How-To Geek

How to Manage Startup Applications in Ubuntu 14.04


If you’ve installed a lot of applications in Ubuntu, you may have noticed that takes longer for your system to boot up. Some applications are automatically run when you boot up your Ubuntu system and this process uses up resources as Ubuntu boots.

However, you can control which applications run when you boot up Ubuntu and also specify a time delay for each application, so you don’t have every startup application running at boot time. The time delay can be used to stagger when the startup applications run, saving your resources.

NOTE: When we say to type something in this article and there are quotes around the text, DO NOT type the quotes, unless we specify otherwise.

Click the Search button at the top of the Unity bar.


Start typing “startup applications” in the Search box. Items that match what you type start displaying below the Search box. When the Startup Applications tool displays, click the icon to open it.


To prevent a program from automatically running when you boot up Ubuntu, select the check box next to that program in the Additional startup programs list so there is NO check mark in the box.


To set a time delay for a startup program so it runs at a later time, select the program (not the check box for the program) in the Additional startup programs list and click Edit.


On the Edit Startup Program dialog box, in the Command edit box, enter “sleep XX;” at the beginning of the command to run the program. Replace “XX” with the number of seconds before which the program should run when you boot. So, in our example below, the command “dropbox start –I” becomes “sleep 20; dropbox start –I”, where Dropbox will run 20 seconds after booting.


To close the Startup Applications Preferences dialog box, click Close.


We’ve also showed you how to manage startup applications in Windows 8 and how to disable startup programs in Windows 7 and 8.

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Lori Kaufman is a freelance technical writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.

  • Published 06/5/14

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