Org-mode can export as HTML and open on a browser with C-c C-e h o (org-export-dispatch), but the problem is that the generated html file opens in a buffer inside emacs. There is no error in the message buffer, either. How can I make it work?

When I click a link inside org-mode, the browser opens correctly.

I'm running org-mode 8.2.10, emacs 24.3.1 on manjaro linux 0.8.10. I checked preferred applications in KDE and it points web browsing to firefox.

  • Have you tried C-c C-e b? Commented Oct 20, 2014 at 20:57
  • There is no option b after C-c C-e. It gives Invalid key Commented Oct 20, 2014 at 21:05
  • I apologize. How aboutM-x org-export-as-html-and-open? Commented Oct 20, 2014 at 21:15
  • The message after that command is: org-html-do-expand: Symbol's value as variable is void: org-export-html-special-string-regexps Commented Oct 20, 2014 at 21:20
  • Okay, that is really weird. The last thing I can tell you to try is: C-c C-e h h But, I am not 100% sure that will work. Commented Oct 20, 2014 at 21:25

5 Answers 5


I experienced the same problem after a new installation of ArchLinux with XFCE.

Although I didn't manage to understand the problem, a workaround was to configure 'org-file-apps' as described in the FAQ :


in my .emacs.d/init.el, I have now :

      ((auto-mode . emacs)
      ("\\.mm\\'" . default)
      ("\\.x?html?\\'" . "/usr/bin/firefox %s")
      ("\\.pdf\\'" . default))))
(setq browse-url-generic-program
       ((eq window-system 'mac) "open") ; mac
       ((or (eq system-type 'gnu/linux) (eq system-type 'linux)) ; linux
        (executable-find "firefox"))
emacs --version 
GNU Emacs 25.1.1

It works for me:

(setq org-file-apps
        ((auto-mode . emacs)
        ("\\.mm\\'" . default)
        ("\\.x?html?\\'" . "/usr/bin/firefox %s")
        ("\\.pdf\\'" . default))))

REF from answer of @skizo


As documented on Worg (and mentioned in other answers), org-mode usesorg-file-apps to determine how to open files. Moreover, org-file-apps can call emacs functions instead of specifying external applications. Especially for opening stuff in the web-browser, emacs ships with the browse-url package. This package provides a lot of functions to call a lot of different browsers (most of them are not really used anymore), and M-x customize-group Enter browse-url can help to give an overview. When browse-url is configured correctly, then the function browse-url will open a new browser (or a tab in an already running browser). This can be leveraged in org-file-apps:

(setq org-file-apps
          ("\\.x?html?\\'" . browse-url)

This configuration is more portable then specifying exact paths, and it also allows to have a different entry in the .mailcap, which org-mode normally uses if nothing is defined in org-file-apps.


I suspect that you have a mixed installation of org-mode. See the FAQ here:


When this has happened to me what I have done is (assuming you install via ELPA):

  1. uninstall org-mode
  2. quit emacs
  3. restart emacs using emacs -q
  4. manually add ("org" . "http://orgmode.org/elpa/") to package-archives and run (package-initialize) `
  5. install org-mode
  6. restart emacs

Hope that helps.

  • It didn't work. I also erased my .emacs folder and started from scratch (like emacs -q, I guess), only installing org-mode (which appears to be today's version) as you suggest, and the file keeps opening in a buffer. org-version gives good result (as in your link). Bad luck. Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 1:36
  • Now, if I try @King suggestion: org-export-as-html-and-open, the answer is No match, so it seems that function is not well installed. Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 1:38
  • 2
    Export and open uses org-open-file, which uses the variable org-file-apps. Perhaps you have something strange in that variable. org-export-as-html-and-open is not a function in recent org mode versions. Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 4:34

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