Ok, so I did a bit of poking around.

xdg-open <file> returns:

        xdg-mime: mimetype argument missing
        Try 'xdg-mime --help' for more information.

Which fits with xdg-mime not being able to recognize the mimetype of

This phenomenon is described in a post on Ask Ubuntu (from May 2016).
And the proposed solution is to install gvfs-bin.

I did that -- and it worked! Just a shame this bug is still around after
a year (I know, others have been around for much longer).

Though I'm still wondering how qvm-open-in-dvm managed to pull it off
from the start.

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