From a terminal prompt, when I do:

open -a /Users/homer/Applications/Preview /Users/homer/Downloads/test.jpg

I get an error:

FSPathMakeRef(/Users/homer/Applications/Preview) failed with error -43.

But if I do:

open /Users/homer/Downloads/test.jpg

the image is opened in Preview just fine.

What is going on?

  • 3
    I’m puzzled why Preview.app is in ~/Applications and not where Catalina installed it?
    – bmike
    Oct 30, 2020 at 1:21
  • 1
    Edited the question, thx
    – Nona
    Oct 30, 2020 at 1:49
  • 1
    Great question +1 - I’ll try to find time this weekend to reproduce it. Might just be sandbox restrictions or firmlinks assembling multiple application folders into one for Finder. apple.stackexchange.com/a/372960/5472
    – bmike
    Oct 30, 2020 at 1:58
  • 1
    For context, this was done on a Macbook Pro (Mid 2014) 1398A and was upgraded from Mojave to Catalina, so it wasn't done on a fresh Catalina install if that makes a difference.
    – Nona
    Oct 30, 2020 at 2:02
  • 1
    open -a /System/Applications/Preview.app file.png works for me. Note the default install location of /System/Applications, and the .app extension, which I found I needed to include.
    – Matthias
    Oct 30, 2020 at 5:22


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