Revision 5 as of 2005-12-03 17:54:11

Clear message

If you want Ubuntu to start up programs automatically there is two ways to do this.

  • Saving your session when you log off, programs will be restarted when you sign back on.
  • Starting a program every time you sign on because this is what you always use.

The first thing that you need to know is that when you log onto Ubuntu you are creating a session. So we are modifying the settings for you session.

  • Go to System > Preferences > Sessions

You now have the ability to configure how things work and how they work at startup. On my version you have three tabs: "Session Options", "Current Sessions" and "Startup Programs".

In the "Session Options" tab you will see "Automatically save changes on to session". If you wish to restore you working environment session to session then tick this box. This can have unwanted side effects like restarting the program that you cannot get out of, so consider carefully what you want to achieve.

The next tab is "Current Session" this is is useful to know what you are running.

The final tab "Startup Programs" allows you to always start programs when you start up. You can order these startups using the priority, 50 will be started before 51 for example. In order to start a program you have to know the command line to start. How do you easily determine this. Let's do this through the panels, my example will be evolution however other programs can be done using similar steps.

Firstly locate your program in the menu structure do not select it to run, right mouse click to get the context menu for example, using Evolution mail client as an example:

  • Click "Applications"
  • move to "Office"
  • Slide to left to "Evolution"
  • Right mouse click
  • move to "Add this launcher to panel"

This will place the evolution icon on the panel at the top of the desktop. This is very handy because it is a shortcut to finding your applications instead of that long winded menu.

Now we need to find the command line. right mouse click on the icon on the panel. You should see an option properties. Select this and you will be shown a dialogue box, the important thing is the "Command:" box, this should say something like "evolution --component=mail". You drag your mouse across this and copy it using control-c (Hold ctrl key down and hit the C key). You now have the command stored.

Now we want to add this to our startup programs.

  • Go to System > Preferences > Sessions

  • Select the "Startup Programs" tab
  • Click add
  • In the "Startup command" box, paste the command you copied with control-v (see above)
  • Click OK (You should see your new command)
  • Click Close

Test by logging on and off.

If you wish to remove the icon from your panel after you have done this you simply right click and select 'Remove from panel'.

If you no longer want the program to startup when you logon:

  • Go to System > Preferences > Sessions

  • Select the "Startup Programs" tab
  • Select the program you want to remove
  • Click delete
  • Click Close

Now you may wish to modify the way a program works at startup. This is possible through command line options, there are parts to the command line:

  • evolution --component=mail

The first part "evolution" is the command that is running.

The second part "--component=mail" is called an option. You can modify they way evolution starts up by changing this option. The real trick is to findout what the command line supports. You might try [ google] to search for these options. You can test these out on a command line:

  • Applications > Accessories > terminal

And try out variations first. Once you have it right then you can change the settings in startup.

Good luck...

Moving appliactions to a workspace on startup and other more advanced stuff

Using the way described above, all the applications start in one workspace, maximized and so on. If you wished for example to start an application in workspace 2 minimized, you would have to do it manually - unless you install devilspie! Detailed howto can be found on the forums: []


This is very handy to start [ gdesklet] every time I turn on my pc.

Original text

This is very easy to do, although very difficult to find. At least for me.

I wanted my system set up so that every time I restart Ubuntu, it would remember the applications that I had left open in the previous session. But I didn't know how to do it. So I looked for a way to initialize some applications that I have chosen at startup. After many hours of searching, I found and read this link:

And it's just so easy.

  • Go to System > Preferences > Sessions (most people will know what to do when they get here, the problem is just to get there Sad :( )

  • At the startup tab just include your program and be happy Smile :)

After this, I also discovered the option "Save sessions changes automatically", or something like that, under the first tab, "Session Options". Select it to mantain applications that you have opened in your session and changes you have made.

Very handy to [ gdesklet] so that I don't need to start every time I turn on my pc.

CategoryDocumentation CategoryCleanup