How to delay a program such as cairo-dock (No openGL) or Firefox?

Sometimes programs crash when started with other startup apps. I want programs to start 10 seconds late to avoid a crash.


Delaying autostart with inbuilt delay option

Note: Only works with desktop sessions that recognize the X-GNOME-Autostart-Delayparameter (e.g. Unity, Unity2D, GNOME). This will not work for LXDE, XFCE, KDE, etc.

With this solution there's no need for a script or sleep. Head to your autostart folder:

nautilus ~/.config/autostart

Find the .desktop file that corresponds with your application and open it in a text editor, e.g. gedit:

gedit ~/.config/autostart/application.desktop

Append the following line to the file:


where foo is the time in seconds you want to delay the application launch by, e.g.:


Save the file, relog and you should see the effects.

  • This works very well in both ubuntu 12.04 and in 12.10-development release using Gnome-shell 3.6 – bmbaker Oct 7 '12 at 18:01
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    Works in Ubuntu 18.04. – Ives Jul 3 '18 at 13:50

Try this: bash -c "sleep 10 && firefox"

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    10x a lot, why does just sleep 10 && firefox not work? – user3804598 Jan 2 '18 at 20:43

You could try to change the command to this:

sleep 10 && firefox

Some people say it works, some say it doesn't, if this is your case, and it does not work, you can try with:

xterm -e 'sleep 10 && firefox'

I had to use this to get it to work for skype: sh -c "sleep 10 && skype &" in Ubuntu 12.04

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