How can I bring back Konqueror as my man page viewer?

Nikos Chantziaras realnc at
Sun Aug 19 17:39:28 BST 2012

Holy crap, Duncan.  I wanted to set the default man page viewer, not 
write a new kernel from scratch :-P

But thanks for the info.  It's useful to have around.

On 19/08/12 08:41, Duncan wrote:
> Nikos Chantziaras posted on Sat, 18 Aug 2012 18:12:59 +0300 as excerpted:
>> In KDE, I'm very used to simply type "man:foo" and have the man page of
>> "foo" pop up immediately in Konqueror without having to open a terminal
>> or anything.
>> However, since I installed Chromium and making it my default browser,
>> now "man:" brings up Chromium instead.  That doesn't work; instead of
>> displaying the man page, it downloads the *.bz2 from the local file
>> system :-/
>> How can I set Konqueror to be the program that handles KDE's "man:"
>> command?
> AFAIK, there's not direct way to do it, for reasons I explain, but it
> should be possible using the wrapper script method I demonstrate below.
> This kde functionality is one of a number of "kioslaves", kde i/o-slaves,
> that allow kde apps (mostly file and web browsers) to present various
> types of information "virtually", not in its native format, but in a
> "virtual" format made to appear as if it were part of the filesystem, or
> in this case, present a different type of file as if it were a web page.
> Try this to see the various kioslaves and see what they can do.  This
> will work best in dolphin, but will /sort/ /of/ work, to some degree or
> other depending on how well the particular app can handle the chosen type
> of data, in any kde app that lets you open a file dialog.
> 1) In the path line, switch to edit mode if necessary.
> (kde4's file path lines have two modes, the traditional type-it-in aka
> "edit" aka "edit-path" mode, and the newer "breakcrumbs" aka "navigate"
> mode.  You can switch between them by clicking the end of the address
> line or by context/right clicking outside the textbox if in edit mode and
> selecting edit or navigate from the resulting menu.  In konqueror you'll
> need to open a file-open dialog, as its address bar is designed for
> internet address use.)
> 2) Once in edit-path mode, erase any existing path, including the /.
> 3) Immediately to the left of the textbox, you should now see "file",
> with a down-arrow indicating a dropdown menu.  Click it.
> 4) The resulting menu will have a bunch of entries in addition to "file",
> depending on how many of the available kioslaves you or your distro has
> chosen to install.  Note especially the "other" at the bottom, with a
> submenu where you should find the "man" listing.
> 5) Have fun browsing around.
> In addition to dolphin and konqueror, you can try this in kwrite (from
> the file-open dialog).  Try it with the programs type, for instance.
> As another example, if you have a cdrom, from dolphin/konqueror, the
> audiocd type allows you to browse virtual directories on the cd
> containing ogg/flac/mp3 virtual "files" (if your distro ships the
> necessary libs, some don't ship mp3 especially, due to patent concerns,
> etc), which you can copy elsewhere to have kde directly convert/encode to
> the corresponding filetype on-the-fly as it's "copying".  (The settings
> for audiocd's encode quality, default cd device, etc, are in kde settings
> under hardware, audio and video, audio cds.)
> 6) If you try browsing the "man" type/kioslave, you'll get a virtual
> directory containing all manpages, but here presented as virtual HTML
> documents, plus virtual subdirs for each type, a "User Commands" virtual
> dir for man section 1, "File Formats" for man (5), etc.  If you enter a
> subdir, you get just the manpages-as-html-files corresponding to that
> section.
> This is where you can see the man kioslave actually doing its thing.  If
> you open any of the virtual files with kwrite, you'll see the html
> "source code" that the kioslave generated.
> Which is where the problem comes in.  If you look at the filetype for any
> of these man kioslave virtual files, you'll see them listed as HTML
> Document.  Of course you COULD switch the open-with association back to
> konqueror as top priority, but that would switch it for ALL files of type
> HTML Document...
> FWIW, here, I have firefox set as my preferred browser, so they all open
> in firefox.  Firefox actually does a good job at displaying most of them,
> but I did see that apparently due to some internal firefox setting, any
