Monthly Downloads: 0
Programming language: Shell
License: MIT License
Tags: Miscellaneous     URL     Browser     Website     App     Editor     Process     File     Open     Cmd     Args     DEFAULT     Exec     Child     Xdg     Start     Exe     Spawn     Executable     Arguments     Urls     Xdg-open     Launch     Opens     Opener     Opn    
Latest version: v6.4.0

opn alternatives and similar modules

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Open stuff like URLs, files, executables. Cross-platform.

If need this for Electron, use shell.openItem() instead.

Note: The original open package was previously deprecated in favor of this package, and we got the name, so this package is now named open instead of opn. If you're upgrading from the original open package (open@0.0.5 or lower), keep in mind that the API is different.


  • Actively maintained.
  • Supports app arguments.
  • Safer as it uses spawn instead of exec.
  • Fixes most of the open original node-open issues.
  • Includes the latest xdg-open script for Linux.
  • Supports WSL paths to Windows apps under /mnt/*.


$ npm install open


const open = require('open');

(async () => {
    // Opens the image in the default image viewer and waits for the opened app to quit.
    await open('unicorn.png', {wait: true});
    console.log('The image viewer app quit');

    // Opens the URL in the default browser.
    await open('https://sindresorhus.com');

    // Opens the URL in a specified browser.
    await open('https://sindresorhus.com', {app: 'firefox'});

    // Specify app arguments.
    await open('https://sindresorhus.com', {app: ['google chrome', '--incognito']});


It uses the command open on macOS, start on Windows and xdg-open on other platforms.

open(target, options?)

Returns a promise for the spawned child process. You would normally not need to use this for anything, but it can be useful if you'd like to attach custom event listeners or perform other operations directly on the spawned process.


Type: string

The thing you want to open. Can be a URL, file, or executable.

Opens in the default app for the file type. For example, URLs opens in your default browser.


Type: object


Type: boolean Default: false

Wait for the opened app to exit before fulfilling the promise. If false it's fulfilled immediately when opening the app.

Note that it waits for the app to exit, not just for the window to close.

On Windows, you have to explicitly specify an app for it to be able to wait.

background (macOS only)

Type: boolean Default: false

Do not bring the app to the foreground.


Type: string | string[]

Specify the app to open the target with, or an array with the app and app arguments.

The app name is platform dependent. Don't hard code it in reusable modules. For example, Chrome is google chrome on macOS, google-chrome on Linux and chrome on Windows.

You may also pass in the app's full path. For example on WSL, this can be /mnt/c/Program Files (x86)/Google/Chrome/Application/chrome.exe for the Windows installation of Chrome.

  • open-cli - CLI for this module
  • open-editor - Open files in your editor at a specific line and column

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