I was wondering what ways there are to start a (shell) script from the GUI, e.g. double-clicking an icon in Finder or launching via Spotlight.

This is not about opening a terminal and "manually" launching the script.

I used to have .term files on the desktop, which launch a terminal session and can also be extended to execute a script upon launch. This is nice if you need interaction or want to monitor the output.

I also know about running a shell script from Applescript, and just read about the .command files.

What is your preferred way to start a (shell) script from the GUI, and why ?

And maybe you could also write if it shows output and allows interaction or is just an invisible wrapper to e.g. start a program with its own GUI.

3 Answers 3


You can use an app like Platypus.

Platypus is a developer tool for creating application wrappers around scripts. In other words, it creates Mac OS X applications that execute a script which is bundled within the application. Command line scripts can thus be run transparently from the graphical window environment, integrating seamlessly with the user interface.

  • I'll mark this answer as accepted because Platypus is now my favourite wrapper for scripts.
    – iolsmit
    Mar 7, 2012 at 20:44

I've used Quicksilver to accomplish this task. You can initiate scripts either through assigning triggers or by manually typing in the process, script, etc., name and telling QS to run in a terminal window.


MacOS has a "Scripts" menulet, which can be activated from the Preferences of the Script Editor.app.

enter image description here

(There may be other ways to activate it.)

Once installed, it provides the user with the contents of /Library/Scripts. (And probably ~/Library/Scripts, though that folder does not exist by default.)

Any AppleScript, shell script, python script or other executable can then be selected directly from the menu.

It also provides access to Application Scripts, which are found in ~/Library/Application Scripts.

enter image description here

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