The place of mimeinfo.cache in freedesktop specs

Роман Чистоходов freeslave93 at
Mon Apr 24 14:15:48 UTC 2017

In practice desktops usually provide some default associations even if
there're no any mimeapps.list (nor in home, nor global one). So I think
it's used as fallback mechanism. The question is whether it's described in
some spec or not. If it's not, then it should be since it's already
embraced by most desktops.
Same for mimeinfo.cache regeneration. Some desktops do that, other don't.
E.g. does your installation automatically rebuild mimeinfo.cache if you
just copy .desktop file to ~/.local/share/applications or do you need to
install it with some external program like desktop-install-file? Again,
conditions of mimeinfo.cache rebuilding should be part of some spec
(probably nonexistent yet).

On Mon, Apr 24, 2017 at 4:59 PM, Maxwell Anselm <silverhammermba at>

> I also found that xdg-open does not take mimeinfo.cache files into
>> account, so applications that use xdg-open sometimes fail to properly open
>> programs associated with the url unless association is in mimeapps.list.
> If the standard is being followed, mimeapps.list is what xdg-open should
> be reading from since it determines which application is the default opener
> of each MIME type. mimeinfo.cache is only used as a shortcut to find all
> applications associated with a MIME type (without re-scanning every
> .desktop file); it should not be relied on to determine default
> applications.
> At least on Arch Linux, mimeinfo.cache is automatically rebuilt whenever
> desktop applications are added/removed. I would expect that other
> distributions work similarly.
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