I'm looking for a way to open a given page in Google Chrome from the command line, with the following behaviour:

  • If the given page is already open in a tab, navigate to that tab
  • If the given page is not already open in a tab, open the page in a new tab and show that tab

Currently when I open a URL from the command line (e.g. using "open http://godzillahaiku.tumblr.com" on Mac OS X), Chrome will always open the URL in a new tab. I end up with lots of duplicate tabs as a result, which is a minor annoyance.

I'm looking for a solution that works on Mac OS X, but a non-OS specific solution would be preferable.

I'd consider writing a Chrome extension for this if there's no existing solution.

2 Answers 2


This is a simpler command line, but will still open a new tab:

open -a Google\ Chrome <file> 
  • I get the error '....\open' is not recognized as an internal or external command,
    – Myster
    Feb 4, 2015 at 1:30
  • This works for me on Mac OSX. Are you using a different OS?
    – Luis B
    Feb 10, 2016 at 23:12

Turns out this can be done with a few lines of javascript in a Chrome extension.

Still open to other answers, but in the meantime I've written a Chrome extension to do this and put the source online.

  • 1
    Care to enlighten me what the downvote was for with some constructive criticism?
    – MattH
    Mar 13, 2010 at 11:25
  • 1
    this little extension you made is in the pocket, thanks
    – aaron
    May 29, 2011 at 3:27

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