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Firefox asking to be made the default browser again and again

Linux

Firefox on Linux can develop the habit to (rather randomly) ask again and again to be made the default browser. E.g. when started from Thunderbird by clicking a link it asks but when starting from a shell all is fine.

The reason to this is often two (or more) .desktop entries competing with each other.

So, walkthrough: (GOTO 10 in case you are sure to have all the basics right)

update-alternatives --display x-www-browser
update-alternatives --display gnome-www-browser

should both show firefox for you. If not

update-alternatives --config <entry>

the entry to fix the preference on /usr/bin/firefox.

Check (where available)

exo-preferred-applications

that the "Internet Browser" is "Firefox".

Check (where available)

xfce4-mime-settings

that anything containing "html" points to Firefox (or is left at a non-user set default).

Check (where available)

xdg-settings get default-web-browser

that you get firefox.desktop. If not run

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

If you are running Gnome, check

xdg-settings get default-url-scheme-handler http

and the same for https.

LABEL 10:

Run

sensible-editor ~/.config/mimeapps.list

and remove all entries that contain something like userapp-Firefox-<random>.desktop.

Run

find ~/.local/share/applications -iname "userapp-firefox*.desktop"

and delete these files or move them away.

Done.

Once you have it working again consider disabling the option for Firefox to check whether it is the default browser. Because it will otherwise create those pesky userapp-Firefox-<random>.desktop files again.

Configuring Linux is easy, innit?

MINI key chrome ring

Vehicles

The key on my girlfriend's MINI had to be replaced as the remote control parts of it decided to cease functioning.

The key is an interesting piece of engineering as it communicates with the car wirelessly, charges via electromagnetic induction and has a standard key quite elegantly hidden inside.

When the replacement key arrived it was already bruised on the chrome ring. So I went "duh, another two weeks wait on the next key" but the dealer just smiled, removed the chrome ring and replaced it with a new one.

Playing around with the key it had not occurred to me that the (quite easily scratched and bruised) chrome ring can simply be replaced.

So I figured, I'd document it: Using (strong enough) fingernails or a plastic or wooden spatula you can carefully remove the chrome ring from you MINI key and replace / refurbish / re-paint it. Work from one side. Push up as the chrome ring is open only on one side. There are four 8mm wide notches at 55° measured from the longitudinal axes of the key below the chrome ring. If you get your spatula locked in there you can easily leverage the chrome ring off the black plastic body of the key. Before you break things ask somebody with more manual skill to help you or pay a visit to your car dealer's spare parts desk.

The chrome ring as a spare part should be somewhat affordable as well. But I think being able to grind the ring and paint it matching the color of your MINI is a much cooler option. Please leave a comment / send a picture if you do this.

The engineer in me demanded to take the broken key apart. The inner shell is quite sturdy and the halves are tightly molded into each other, so removing the electronics will quite likely break the thing. Don't do it. But my girlfriend's was broken already, so this is what it looks inside.