I would like to know if there is a command to open any file in Linux independently of their extension, just as if you were double-clicking it.

  • this is more associated with the mime types which are registered by your window manager desktop than to an application per se. In short, afaik there is no "double click" equivalent in command line as the double click is in fact a combination of a file picker + a list if registered mime types.
    – vfbsilva
    Commented Jul 19, 2015 at 0:01
  • 10
    xdg-open THE_FILE Commented Jul 19, 2015 at 0:06
  • 2
    Related: (if you don't have xdg-open) How does xdg-open do its work Commented Jul 19, 2015 at 0:34

2 Answers 2


There are commands that are similar to the double-click: xdg-open is a fairly standard command that is shipped with many linux GUIs. On Debian distros, there is also see and open.

It would be good to point out that extensions are actually kind of arbitrary. There are so many esoteric extensions out there; no program, including the "double-click" can possibly know how to interpret every file out there.

And if you know the contents of file and the right program to run it, you should be able to execute/use the file regardless of its extension.

  • 7
    xdg-open is much more standard than what you suggest. Commented Jul 19, 2015 at 2:45
  • 2
    see and open are specific to Debian and derivatives. xdg-open is pretty much de facto standard nowadays (it's a Freedesktop standard). Commented Jul 19, 2015 at 21:25
gnome-open "filename"

works like a charm

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