How to Manage Startup Apps in Linux Mint

You can add or remove apps which launch at startup in Linux Mint when the OS finishes booting. In this article, we will see a universal method suitable for all desktop environments to manage startup apps. Additionally, we will see what Mint's main desktop environments provide for startup app management.


To manage startup apps, you can use just a file manager. Modern desktop environments, and some window managers too are configured out-of-the-box to process *.desktop files in special directories. These directories are as follows:
/home/your user name/.config/autostart

The first folder is common for all users of the operating system. All *.desktop files are launchers for apps, and will be processed for all users. You need to have root access to put files there or remove them.

XDG Autostart Common Directory

The second folder is your personal startup folder. Launchers you place there will run at startup only for your personal account.Personal Autostart Folder In Linux

Here is how to use these folders to manage startup apps in Linux Mint.

Manage Startup Apps in Linux Mint

As you may know, all app launchers (*.desktop files) are stored in the following folder:


Applications Folder In Linux

So, if you copy the desired app launcher from that folder to your personal ~/.config/autostart folder, this will make the application start every time you sign in to your user account.

Put An App To Startup In Linux MintIf you put the launcher inside the folder /etc/xdg/autostart, the application will be started automatically for every user.

You can use any file manager to copy files between these folders. No extra tools are required.

However, Desktop Environments in Linux Mint provide a GUI configurator for startup app management.

Manage Startup Apps in MATE

  1. Open Control Center.MATE Control Center IconMATE Control Center
  2. Click "Startup Applications" under "Personal":MATE Control Center Startup Applications Icon
  3. The Startup Applications Preferences window will be opened. Click the Add button and fill in text boxes.MATE Add Startup Application

Manage Startup Apps in XFCE

To add a new app to startup in XFCE, do the following.

  1. Open Settings.XFCE4 All Settings IconXFCE4 All Settings Opened
  2. Go to Session and Startup under System.XFCE4 All Session And Startup Icon
  3. Go to the tab "Application Autostart".XFCE4 Application Autostart Tab
  4. Click the Add button to add a new application to startup.
    The following dialog will appear:XFCE4 Application Autostart
  5. There, type the name of startup item and fill in the command text box.

Manage Startup Apps in Cinnamon
To add a new app to startup in Cinnamon, do the following.

  1. Open System Settings (Control Center).Cinnamon System Settings Menu IconCinnamon System Settings Control Center
  2. Click the Startup Applications under Preferences.Startup Applications Cinnamon
  3. The following window will be opened: Startup Applications Interface In Cinnamon
  4. Click the Add button, the click the Choose application item. Alternatively, you can use the "Custom command" item.
    Add New Startup App Cinnamon
    The following dialog will appear:Choose An App Cinnamon
  5. Select the desired app and click "Add Application".

Manage Startup Apps in KDE

  1. Open System Settings.KDE System Settings
  2. Click Startup and Shutdown under "Workspace". The following page will be opened:KDE Startup And Shutdown Category
  3. On the Autostart tab, click the button "Add Program..." and choose an app to make it start with KDE.KDE Add App To StartupKDE App To Startup

That's it.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

6 thoughts on “How to Manage Startup Apps in Linux Mint”

  1. Thank you so much for providing this valuable information! It would be nice if LXDE and LXQT were also included.

  2. Great article but, I was looking for options that would enable me to select where the apps launch – by that I mean, in to which workspace and position in that workspace. For example…

    workspace 1: thunderbird and slack, side by side
    workspace 2: signal, whatsap & telegram
    workspace 3: firefox


  3. Does anyone know what specific gsettings schema the autostart programs are added to? Like if I wanted to script the addition of an autostart program with gsettings tool? Thanks!

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