Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I want to place a link/shortcut/launcher in my unity panel (ubuntu 12.10).

I followed this tutorial on to create a custom launcher and drag it to the panel.

I just need to know which command do I have to input. Is this possible?

share|improve this question
What are you trying to launch? – catalesia Mar 8 '13 at 20:51
up vote 37 down vote accepted

gnome-open does not work for me on 12.04 but nautilus /path to open does work.

example: nautilus /home/john/Downloads.

share|improve this answer
Weird... I'm on 12.04 right now. gnome-open works for me. Are you using Lubuntu? Or Xubuntu? – Eric Carvalho Mar 8 '13 at 20:14
Tried it on my box (12.04 LTS running Unity 3D). gnome-open doesn't seem to be installed (but you can install it easily). I still prefer doing nautilus <path> though, since it requires 0 additional effort. – oaskamay Mar 8 '13 at 20:35
Try xdg-open instead – elias Mar 8 '13 at 21:00
@oaskamay I found out why I have gnome-open. I installed gnu-cash, which installed libgnome2-bin (gnome-open is in it) as one of its dependencies. – Eric Carvalho Mar 8 '13 at 21:17
The answer from @EricCarvalho works perfectly, thank you very much, and all others as well! – Tiago Mar 9 '13 at 0:02

If the question is how to open a file/folder, the answer is always xdg-open.

From man xdg-open:

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.

In this specific case the commmand

xdg-open folder

opens folder in your default file manager, be it Nautilus, Dolphin, Thunar or anything else.

share|improve this answer
This should be the accepted answer... – Christopher Davies Apr 18 '15 at 4:39

A shortcut to open a folder? If this what you want, the command is:

gnome-open </path/to/folder>

For example: gnome-open /home/Tiago/Downloads.

If it isn't installed run sudo apt-get install libgnome2-bin.

share|improve this answer
works for me on Ubuntu 15.05 – lakesare Dec 31 '15 at 22:27

Use the command nautilus <path>.

So for example: nautilus /home/oaskamay will open up my home (~) folder.

In addition, if you need to open-up the GUI with root permissions, run gksu nautilus <path>. It works with every GUI front-ends too (e.g. gksu gedit /etc/default/grub).

It's important to note that you should never start GUI apps like so sudo gedit /etc/default/grub.

share|improve this answer
Nice suggestion, thanks! – Tiago Mar 9 '13 at 0:03

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.