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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

2 Answers 2

up vote 65 down vote accepted

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

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 at 11:44

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