How-To Geek

How to Make Programs Start Automatically in Linux Mint 12


In Windows we have the Startup folder where we can easily place a shortcut to a program that we want to launch automatically. In Linux Mint there is a way easier way to manage startup applications–here’s how to do it.

Note: Since this is just for demonstration purposes I will be setting VLC Media Player to start automatically. However, this will work with any application.

The first thing you are going to want to do is click on the Applications menu, then select Other and launch “Startup  Applications”


You will now be able to see the applications that are set to startup


Go ahead and click on the Add button


Give your startup item a name, I will just call mine VLC


Now click on the browse button and navigate to where your application is installed. For most applications this is at:

File System > usr >  bin

Now select your application and click on the open button


Now click on the add button


Your application is now set to startup automatically


Pro Tip

If you have been using Linux Mint for a while you might notice that the Startup Applications Preferences has far fewer entries than before. This is because most of them are hidden by default, to get them back launch Terminal and run the following command:

sudo sed -i 's/NoDisplay=true/NoDisplay=false/g' /etc/xdg/autostart/*.desktop

Now you will be able to see all the applications and services that are set to automatically start


Taylor Gibb is a Microsoft MVP and all round geek, he loves everything from Windows 8 to Windows Server 2012 and even C# and PowerShell. You can also follow him on Google+

  • Published 01/26/12

Comments (9)

  1. Kurt

    This is “a way easier way to manage startup applications”???
    What drugs are you using? :-O

  2. Taylor Gibb

    @Kurt hahahahaha you made me lol, people thought i was crazy. I am not a Linux Guru, i dont even use Linux, when i found out that changing your startup programs doesnt require hectic commands i was like that was easy, maybe i should of worded it better :) thanks for the laugh anyway

  3. cam2644

    Kurt you are too harsh!
    This is useful and easy to follow info. Thanks

  4. Chrishas

    Actually Kurt is not completely wrong. This is not exactly simpler than the windows method as the user is required to know the exact command name of the application and does not give him the ability to choose one of the entries in the menu instead. Imagine someone who has never used Linux before trying to figure out where the commands are stored…

  5. mikiaandy

    click right on the icon program and mark launch when i log on

  6. mela1

    The best part of the article was at the end. The Pro Tip helped me permanently eliminate unnecessary startup applications. Thanks!

  7. teruble

    God forbid you learn some thing new and useful.

  8. rafael

    I’m trying to get Xampp for Linux (Lampp) starting automaticaly by this way, but it doesn’t work because the command line needs the sudo password… What can I do?

  9. rafael

    I found it! At terminal, enter this command:

    sudo ln -s /opt/lampp/lampp /etc/init.d/lampp

    than this:

    sudo update-rc.d -f lampp defaults

    Now xampp for linux will autostart. Tested in Linux Mint 12, default interface.

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