How to Add Startup Programs in GNOME 3.14 on Debian 8 ‘jessie’

GNOME developers has removed the startup programs GUI from the newer iterations on GNOME desktop. That means you can’t manually add applications to startup? No, you can. You have to go just an extra mile. That’s it.

  • Open terminal and execute this to make a directory named autostart if it doesn’t exist already. Just execute it. It it exists, bash will let you know; and if it doesn’t, bash will create it.
mkdir ~/.config/autostart
  • Now you have to create a file using gEdit or any other text editor for the intended applications, which you want to run at startup. The name format for that file can be anything like applications_name.desktop. It’s mainly a .desktop file containing necessary info to run that specific program at startup, e.g. I wanted to run ibus-daemon at startup. So I created the following file:
[Desktop Entry]
Type=Application
Exec=/usr/bin/ibus-daemon
Hidden=false
X-GNOME-Autostart-enabled=true
Name[en_US]=iBus
Name=iBus
Comment[en_US]=Start iBus when GNOME starts
Comment=Start iBus when GNOME starts
  • All installed programs have their binaries in /use/bin folder. Search there and find the one you’re about to run at startup time.
  • In the above file, only change Exec, Name (both) and Comment (both). Leave the others, as they are. Then Save the file naming it using the format: applications_name.desktop e.g. I named mine as ibus.desktop as I wanted to run iBus daemon at startup.
  • Reboot you system. If everything else is okay and done as asked, your intended program should run at startup.
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