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There are two applications I want autostarted, so I searched for it. However, the solutions only tell you how to do it, but not what to put in commands.

I use Ubuntu 13.10 and want Thunderbird and Empathy to start on startup. What are the commands that need to be executed? To be precise, what do I need to put in the "Command" field when I open the Startup Applications dialog and try to add a new application there?

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Put the below commands on the command field for thunderbird and empathy while adding it to startup applications,

/usr/bin/thunderbird
/usr/bin/empathy
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  • Why not to use directly thunderbird and empathy? – Pandya May 19 '14 at 4:51
  • because you added /usr/bin to environmental PATH variable, you can run thunderbird and empathy commands directly on terminal. – Avinash Raj May 19 '14 at 5:08
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    which thunderbird and which empathy will show you the above paths. – Avinash Raj May 19 '14 at 5:17
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Open a command prompt and execute: wmctrl -pl. This will give you a list of windows and their process IDs. It will look like:
0x03800008 0 2138 [your_host_name] unity-panel 0x0380000b 0 2138 [your_host_name] unity-dash 0x0380000c 0 2138 [your_host_name] Hud 0x0280000a 0 2213 [your_host_name] Desktop 0x0380000f 0 2138 [your_host_name] unity-panel 0x02c00078 0 2230 [your_host_name] Inbox - Mozilla Thunderbird

The last column is the window title. Match that to the application you are interested in.

The 3rd column is the Process ID. To find out the application that started that particular process ID use cat /proc/[the_proces_id]/cmdline. In the case of Thunderbird I used cat /proc/2230/cmdline and it produced
/usr/lib/thunderbird/thunderbird.

Thunderbird is not a very good example because it uses a stub in /usr/bin which starts the real application located in /usr/lib/thunderbird/.

Just starting /usr/lib/thunderbird/thunderbird however may or may not work and I do not recommend it. Instead you need to find out which program in /usr/bin (or maybe /bin) started the program you are interested in. To do that pass the program name to the program which, i.e. which thunderbird. It will give you the real program name, i.e. /usr/bin/thunderbird.

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  • It says the program wmctrl is not installed. It's not identifying it as a command! – Abhimanyu May 19 '14 at 5:16
  • To install it: sudo apt-get install wmctrl. To find out which package contains a particular file use apt-file search [the_file_name], but before that you will need to execute sudo apt-get install apt-file and sudo apt-file update – sмurf May 19 '14 at 6:41

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