xdg-settings - Man Page

get various settings from the desktop environment

Examples (TL;DR)


xdg-settings {get | check | set} {property} [subproperty] [value]

xdg-settings {--help | --list | --manual | --version}


xdg-settings gets various settings from the desktop environment. For instance, desktop environments often provide proxy configuration and default web browser settings. Using xdg-settings these parameters can be extracted for use by applications that do not use the desktop environment's libraries (which would use the settings natively).

xdg-settings is for use inside a desktop session only. It is not recommended to use xdg-settings as root.



Show command synopsis.


List all properties xdg-settings knows about.


Show this manual page.


Show the xdg-utils version information.


When using xdg-settings to get, check or set a desktop setting, properties and possibly sub-properties are used to specify the setting to be changed.

Some properties (such as default-web-browser) fully describe the setting to be changed. Other properties (such as default-url-scheme-handler) require more information (in this case the actual scheme to set the default handler for) which must be provided in a sub-property.

Exit Codes

An exit code of 0 indicates success while a non-zero exit code indicates failure. The following failure codes can be returned:

  1. Error in command line syntax.
  2. One of the files passed on the command line did not exist.
  3. A required tool could not be found.
  4. The action failed.

See Also

xdg-mime(1), xdg-open(1), MIME applications associations specification[1]


Get the desktop file name of the current default web browser

        xdg-settings get default-web-browser

Check whether the default web browser is firefox.desktop, which can be false even if "get default-web-browser" says that is the current value (if only some of the underlying settings actually reflect that value)

        xdg-settings check default-web-browser firefox.desktop

Set the default web browser to google-chrome.desktop

        xdg-settings set default-web-browser google-chrome.desktop

Set the default mailto URL scheme handler to be evolution.desktop

        xdg-settings set default-url-scheme-handler mailto evolution.desktop


Mike Mammarella




MIME applications associations specification

Referenced By


02/11/2024 xdg-utils 1.1.0 xdg-settings Manual