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.


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 '12 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.

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