Starting things from a script - or similar, how?

David Mohr squisher at
Sun Feb 22 19:36:38 CET 2009

On Sun, Feb 22, 2009 at 11:30 AM, Chris G <cl at> wrote:
> On Sun, Feb 22, 2009 at 02:01:19PM +0100, Mike Massonnet wrote:
>> Le Sun, 22 Feb 2009 12:19:05 +0000,
>> Chris G <cl at> a écrit :
>> > For some things it would be easier to start applicatons from a
>> > 'start-up script' rather than using the session saving abilities of
>> > xfce.
>> >
>> > Is there a correct/sensible way of doing this?
>> >
>> In Xfce 4.6 you have xfce4-session-settings (menu>settings>sessions).
>> In that dialog you have a tab "application autostart" what is known as
>> xfce4-autostart-editor in Xfce 4.4
> Hmmm, it's not really *intended* for what I want to do though is it,
> it's for running background tasks.
> I want to be able to do stuff like:-
>    +  "I" Exec /home/chris/bin/astime
>    +  "I" Exec /home/chris/bin/firefox
>    +  "I" Exec gnome-panel
>    +  "I" Exec gnome-terminal -t DevA --geometry 84x36+0+0
>    +  "I" Exec gnome-terminal -t DevB --geometry 84x36+0-0
>    +  "I" Exec gnome-terminal -t Browser --geometry +0+0
>    +  "I" Exec gnome-terminal -t Mail/News --geometry 80x76+0+0
>    +  "I" Exec gnome-terminal -t Home --geometry 110x72-0-0
>    +  "I" Exec gnome-terminal -t Windows --geometry +0+0
>    +  "I" Exec gnome-terminal -t Reminders --geometry 100x10-0+100

How are these not background tasks?

> OK, this is from an fvwm configuration file but you get the idea,
> currently I use the xfce4 sessions to manage most of this but I'm
> wanting to add more subtle stuff now like starting up and shutting
> down VirtualBox.  It would be *much* easier to do this with a pair of
> scripts one of which is run immediately after X starts and the other
> of which executes just before X closes down.
> Being able to edit a straightforward text file to do this sort of
> stuff is *so* much easier than filling boxes in a GUI and/or selecting
> options when you shut down and/or start up.

Why don't you add a shell script to the autostarted applications, and
then just edit that in a text editor?
With 4.6 you will also have the option to modify xfconf settings
through the command line.

I don't think there is a hook for shutting down though.


> I have to say actually that the major reason that I'm using xfce now
> is that it provides a more 'standard' ubuntu setup and I like the
> window manager decorations.  I'm seriously hankering after the ease of
> configuration of something like fvwm.
> --
> Chris Green
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