OPEN(1) General Commands Manual OPEN(1)
open – open files and directories
open [-e] [-t] [-f] [-F] [-W] [-R] [-n] [-g] [-j] [-h] [-u URL] [-s sdk]
[-b bundle_identifier] [-a application] [--env VAR] [--stderr PATH]
[--stdin PATH] [--stdout PATH] file ... [--args arg1 ...]
The open command opens a file (or a directory or URL), just as if you had
double-clicked the file's icon. If no application name is specified, the
default application as determined via LaunchServices is used to open the
If the file is in the form of a URL, the file will be opened as a URL.
You can specify one or more file names (or pathnames), which are
interpreted relative to the shell or Terminal window's current working
directory. For example, the following command would open all Word files in
the current working directory:
Opened applications inherit environment variables just as if you had
launched the application directly through its full path. This behavior was
also present in Tiger.
The options are as follows:
Specifies the application to use for opening the file
Specifies the bundle identifier for the application to use when opening
-e Causes the file to be opened with /Applications/TextEdit
-t Causes the file to be opened with the default text editor, as
determined via LaunchServices
-f Reads input from standard input and opens the results in the default
text editor. End input by sending EOF character (type Control-D).
Also useful for piping output to open and having it open in the default
-F Opens the application "fresh," that is, without restoring windows.
Saved persistent state is lost, except for Untitled documents.
-W Causes open to wait until the applications it opens (or that were
already open) have exited. Use with the -n flag to allow open to
function as an appropriate app for the $EDITOR environment variable.
-R Reveals the file(s) in the Finder instead of opening them.
-n Open a new instance of the application(s) even if one is already
-g Do not bring the application to the foreground.
-j Launches the app hidden.
-h Searches header locations for a header whose name matches the given
string and then opens it. Pass a full header name (such as NSView.h)
for increased performance.
-s For -h, partial or full SDK name to use; if supplied, only SDKs whose
names contain the argument value are searched. Otherwise the highest
versioned SDK in each platform is used.
-u Opens URL with whatever application claims the url scheme, even if URL
also matches a file path
All remaining arguments are passed to the opened application in the
argv parameter to main(). These arguments are not opened or
interpreted by the open tool.
Adds VAR to the environment of the launched application. VAR should be
formatted NAME=VALUE or NAME.
Launches the application with stdin connected to PATH.
Launches the application with stdout connected to PATH.
Launches the application with stderr connected to PATH.
"open '/Volumes/Macintosh HD/foo.txt'" opens the document in the default
application for its type (as determined by LaunchServices).
"open '/Volumes/Macintosh HD/Applications/'" opens that directory in the
"open -a /Applications/TextEdit.app '/Volumes/Macintosh HD/foo.txt'" opens
the document in the application specified (in this case, TextEdit).
"open -b com.apple.TextEdit '/Volumes/Macintosh HD/foo.txt'" opens the
document in the application specified (in this case, TextEdit).
"open -e '/Volumes/Macintosh HD/foo.txt'" opens the document in TextEdit.
"ls | open -f" writes the output of the 'ls' command to a file in /tmp and
opens the file in the default text editor (as determined by
"open http://www.apple.com/" opens the URL in the default browser.
"open 'file://localhost/Volumes/Macintosh HD/foo.txt'" opens the document
in the default application for its type (as determined by LaunchServices).
"open 'file://localhost/Volumes/Macintosh HD/Applications/'" opens that
directory in the Finder.
"open -h NSView" lists headers whose names contain NSView and allows you to
choose which ones to open.
"open -h NSView.h" immediately opens NSView.h.
"open --env MallocStackLogging=YES -b com.apple.TextEdit" launches TextEdit
with the environment variable "MallocStackLogging" set to "YES"
"open -h NSView -s OSX10.12" lists headers whose names contain NSView in
the MacOSX 10.12 SDK and allows you to choose which ones to open.
First appeared in NextStep.
macOS April 14, 2017 macOS