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With a desktop environment, there are file associations that goes with it.

I'm a minimalistic user, who doesn't use any of such, but still want some kind of file associations to ease my burden.

So I'm searching for a program that does something like the following.

open file.pdf

this will look at the extension, and translate to okular file.pdf.

Of course one can always write a bash script to do this. I wonder if there is something existing, so I don't reinvent the wheel.

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You want xdg-open for this.​

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You can use gnome-open for ubuntu / gnome.

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You could also use zsh

# Suffix aliases (Type a file as a command and this program will launch)        
alias -s jpg=gthumb
alias -s png=gthumb
alias -s pdf=okular
alias -s html=firefox
alias -s ogg=mplayer

In your example you would just type file.pdf and okular would start

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