Startup Apps in Gnome 3

The Blog of Tom Webster

  2016-01-04 02:13:06 PST

I recently switched to Gnome 3 on my personal laptop. When Gnome 3 first launched, it was an utter train wreck. Completely unusable, poor design choices, and seemingly purposely-built to serve a non-existent straight-linux tablet market. While the tablet influences are still around, the project has moved towards its original roots.

While Gnome 3 still isn't the perfect being that Gnome 2 (now MATE) was, the tweak tool being part of the default install and the extension library are helping make up for the shortcomings. One thing I really wanted to do is add custom startup applications to my session, this is accomplished via the tweak tool for now, since there is no UI for session management (yes, really).

I found this great article on how to do this, it involves creating a app.desktop file that can be seen by the tweak tool. This means that for every command line startup utility you want run on gnome session start, it needs a .desktop file. Ridiculous, but it works.

In case the site ever disappears, I've paraphrased the content below:

Create a app.desktop file in ~/.config/autostart, if this directory doesn't exist, create it.

Here's the basic content of a app.desktop file:

[Desktop Entry]
Exec=/usr/bin/xflux -z 12345
Comment[en_US]=Screen color temperature changer
Comment=Screen color temperature changer

Then head over to the Gnome Tweak Tool and go to the Startup Applications tab. From there, you can select the program for the app.desktop file you just made. Repeat as necessary.