Starting an X Application without Tying It to Your xterm/rxvt/whatever

You may have noticed that starting an X application from a terminal window renders that window useless until the application is closed. If one tends to start a lot of X applications from terminal windows, this can get rather annoying.

Luckily, there exists a rather simple solution: Tell the X app to run in the background, thus it won't tie up the terminal window. You can do so by appending an & to the end of your command, as in the following example:

netscape &

This works rather nicely, but the programs you launch in this way still have a connection to your terminal, as you will quickly learn if you close the terminal you launched an X app from -- it takes the app with it. To preven this behaviour, use nohup. Because nohup tends to like creating a file that happens to have no use in this particular case, you need to redirect its output to /dev/null. The complete command for launching a Netscape window with no strings attached is:

nohup netscape > /dev/null &

That is a bit much to type every time you want to launch a program, so you may wish to create a shell script with a short name to do this for you.