Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

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

How can I open python file (from desktop) with IDLE, using Terminal on Ubuntu 12.04?

I have tried to do this way:

$ idle open

Instead of open my file it's create two more files: open and

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

It's just


If you want it to run in the background (returning control to the terminal so you can type other commands), add '&'

idle &

If you want it to continue running even if you close the terminal you can 'disown' it

idle & disown
share|improve this answer

You do not need to use the 'open' term. The help says: [-c command] [-d] [-e] [-s] [-t title] [arg] ...

-c command  run this command
-d          enable debugger
-e          edit mode; arguments are files to be edited
-s          run $IDLESTARTUP or $PYTHONSTARTUP first
-t title    set title of shell window

You can just do this:


If the file doesn't exist then it will be created.

share|improve this answer

Do this:

$ cd ~/Desktop
$ idle
share|improve this answer
This does not include the steps on how to open a specific file. I guess some step is missing here? – gertvdijk Aug 26 '13 at 12:18

If you want to get your command prompt back after executing idle you could use:

nohup idle /some/path/to/ &

or if the file is in your current directory:

$ ls
$ nohup idle &

Of course the last one will work if you are in the current directory, if the file do not exist IDLE will create one.

share|improve this answer

To install and use latest idle,

Go to synaptic package manager and install idle-python3.2

Then go to terminal and just type


This will open idle-python3.2.

Installation location => idle-python3.2 in SPM->(select)->idle-python3.2->(right-click)->properties->Installed Files.

share|improve this answer

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.