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How to clean launch a GUI app via the Terminal (so it doesn't wait for termination)?

If I have a terminal open in X-window, I can start a GUI app from the terminal. If I give Ctrl+C, the GUI app closes and you get back the prompter in the terminal so you can write commands again.

For example: If I run gedit, it starts but it doesn't return control to that console so I cannot reuse it for other commands, If I want to regain control I need to do Ctrl+C, but that closes the GUI app. I need the GUI app to keep running but also to use further the console to start other apps or run other commands.

How to start a X-window app from terminal console, without leaving that console occupied solely by that app?


2 Answers 2


Simply add & to your call to start it as background process.


gedit sometext.txt &
  • 1
    cool, this one I didn't know :) Oct 8, 2012 at 11:16
  • What is really cool about it, is that if you run the first gedit in background & the subsequent gedit can be ran without the & if gedit is still open. Oct 8, 2012 at 11:51
  • 2
    If you forgot to add the &, no problem. Just press Ctrl+z which will pause the program. Then enter bg which will let it continue in the background.
    – AmanicA
    Oct 16, 2012 at 23:42

I advise you to use gksudo if that app needs administrative access with the &

gksudo gedit sometext.txt &

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