How to open two instances of Atom on a Mac?


I’m developing an Atom plugin and because it’s a collaboration plugin, I really need to have two instances of atom running side by side. Normally in OS X you can do this with open -n <path> but that’s not working for Atom. Can it be done? How?


I’m after the same thing. Need two instances running along side, with the possibility to have different settings on each one.


I believe they added support for an environment variable ATOM_HOME recently, then Atom would put its settings there.


ATOM_HOME does work when opening atom, and it will use that directory to store settings, but you can’t have two instances each with its own ATOM_HOME. Once you open a second instance, the first will use the same ATOM_HOME as the second one.


I am not sure what you’re looking for,

  • You start atom
    [ If you don’t have open-last-project
  • You open a folder as a project
  • You open the same folder again from the atom menu
    Et Viola! You have two instances of atom running.


Yeah, I just ran into this myself – was hoping to add an ~/.atom-git configuration with a minimal set of packages and anything that closes a pane redirected to close the window, and hook it into core.editor.

I couldn’t even get far enough to find out if application:quit (bound to something other than cmd-Q) would close all the windows, or just the current window.

Are there any ways around this? Either I’m missing something, or it is surprisingly difficult to get atom to work in a dialog-ish mode of just popping up a new window, doing some very quick edits, and closing the window. I get that its not the primary use case, but it would be so nice to be able to live with just one text editor.

Might even just be nice to get atom --wait to return when the file it was launched with was closed, but I think thats pretty far off of the original post’s use case.


After doing some research, I came across a package called Project Manager. Hopefully it is what you are after, It was for myself!