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A mac mini I'm working on won't boot, so I have to run the disc that came with it, which can re-install mac osx, but I need to get some files off it, and I can't find a way from the disc to open a finder menu to copy files from the hard drive to an external one. So I just need to know how to open finder from the terminal.

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migrated from Jan 27 '13 at 8:34

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What about trying Ubuntu Live disc? – Mike Jan 23 '13 at 3:44

3 Answers 3

You can immediately access the present working directory in the Finder by typing the following command in the Terminal:

open .

If you have just launched Terminal, typing this in the command line will immediately open your home directory, but you can be anywhere and it works the same. You can also specify directories to open from the terminal into the Finder, like so:

open /Applications/Utilities/

This opens your utilities app folder. Try it with just about anything.

From one of the top hits on Google for “open finder from the terminal.”

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after I type that it says command not found, for both – user2001854 Jan 23 '13 at 0:55
I have wanted to know how to do this since buying my first Mac about a year ago. I use "start <folderOrHostname>" from a CMD prompt a lot. I also make extensive use in Windows of Start -> Run (Command-R) and then "<folderOrHostname>". I still miss having the Windows Run type dialog but having a real terminal makes up for it. – lcbrevard Aug 7 '13 at 14:57

You won't be able to open finder from the Recovery DVD, it isn't available. If you have another mac with Firewire, and a Firewire cable you could put the mac into Target Disk Mode to recover your files. If not you can connect an external drive and copy the files via terminal. You can find guides online, but the basics are:

ls - view files in current directory

cd - change directory, cd /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/Users/yourname/

cp - copy files, cp -rv /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/Users/yourname/ /Volumes/External/

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Is the problem that Finder is not running, and you want to launch the Finder so you can copy files that way? If so, you can launch it from Terminal by doing

open /System/Library/CoreServices/
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