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This isn't a problem, more a question of curiosity. When I open Atom editor from the command line using atom it opens in the background. (So I'm returned to the command prompt right away in the terminal.) Typically, if I open an application on the command line using applicationname it would be in the foreground. If I wanted to run it in the background, which I usually do, I'd provide applicationname & instead.

Why don't I have to do atom &?

Like I said, this isn't a problem since I usually want to continue working in the same directory, but I'm curious as to the why.

  • This is automatically the case if the atom command you’re running is actually just a starter (script?) which e.g. sets a bunch of variables, then starts the real thing and exits releasing your terminal. What’s the output of file $(which atom)? If it’s useful, add the content of the starter (cat $(which atom)) to your question for us to get a closer look. – dessert May 16 at 13:47

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