Anne-Marie Mahfouf

Revision Plasma
5.12 (2018-03-25)

Autostart Manager

This module is a configuration tool for managing what programs start up with your personal Plasma™. It allows you to add programs or scripts so they automatically start during the startup or shutdown of your Plasma™ session and to manage them.


Please note that in this module all changes are immediately applied.

The program scans $HOME/.config/autostart/, $HOME/.config/plasma-workspace/env and $HOME/.config/plasma-workspace/shutdown folders to check what programs and scripts are already there and displays them. It allows you to manage them easily.


Note that you can change the location of your Autostart folder in ApplicationsLocations in the Personalization category of the System Settings and set a different folder than $HOME/.config/autostart.

Please read also Desktop Session and Background Services for information how to configure the startup behavior of your Plasma™ session.

Some KDE applications handle the autostart behavior on their own, e.g. you can enable or disable autostart of an application in the settings dialog (KAlarm) or you have to use FileQuit (Konversation, Kopete), otherwise the application is still running in the systemtray and will be restarted on next login.

Migration from KDE Workspaces 4

To migrate your personal autostart setting from KDE Workspaces 4:

Copy desktop files from $HOME/.kde/Autostart to $HOME/.config/autostart
Copy pre startup script files from $HOME/.kde/Autostart to $HOME/.config/plasma-workspace/env
Copy shutdown script files from $HOME/.kde/Autostart to $HOME/.config/plasma-workspace/shutdown

Files display

The main part of the module displays the programs that are loaded when Plasma™ starts and scripts that are run when Plasma™ starts, shutdowns or before Plasma™ starts.


You cannot amend this column. It states the name of the program or script you want to start with Plasma™. The name is extracted from the Desktop file from the Name key for a program and is the filename for a script.


This column lists the commands that are run to start the program. Commands for a program can be modified through the Properties button or by double clicking the program row. The command is extracted from the Desktop file from the Exec key.

For a script the command is the path to the script and can not be modified.


This setting is only available for programs through Desktop files. You can keep a program in the Autostart folder but disable it from being run at Plasma™ start. Unchecking the status Enabled the program will not run on start.

Unchecking the status Enabled sets the Desktop file Hidden property to true in the Autostart folder.

Run On

Programs (Desktop files) can only be run on startup. Scripts can be run on Startup, Shutdown or Before session startup. This column allows you to change when your script is run. Startup is when Plasma™ starts, shutdown is when you log out of Plasma™ and before session startup is before Plasma™ starts.

Scripts and desktop files set to run on Startup are copied or symlinked in $HOME/.config/autostart and will be run during Plasma™ startup.

Scripts set on to be ran on Shutdown are copied or symlinked in the $HOME/.config/plasma-workspace/shutdown directory and will be automatically run during Plasma™ shutdown after the user has logged out.

Scripts set to run at Pre-KDE Startup are copied or symlinked in $HOME/.config/plasma-workspace/env and are sourced during Plasma™ startup (the startkde script will look for scripts here).


Only scripts with the .sh extension can be read by Plasma™ for Before session startup and Shutdown modes.


On the bottom you have some buttons to change the way Autostart is configured. You can add programs or scripts, remove them or change their properties.

Add Program

Clicking this button displays the standard PlasmaChoose Application dialog and allows you to choose which program you want to start. After choosing the program, clicking OK brings you the properties for this program.

This will copy the program Desktop file in your Autostart folder.

Add Script

This button opens a dialog which asks you for the location of the script you want to add. If you keep Create as symlink checked (default) then the script will be added as a symlink. If you uncheck this option then the script will be copied in the corresponding local folder.


Remove will immediately remove the Desktop file for the program or the script or symbolic link in the Autostart folder.


This button (only enabled for programs i.e. Desktop files) allows you to change the properties of the program or script. You have general properties, permissions properties, a preview when applicable and properties related to the application for programs.


This button only applies to programs (i.e. Desktop files). A dialog asks you if you only want the program to autostart only in Plasma™ (and not in other desktop environments you might run). By default, the program will autostart in all desktop environments you might run. Checking Autostart only in Plasma will autostart the program only if you start the Plasma™ desktop environment.

This sets the value Plasma to the OnlyShowIn key of the program Desktop file.