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Inside the terminal, I could use the command 'explorer .' in Win32 or 'open .' in Mac to open GUI explorer/Finder.

What's the equivalent command in Ubuntu?

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up vote 30 down vote accepted

xdg-open . will do what you want based on what is set as the default file manager, however since nautilus is the default I personally find it easier to autocomplete nautilus .

(Note that xdg-open is supposed to supercede gnome-open, as it's a solution that is cross-desktop and agreed upon instead of GNOME/KDE specific)

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Interesting. I have generally used nautilus --browser . I wonder if there is any functional difference with and without the --browser argument. – belacqua Jan 28 '11 at 0:17
You might also be interested in gnome-open . which will also default to nautilus for a directory. – frabjous Jan 28 '11 at 3:43
If I where to use sudo, I'ld use sudo -- nautilus --no-desktop . so that a new desktop is not created. If not, the desktop is messed up. – user4124 Jan 28 '11 at 16:12

You may wish to give a chance to dolphin, which can be easily installed (if not already) by dropping the next line in a terminal:

sudo apt-get install dolphin

Dolphin is more like a "Finder" and it features the sliding effect in the vertical columns when opening folders and some other useful features.

After installind (or if already installed) drop the next in a terminal, or [Alt][F2] in order to invoke the "Run application" box in order to enter the next command:


And enjoy.

A screenshot is placed here for you to see dolphin in action.

enter image description here

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Thanks for the tip, and how can you have the Mac-like doc in ubunut? – prosseek Jan 28 '11 at 5:02
@ prossekk:… – Javier Rivera Jan 28 '11 at 8:26
The Dock that I am using (the one in the screenshot) is called "Docky". I personally tested lots of applications, such as: gnome-do, awn and a few other (even the gnome-panel can be set up as a dock itself) but the only which had no problems at all is Docky. Information and "how-to's" can be reached here: – Geppettvs D'Constanzo Jan 28 '11 at 17:37

On gnome (the ubuntu default) it's gnome-open

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Please check Jorge answer:… – Javier Rivera Feb 8 '11 at 17:47

I use mimeopen and it works perfectly fine. Look at it's man page too, it has some handy options.

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I have installed gvfs-bin to get the gvfs-open command and then setup an alias in my ~/.bashrc for open so it works pretty much just like OS X. I can do open . to open a nautilus window or open file to open a file in the default program for that file.

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