≡ Menu

Open Gnome Nautilus File Manager For The Current Linux / Unix Command Line

Nautilus is the file manager for the GNOME desktop. How do I open Nautilus from the Linux or Unix shell prompt to open files and directories on a Linux or Unix based desktop?

You can use the gnome-open command to open files and URLs using the GNOME file handler, ust as if you had double-clicked the file’s icon. If the file is in the form of a URL, the file will be opened as a URL. If you are using KDE or other desktop try:

xdg-open command ## generic version ##


kde-open command ## kde ##


open command ## osx ##


For example, if you were in the /home/vivek directory, typing the following command would open the file manager:

gnome-open .

Sample outputs:

Linux / Unix: gnome-open Open a Directory File Browser Command

Fig.01: gnome-open in action

The . (dot) is your current directory. If you type two dots ( .. ) it would open the parent directory:

gnome-open ..

To open a directory in Nautilus, enter:

## home dir ##
gnome-open ~
## /tmp ##
gnome-open /tmp

To open a web page or url:
gnome-open www.cyberciti.biz
To open an document file
gnome-open resume.odf
To open a pdf file:
gnome-open lsst.pdf
To Send an e-mail:
gnome-open mailto:foo@cyberciti.biz
To open an URL:
gnome-open 'http://www.cyberciti.biz'

A note about KDE and other *nix desktop users

You can use kde-open or xdg-open to open a file, directory or URL in the user's preferred application. The syntax is same:

kde-open .
xdg-open .
kde-open 'www.cyberciti.biz' 
xdg-open 'www.cyberciti.biz

You can also use kfmclient under KDE desktop for opening URLs from the command line. To opens the current directory:

kfmclient exec .

To open the file:

kfmclient exec file:/home/vivek/test.html

To opens the file with firefox:

 kfmclient exec file:/var/www/html/docs.en.html Firefox

To open new window with URL:

kfmclient exec ftp://ftp.cyberciti.biz/
kfmclient exec http://www.cyberciti.biz/

Putting it all together

You can use the following bash for loop examples to open 5 random pages from Wikipedia:

for J in {1..5} 
  xdg-open http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random
## OS X specific example ##
for J in {1..5} 
  open http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random
Share this tutorial on:

Your support makes a big difference:
I have a small favor to ask. More people are reading the nixCraft. Many of you block advertising which is your right, and advertising revenues are not sufficient to cover my operating costs. So you can see why I need to ask for your help. The nixCraft, takes a lot of my time and hard work to produce. If you use nixCraft, who likes it, helps me with donations:
Become a Supporter →    Make a contribution via Paypal/Bitcoin →   

Don't Miss Any Linux and Unix Tips

Get nixCraft in your inbox. It's free:

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Rahul May 18, 2012, 5:15 am

    Hi thanks for sharing this.
    I am getting this error:

    rahul@linux-cyyh:~> gnome-open www.cyberciti.biz
    Error showing url: Error stating file '/home/rahul/www.cyberciti.biz': No such file or directory

    Please help to solve this.

    Thanks again :)

    • Jacob Degeling May 13, 2015, 6:22 am

      Try prepending http:// to the URL and putting it in quotes

Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <strong> <em> <pre> <code> <a href="" title="">

   Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,