Xdg-open fails for pdf's

I’m running the latest portable build and the gui fails for opening pdf’s. I have checked my xdg-open defaults, and

xdg-open “<my_pdf.pdf>”

works fine from the terminal. I am running jabref portable opened from the command line. But when I try to open a file through the jabref “open file” dialoge, I get a gui error box “Error–KIO Client <4> ?” → “Unknown host home: Host not found”

and the command line output is

Fail back to xdg-open

Setting the pdf external program under that option doesn’t change anything.


Was this working in an older version of Jabref? Do you know with which version on what day/week it broke? Could you please post the version number of the Jabref version you were/are using? You can find it under Help>About Jabref. Versions can change everyday and sometimes more than once per day.

Is the problem only xdg-open or does it work if you specify another prefered program that can open pdfs?

What i found out is this: "xdg-open opens a file or URL in the user's preferred application. If a URL is provided the URL will be opened in the user's preferred web browser. If a file is provided the file will be opened in the preferred application for files of that type. xdg-open supports file, ftp, http and https URLs."

  • Your current setup is like this: Jabref<>xdg-open<>pdfapplication
  • What you could do as workaround: Jabref<>pdfapplication

I’m new to Jabref, and this has never worked for me. First it opened pdf’s in Mendeley and then when I changed xdg-open pdfapplication from the command line, it simply gives the error I listed. xdg-open works from every other app and from the command line.

Version 5.3

Which Linux dist are you using?

This might be related to Cannot open PDF files in JabRef Snap · Issue #7762 · JabRef/jabref · GitHub

Does it work setting the OS default application, similar to