One way to set up org-protocol on Linux


Published

Org-protocol allows you to write links in the browser and open Emacs when you click the link. After the Emacs side is set up, running emacsclient org-protocol://handler?key=value will pass (:key "value") to the function that is registered for handler. But the browser still does not recognize the link.

Org-roam's documentation explains a set up that is more in depth (and also covers macOS and Windows). But I didn't want to create a new .desktop file, so this is how I did it.

One way to set up org-protocol:// links on Linux, assuming you want to use emacsclient -c for Emacs in general:

  1. Copy /usr/share/applications/emacs.desktop to ~/.local/share/applications/emacs.desktop, where it will shadow the system-wide file.

  2. Change Exec= from "emacs %F" to "emacsclient -c %U"

  3. Add "x-scheme-handler/org-protocol;" to the end of MimeType

  4. Wait a bit for it to take effect

  5. Try opening an org-protocol:// link again from, say, Firefox. It should now ask you whether you want to open this link with Emacs.

Resulting ~/.local/share/applications/emacs.desktop:

#!/usr/bin/env xdg-open
[Desktop Entry]
Name=Emacs
GenericName=Text Editor
Comment=Edit text
MimeType=text/english;text/plain;text/x-makefile;text/x-c++hdr;text/x-c++src;text/x-chdr;text/x-csrc;text/x-java;text/x-moc;text/x-pascal;text/x-tcl;text/x-tex;application/x-shellscript;text/x-c;text/x-c++;x-scheme-handler/org-protocol;
Exec=emacsclient -c %U
Icon=emacs
Type=Application
Terminal=false
Categories=Development;TextEditor;
StartupWMClass=Emacs
Keywords=Text;Editor;