Is there an easy way to let applications start automatically, like in Windows: simply put a link in the autostart folder, or enter the path and the name of the executable in the registry?

2 Answers 2


Adding applications to autostart using the GUI

Starting applications automatically in elementary OS is as easy as in Windows, if not even easier.

  1. Open System Settings
  2. Click at Applications and switch to Startup
  3. Click at the + button in the lower left corner
  4. Choose your application or start typing it's name in the upper textfield. If it's a command, you would like to start, type it in the lower textfield

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Manually adding Applications to autostart

All autostart entries are being stored in ~/.config/autostart. The entries are basically .desktop files.
This is an example of my Insync autostart entry:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Launch Insync
Exec=insync start

The only difference are the last two lines. X-GNOME-Autostart-Delay adds a delay in seconds, and X-GNOME-Autostart-enabled decides if this application is enabled or disabled as autostart entry.

Instead of using the GUI, you can copy the .desktop file of your desired autostart application from /usr/share/applications/ or ~/.local/share/applications/ and add the two missing lines by hand.


Sure there is!

  1. Open System Settings -> Applications -> Startup tab.
  2. Click on the + icon in the lower left corner.
  3. Find the app you want.


  • damn... I was too slow :)
    – Rafael
    Aug 15, 2015 at 19:42
  • thnx for the answer. this option i already found. it would be interresting where the origin file/s is/are placed, to set some arguments for the starting programs. Aug 16, 2015 at 9:12
  • @blabliblupp I think that it searches for applications by looking at the .desktop files. Those files are located in two directories: mostly in /usr/share/applications, but some of them are in ~/.local/share/applications. Note that this is not the directory where these programs are stored, just the place where .desktop files get stored. Those files are used to quickly execute terminal commands (which is how you start applications in Linux) and the content of those files are also shown in the Application launcher.
    – r3bl
    Aug 16, 2015 at 13:23
  • @blabliblupp I've completed my answer, take a look. It should now have all informations you asked for.
    – Rafael
    Aug 16, 2015 at 19:33

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