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In Nautilus, when you double click a file, it will open it with the default application associated with the file's extension. For instance, .html files will open in a web browser and .pdf will be opened with Document Viewer. Is there a way to reproduce the same behavior from within the command line (i.e. open path/filename)? I'm asking because I like to browse my file-system from the command line but sometimes don't remember which app. opens what.

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There is a similar question regarding launching default browser from the command line:… – kounryusui Nov 29 '10 at 13:42
That's a brilliant question indeed! In almost 4 years of my bashing I hadn't thought about it :P – Djack Jun 7 at 9:40
up vote 92 down vote accepted

I think xdg-open is the command you are looking for.

       xdg-open - opens a file or URL in the user's preferred application

       xdg-open {file | URL}

       xdg-open {--help | --manual | --version}

       xdg-open opens a file or URL in the user's preferred application. If a URL is provided the URL will be opened
       in the user's preferred web browser. If a file is provided the file will be opened in the preferred
       application for files of that type. xdg-open supports file, ftp, http and https URLs.

eg: xdg-open index.php

This will open index.php in gedit(if you are using gnome).

If you want to open a url in browser


this will open in your default browser.

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wish I searched on google for this earlier – JohnMerlino Sep 25 '13 at 23:55
On Gnome: gnome-open and on KDE: kde-open works. – Farahmand Feb 21 '14 at 16:01

xdg-open and gnome-open

xdg-open is the most universal way (work also on KDE)

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This answer was posted earlier. – Kadir Jan 15 '15 at 11:44

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