Open Multiple Applications Simultaneously in Ubuntu

When you are working on your computer, you probably need to work with several applications. For example, when I am writing an article, I need to open up applications like Firefox, Hotshots, GIMP, Autokey etc. The standard way is to open the applications one at a time. A more productive way is to open these applications simultaneously with a single command (or mouse click). In this quick tutorial, I will show you how the following can be done: open multiple applications simultaneously in Linux.

Note: This tutorial is done on Ubuntu, but it will work on any Linux distro, and even on Mac.

The way to do this is very simple. All we need to do is to create a bash script that opens these applications simultaneously. This can be easily achieved with the command “&

1. Open gedit (or any other text editor).

2. Paste the following commands:

application1 & application 2 & application3

Replace “application1”, “application2” etc. with the name of the application that you want to launch.

For example, to launch Firefox, GIMP and Hotshots simultaneously, the commands would look like this:

firefox & gimp & hotshots

3. Save the file (you can give it any name you want). You can either end the filename with a .sh extension, or just leave the extension blank. For me, I just name it “blogging-apps”.

4. Next, give the file an executable permission.

chmod +x blogging-apps

That’s it. The next time you want to launch the series of applications, simply run this file, and all your applications will be launched simultaneously. You can also create different scripts for different needs.

Integrating with Synapse

If you are using Synapse to launch applications, you will find that this trick won’t work. Selecting the file will open it in Gedit (or your default text editor) instead of running the command. To overcome this, you can move the script to the “/usr/bin/” directory. All the files in this folder are treated as commands rather than text file.

sudo cp blogging-apps /usr/bin/blogging-apps

Once you have moved the script, you will be able to execute the script in Synapse.



Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.

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