Coming from Mac OS, in terminal I am able to use open . in terminal which will open a directory.

I am able to semi replicate this with pantheon-files ., but this returns

[INFO 21:33:37.889767] Application.vala:155: Files version: 0.2.4
[INFO 21:33:37.889846] Application.vala:157: Kernel version: 3.19.0-33-generic
[WARNING 21:33:37.894015] Couldn't connect to accessibility bus: Failed to connect to socket /tmp/dbus-0hpFTi9zyT: Connection refused
[INFO 21:33:37.930317] Application.vala:85: Report any issues/bugs you might find to http://bugs.launchpad.net/pantheon-files

To get round the above issue I use pantheon-files . > /dev/null. However, the command is still running in my terminal session and when I close it in terminal it closes the window I have just opened.

My question, can I open a directory from terminal without leaving the session open?

  • what do you mean "without leaving the session open"?
    – Ravan
    Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 21:54
  • btw the message is common, but not an error: =)
    – Ravan
    Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 22:01
  • @Ravan: I used the word session in the sense of pantheon-files running. If that makes sense. So, to continue to use terminal after running the command I would need to hit ctrl + c. Commented Nov 20, 2015 at 12:52
  • Well, see @DanielFore answer, hope it solve :)
    – Ravan
    Commented Nov 20, 2015 at 12:53
  • I am sure still you need to use Ctrl+c to use terminal after running the command even after using xdg-open . Isn't it?
    – Ravan
    Commented Nov 20, 2015 at 14:00

4 Answers 4


It looks like xdg-open . is what you're looking for. I'm able to close Terminal without quitting Files.

The other Terminal output can be ignored

  • Cheer Daniel. I have managed to do the following to replicate the functionality. Commented Nov 20, 2015 at 12:54

To detcach a program from a terminal simply run the command with a & at the end like this:

pantheon-files . &

Then simply press Ctrl + D and the terminal will close, leaving the program running.

This works for anything - even when xdg-open does not.


To open file/folder from terminal:

  1. pantheon-files /path

    Example: pantheon-files /home/ravan/Downloads

  2. xdg-open /path

    Example: xdg-open /home/ravan/Downloads


. (dot) represents the current working directory;

.. (dot dot) represent the directory one level above the current working directory, often referred to as the parent directory.

EDIT 2: To clarify comment-

To use terminal after running the command xdg-open /path :

Run the command instead of the previous one:

xdg-open /path ; sleep 1

Here it will be xdg-open . ; sleep 1

To close terminal automatically:

xdg-open /path ; exit

Here it would be : xdg-open . ; exit


I've created a bash alias to use the xdg-open . command like the MacOs open . ignoring the command output. You can place the alias at your .bash_profile to make it persistent.

alias open='xdg-open &> /dev/null'

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