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Show Items in Folder

When we download a file in the browser, there is usually an option to "Show in folder". For the longest time, I've been looking for a way to do replicate this functionality on the command line.

It's not xdg-openโ€‹

We know that we can use xdg-open to open a file from the command line. By "open" I mean call the associated application and have it open the file requested. So I tried to monitor invocations of xdg-open by using the stupidest method there is:

echo "$0" "$@" >>/tmp/xdg-open-invocations.log
xdg-open-real "$@"

Of course, I've renamed the original xdg-open binary to xdg-open-real.

But I found nothing, no logs.

I applied the "monitoring" process to Thunar, but I only see a line like this in the log:

/usr/bin/Thunar --daemon

Something's calling Thunar and making it run as a daemon (presumably for faster start-up performance for subsequent calls). But I don't see anything related to the file I was viewing. Apparently Thunar doesn't have an option to do that, either.

Monitoring all process invocationsโ€‹

So I googled a bit and found this. The proper solution is:

$ sudo bpftrace -e 'tracepoint:syscalls:sys_enter_exec*{ printf("pid: %d, comm: %s, args: ", pid, comm); join(args->argv); }'

DO NOT copy solutions blindly from StackOverflow / Google / etc. Understand what it does first, then adapt it or use it accordingly.

However, it doesn't show any process invocations other than the Thunar --daemon one.

Of course it had to be D-Busโ€‹

Then it dawned on me that this should concern D-Bus. Using dbus-monitor, we can see this:

method call time=1644810719.430850 sender=:1.640 -> destination=org.freedesktop.FileManager1 serial=12 path=/org/freedesktop/FileManager1; interface=org.freedesktop.FileManager1; member=ShowItems
array [
string "file:///home/william/Downloads/download.pdf"
string ""

So I can replay it:

$ dbus-send --type=method_call --dest=org.freedesktop.FileManager1 /org/freedesktop/FileManager1 org.freedesktop.FileManager1.ShowItems array:string:"file:///home/william/Downloads/download.pdf" string:""

And it works! So I created this script to help me:


for x in "$@"; do

dbus-send \
--type=method_call \
--dest=org.freedesktop.FileManager1 \
/org/freedesktop/FileManager1 \
org.freedesktop.FileManager1.ShowItems \
array:string:"${PATH_ARRAY#,}" \