always noticed that Debian seems to update
a bunch of desktop stuff as part of post-install scripts. But then this
assumes that users installing from source are really expected to update
the mime database themselves. And that they know how to do it. Is this
really reasonable? It may be, like running ldconfig after install, but
updating mime cache seems to me to be a bit more obscure.


On 2 March 2015 at 19:24, Jerome Leclanche <adys.wh at> wrote:
> This is something that is handled by the downstream packagers and you
> should not worry about it.
> Example:
> J. Leclanche
> On 2 March 2015 at 20:18, Carnë Draug <carandraug+dev at> wrote:
>> Hi
>> I have an application that as part of its install target (using make),
>> installs a desktop entry file with "desktop-file-install".  This
>> application handles files of specific MIME types (listed on the desktop
>> file) and so it uses the "--rebuild-mime-info-cache" option.
>> The problem with this is that during uninstall, the file
>> "share/applications/mimeinfo.cache" is left behind and distcheck
>> complains about it.
>> I was wondering if this tool is really to be used as part of the
>> installation of the application.  Or is it meant for downstream packagers
>> with package managers running them after the installation?  What is
>> the recommendation for applications?  Should they leave it up for
>> downstream packagers?  Expect that users building from source will
>> update the mime database themselves?  Is there some other cleaner way
>> to do this (I saw some changes on other projects where they replace the
>> "--rebuild-mime-info-cache" with a separate call to "update-desktop-database",
>> but why is that?).
>> If it makes any difference, the application I am asking is GNU Octave,
>> which has a bug about it [1].
>> Thank you,
>> Carnë
>> [1]
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