Launching X11 applications from Finder

  • Daniel Aarno

    Daniel Aarno - 2002-09-26

    As talked about on forum there is now a way of opening documents in X11 application by double-clicking them in the Finder. Is this not an interesting feature to add to XonX to make it more attractive to the general user?

    The first post on MOH was:

    "Anyone know of a way to make a double-click on a file in the Finder open with an X11 application.

    For instance:
    I have a .ps file, I locate it in Finder double-click on it an it opens in gv in X11.


    Then this comes up...

    "Well here is a solution to the problem, maybe not the best one but it WORKS and you can double-click documents associated with an X11 application and have them open!

    About XL

    Ever wanted to be able to open a document in an X11 application by simply double-clicking it from the Finder? Well now you can!

    By default XL is able to open documents with

    gv (.ps files)
    gimp (.xpm files)
    texmacs (.tex files)
    lyx (.lyx files)

    if they where installed by fink

    but you can map any document type to any application by simply double-clicking on the XL icon and selecting preferences from the XL menu"

    ending of with something like this....

    "XL works but...

    After clicking on 3 .xpm files I had 3 instances of the gimp running. Whereas if I open 3 files in the gimp I would just have 3 windows showing files. Still pretty neat tho. Excelent alpha as far as it goes. Maybe Daniel Arno(!) should open source it. It could become an XonX staple."

    Since I'm that guy, is there an interest in adding this to XonX?

    • Torrey T. Lyons

      Torrey T. Lyons - 2002-09-27

      >Since I'm that guy, is there an interest in adding this to XonX?

      Yes. This sounds like a very useful utility. If you were willing to license it under one of the approved XFree86 licenses, I think it would make a good addition. Out of curiosity, how does XL interoperate with OroborOSX?

      • Adrian

        Adrian - 2002-09-27

        It may be worth me just noting something I'm working on at the moment (right this minute, in fact!) for OroborOSX - basically, a configurable list of "helper scripts" (like those in the Launch Menu Items folder), that can be easily associated with filename extensions and type/creator codes.

        Think of it as being something like the way a browser has "Helper Apps" which it launches when it gets a file.

        In the case of OroborOSX you can just drag the file onto the OroborOSX icon (in the Dock or the actual app icon in the Finder) and it will then "route" it through to the appropriate script (one that tells gimp to open the file, say, or launches ghostview with that file, or sends it to OpenOffice, etc.)

        Of course, it's only a short step from there to actually setting up OroborOSX as being the 'official' editor/viewer for certain types of files - so double-clicking will send it direct to OroborOSX, which will then 'route' it appropriately.

        The main thing I was worried about with this was the multi-launch problem with gimp - but a recent post in forums showed a way around that:

        Daniel, I suggest you modify your gimp-launching script to use this (that will remove the one complaint you've had so far :-)



    • Daniel Aarno

      Daniel Aarno - 2002-09-28

      Yes, I guess I could GPL the sources, however XL is written in Java so I'm not sure how useful they'll actually be.

      I've tossed the project folder at

      everything is quite a mess but someone might get a pointer or two about how it works, sorry about the poorly commented code.

      • Torrey T. Lyons

        Torrey T. Lyons - 2002-09-28

        >Yes, I guess I could GPL the sources, however XL is written in Java so I'm not sure how useful they'll actually be.

        Java is not a problem. If it builds on the platforms it is intended for (Mac OS X in this case), its good. GPL, however, is a problem. GPL is not compatible with XFree86's license philosophy as described at Basically, an acceptable license, "does not impose any conditions on the modification or redistribution of either the source code or binaries other than requiring that copyright and/or licence notices are left intact."

        In any case, I'll download the project and give it a look. Thanks.

    • Daniel Aarno

      Daniel Aarno - 2002-09-30

      OK, if you're interested in the sources (maybe only the methods used are interesting) you can mail me at and I can give you the sources under whatever license you prefer.

      /Daniel Aarno


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