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What's the command to open the file browser? I want it so that I can assign a keyboard shortcut to open a specific folder.

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up vote 38 down vote accepted

nautilus --browser will ensure that Nautilus is launched in browser mode even if you're normally using it in spatial mode.

You can append the path you want to open to the end:

nautilus --browser ~/some/directory
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But the problem I have with nautilus is that it has root permissions. How can I avoid that? I don't want to accidentally delete any files. – Jon Doe Oct 21 '10 at 0:03
It shouldn't have root permissions unless you launch it with gksudo. – mgunes Oct 21 '10 at 0:11
simply you can type nautilus in command text. I have done the same shorcut using Win+E for opening nautilus – Amit Rane Mar 28 '15 at 13:45

The gnome-open command will open a directory with the appropriate application, which in this case is Nautilus:

gnome-open PATH

This will open the directory /tmp using the Nautilus file browser.

gnome-open /tmp


cd /tmp
gnome-open .

I like the gnome-open command because you can use this exact same command to open a file with the appropriate application. No need to remember any funny flags. It just works.

  • gnome-open file.pdf will open the PDF in a PDF browser.
  • gnome-open will open a zip file using the Zip archive viewer.

It's also similar in name and function to the Mac OS X open command, for those of us who use Macs.

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To update this answer: gnome-open is now called gvfs-open. If you want a desktop-agnostic command, you can also use xdg-open. – Jason Champion Mar 21 '15 at 5:12

Use nautilus

For root file browsing, it's gksudo nautilus.

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I put the following line in my .bashrc:

alias opn="nautilus -s ."
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There is a command named open already in package kbd, it's linked to openvt. – Volker Siegel Sep 2 '14 at 9:53

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