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emacs &

Forks but the process is attached to the shell

nohup emacs &

Something like that works but seems to make some kind of log file

Just what exactly is alt+f2 doing?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

After you start a background process with & you can use the builtin disown to detach it from the shell and let it run detached. That is also more or less what nohup does, save the log being associated.

In essence, Alt-F2 starts a process and disowns it.

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