> *.conf manpage (like xorg.conf, for instance), gets displayed as plain-
> text, even tho kde's giving firefox the same sort of tempfile using the
> file:// protocol as it does with the other manpages, so it /must/ be a
> setting specific to *.conf files in firefox itself, that's forcing the
> plain-text display.
> So what the kde man kioslave is doing is generating the html code on the
> fly, then passing it to whatever browser as a tempfile.  The only way
> you're going to change what browser gets the file, at least directly, is
> to change kde's top-ranked open-with for HTML Documents... which will
> unfortunately change it for all such documents.
> And I really do NOT recommend konqueror as default browser, given kde's
> clear treatment of it as a "toy", not for ordinary users to use as their
> normal browser, including with secure websites, etc.  (See the lack of
> security certificate management for YEARS after declaring kde4 ready for
> ordinary users with 4.2, and the double-form-submission bug introduced in
> the "safe, bugfix only" 4.6.2 update that took TWO MONTHS to fix, despite
> the fact that people using konqueror to make purchases, etc, might get
> charged twice as a result of the double submission... as just two
> examples.  Either they simply DO NOT CARE about the security of those
> "ordinary users" they claimed kde was ready for, or they consider
> konqueror no more than a trivial toy that nobody would EVER use for such
> "ordinary" tasks as online shopping and banking, etc.  This is *NOT* a
> browser to be trusted for anything more than "trivial toy" level tasks!)
> Meanwhile, back in krunner, which is presumably where you were typing
> this in, if you hit the configure icon, based on my testing it's the
> "Locations" krunner applet that enables "man:xxxxx" functionality.
> Unfortunately, here again you can't simply disable that, without
> disabling a whole host of other desired functionality.  =:^(
> But you /can/ setup a wrapper script, and associate THAT with HTML
> Document files. =:^)
> FWIW, I run konsole enough I have it setup to launch with a hotkey, as I
> use either the commandline directly, or the midnight commander (mc) "semi-
> gui", for most of my file management, config-file editing, system
> management, etc, so popping up a new konsole window and typing in "man
> whatever" for my manpage lookups is just second nature.  And I have bash
> tab-completion setup for manpage lookup as well, so opening a konsole
> window and typing in "man xor<tab>" to get the xorg.conf manpage is
> faster than typing in the whole "man:xorg.conf" in krunner, too. =:^)
> But hey, you stoked my creativity enough to write and test the below, so
> now that I have it working, I might as well leave it. =:^)
> 1) Setup a little browser-wrapper bash script, something like this:
> (Tested/works here, alter as needed, I use firefox so put that as
> browser, you'll want to change that to chromium instead.)
> ------------------------------------------
> #!/bin/bash
> # Original script by "Duncan"
> # as posted to the kde general mailing list
> # License: Public Domain: Use/modify/distribute as desired
> # preferred browser?
> browser="firefox"
> # semi-uniq string found in kde's man kioslave output
> searchstring='<meta name="ROFF_Type" content="man">'
> # was I passed a file that might be a manpage-as-html?
> for param; do
> 	# tempfile path and regular file?
> 	[[ $param == */krun/* && -f $param ]] && {
> 		# does it have our semi-uniq string
> 		grep -q "$searchstring" "$param" && {
> 			# yes, use konqueror
> 			exec konqueror --mimetype text/html "$@"
> 		}
> 	}
> done
> # since the konqueror call was an exec we should
> # only reach here if one of those tests failed.
> # call our preferred browser
> exec $browser "$@"
> -------------------------------------------
> Of course set it executable, etc...
> 2) In kde settings, under common appearance and behavior, file
> associations, in the search box enter text/html .  In the list, expand
> the text entry and click on html.  To the right under application
> preference order, click add, and type in the path to the wrapper script.
> Hit OK, make sure that entry is at the top in app preference order, and
> apply.
> Now test! =:^)
> Observation:  One who knows how to setup wrapper scripts can make their
> computer do all sorts of fun and useful stuff the folks who designed the
> invoking and/or wrapped applications never considered and thus didn't
> directly allow for! =:^)

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