This article might be a bit short, but I think it is worth mentioning that I discovered another cool application for linux which might revolutionize your console usage :) The cool tool is called mimeopen and can be found in the package dev-perl/File-MimeInfo or perl-file-mimeinfo (depending on your distribution).
Why I like it
What is so cool about this? When using the console you have to work with a lot of files - you type "vim this", "xpdf that", "firefox here" or "libreoffice there". A way to solve all this typing was for me to use aliases - so vim goes by v, pdf by p and office by o. But still I have to think about all this too much. Mimeopen to the rescue: you first can alias it to o - for open. And then you can open any file and it will start the linked application for that filetype.
Because it is so simple - I can't write much else about the program.
If you want to set the default applications - it either asks you if nothing was set - or you open the file with
mimeopen -d to set a new
What are the alternatives
There exists also xdg-open which I think is more complicated because you need to run xdg-mime to edit the database and it doesn't seem so userfriendly because setting or editing the default applications seems qutie complicated and requires lots of rtfm. When you look at the linked page there are many drop-in replacements for xdg-open which you might consider :).
Strictly speaking this is no alternative because it is for OSX - but I still want to list the open command of osx here.
Part of the cool tools series
In my blog I already wrote about another tool here