How To: Add startup programs in GNOME 3

This is a tip to automatically start any program of your choice while logging into your GNOME 3 desktop.

Create an ordinary file in your ~/.config/autostart directory. If the ~/.config/autostart directory is not present, you will have to create it.

Name the file appname.desktop; where appname is the name of the program you want to start during GNOME 3 startup.

For example, I wanted Artha (a free offline dictionary)  to start during GNOME 3 startup in Fedora and I named the file artha.desktop and saved it in the ~/.config/autostart directory.

Now enter the following data in the file.

[Desktop Entry]
Comment[en_US]=offline dictionary
Comment=offline English dictionary

You should change the sections shown in blue to reflect your application.

Lastly save and close the file. That is it. Next time you start GNOME 3, the application will automatically start running.

GNOME 3 taskbarTo see it in action in GNOME 3, just hover your mouse pointer at the lower right corner of the screen, and a semi transparent task bar will be visible where you can see the program iconified.

Note: In the future versions of GNOME 3 there may be a GUI for doing this stuff. As of now, this is the only way to start your programs automatically when you login to GNOME 3.

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5 thoughts on “How To: Add startup programs in GNOME 3

  1. GUI = faster and easier way:
    1) Open File Manager (Nautilus)
    2) View, Show Hippen Files
    3) Browse to “home/.config/autostart” folder
    4) Drag Icon/App from Application Menu onto Autostart folder

    Thanks for starting the post.
    Groete van Gauteng – Phillip

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