How to set up Dolphin as default file manager?

Ask Ubuntu Asked by cloxy on December 14, 2020

I’ve recently came back to Ubuntu from Kubuntu, but I really like Dolphin. Is there any way how to set it up as default file manager?

5 Answers


  1. Open a terminal, e.g. using Ctrl+Alt+T

  2. Install exo-utils by running the following command in the terminal:

    sudo apt-get install exo-utils
  3. Run the following command in the terminal:

  4. In the window that opens, click on Utilities

  5. On the File Manager section, click the drop-down menu arrow + Other...

  6. Find /usr/share/applications directory

  7. Adjust to show all files and select dolphin.desktop (wherever you find it)

  8. Click close

Correct answer by Hristo on December 14, 2020

Adding to Rucent88 answer:

For me the dolphin desktop file was stored in /usr/share/applications/org.kde.dolphin.desktop. So

xdg-mime default org.kde.dolphin.desktop inode/directory

did the trick.

Keep in mind to have a look where the desktop link is located. Have a look at the file list of your installed file manager to see how the desktop link is called if you can't find it.

Answered by Elektropepi on December 14, 2020

also it works only with:

xdg-mime default dolphin.desktop inode/directory application/x-gnome-saved-search


Answered by Indacochea Wachín on December 14, 2020

To view the current default for opening directories:

xdg-mime query default inode/directory

To set Dolphin as default:

xdg-mime default org.kde.dolphin.desktop inode/directory

To set Thunar as default:

xdg-mime default thunar.desktop inode/directory

Run either on the terminal as regular user. If you want to set the default to another file manager, install the file manager, and find the correct .desktop file by searching in /usr/applications/ on the command-line.

Related files:

  • /usr/share/applications/defaults.list system-wide defaults
  • $HOME/.local/share/applications/mimeapps.list
  • $HOME/.config/mimeapps.list where xdg-mime saves configuration


Answered by Rucent88 on December 14, 2020

This link should help you to change the file manager.

Answered by den4uk on December 14, 2020

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