How To Make Desktop Applications Start Automatically After Login (GNOME)

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme

You probably know this: you power on your machine, and immediately after you've logged in you manually start your two or three favourite applications. Why not have the system start these applications for you automatically? This short guide shows how to accomplish this under GNOME.

I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


1 Preliminary Note

For demonstration purposes I will show how to make Pidgin (instant messenger) and Skype start automatically after the login. You probably have other applications such as Evolution or Thunderbird that you'd like to start - it works exactly the same way as shown here.


2 Using The Session Manager To Make Applications Start Automatically

Open the Sessions Manager (System > Preferences > Sessions):

On the first tab you see a list of applications that are already started automatically when your desktop session starts. To add an application, click on the Add button:

A new window opens. Fill in the name of the application as you'd like it to appear in the list on the first tab of the Sessions Manager (e.g. Pidgin). Then click on the Browse... button right of the Command field:

A file browser opens. Most applications are located in the /usr/bin directory, so we go there and search for our application (pidgin in this example). Mark it and click on Open:

We now have the right command in the Command field. If you like you can add a comment, although that's optional. Click on OK afterwards:

Now you can do the same again for another application, e.g. Skype:

Afterwards, you should find your applications in the list on the first tab. You can now close the Sessions Manager:

Now log out of your current desktop session and then log back in. Your favourite applications should now start automatically:

Have fun!

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