thunderbird pdf association

Skunk Worx skunkworx at
Fri Aug 14 18:15:26 UTC 2009

On 08/14/2009 04:21 AM, Tim wrote:
> On Thu, 2009-08-13 at 19:03 -0700, Skunk Worx wrote:
>> I have Fedora 11 X86_64 and when I get a PDF in email via Thunderbird
>> I double click the PDF attachment and it pops up with :
>> "somefile.pdf could not be opened, because the associated helper
>> application does not exist. Change the association in your
>> preferences."
> Have a look at the source for a problem message, and look for a
> content-type header above the PDF attachment.  If it's a PDF content
> type, you've got a problem with associating the right program with the
> file.  If it's octet-stream, the mail author stuffed it up, and you're
> left with manually saving the file and opening it with something else.

It's Content-Type: application/pdf; so if I follow what you are saying 
the association to "Document Viewer" was not working for some reason.

> Octet-stream is a generic content type for ANY type of binary file.  It
> simply means this file is some sort of binary.  You can't associate a
> program with that type, because it could be used for anything.  You
> could try associating it with a PDF viewer, then you'd get stuck, again,
> when someone sent you a JPEG, or document, as octet-stream, later on.
> If you use Gnome, you could try associating it with gnome-open, and hope
> that it can handle the file type, itself, as a middle man.
> This is a common problem, and it'd be helpful if mail programs let you
> set up a list of open-with program handlers for unidentified binary
> files (e.g. open with evince, open with eog, open with
> that would pop-up when you clicked on such attachments, letting you
> choose the most likely one.

It appears to have been something funky in the association handling, as 
this is not a generic octet stream.

I say "have been" and "was not" because I had problems with DVD/CD 
writing crashing X and logging me out (thus making a lot of coasters) if 
Desktop Effects were enabled (ati based system).

After I removed my .gconf* directories last night to get rid of the last 
of the compiz effects, the same attachment/email is now working.



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