Ubuntu – How to start applications automatically on login


How can I make an application automatically start when I have logged in?

Best Answer

20.04 and later

  1. If not yet done by default install gnome-startup-applications
  2. Search and open "Startup Applications"

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  1. click add to enter the command including options of your application as you would run it from terminal (you may have to give in the full path if it runs from a non-standard location)

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  • This will add a .desktop file in your ~/.config/autostart

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14.04 and later

  1. Open the Dash and search for "Startup Applications"

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  1. Now click on Add and give in the command to run the application. This can be found in Main Menu if installed (see below)

Using Main Menu (alacarte) to find the terminal command to run a given program:

  1. Firstly open the program 'Main Menu' (type Menu in the Dash)

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  1. Now select the program which you want to add to startup and click on properties .

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  1. Now note the command for that program .

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Non GUI approach

Advanced users may want to manually put a .desktop file in ~/.config/autostart to run applications after a user login. This may have following content:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=<Name of application as displayed>
Exec=<command to execute>
Icon=<full path to icon>
Comment=<optinal comments>

You may have to give this file execute permission.