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So I'd like to manage my autostart applications and e.g. disable those which I prefer not to autostart. How can I do that in Debian 9.0?

I could not do so via the System Monitor and I'd prefer a GUI over the console.
Furthermore it would be nice if such a tool also displayed some information about the apps/processes such as what they do, whether they're safe to disable and e.g. things like whether many have them running as well and whether (many/specific) users have flagged them for being undesired.

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5 Answers 5

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There are (at least) two packages in Debian which provide tools to manage startup applications.

The first is gnome-tweak-tool; its “Startup Applications” tab allows you to manage your startup applications in your desktop environment.

The second is systemd-ui; it shows all the configured systemd units and jobs on your system, and allows you to start, stop, restart and reload units. It also displays the description and dependencies of each unit (but not the links to the documentation which may be given in the unit). It doesn’t seem to allow enabling and disabling units though, which is probably what you’re after.

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  • It seems on Debian buster gnome-tweak-tool has been renamed to gnome-tweaks Jan 24, 2021 at 13:44
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You can use use Boot Up Manager, which is essentially a front-end to manage the scripts in /etc/init.d. It'll give you a view of what scripts are present on your computer and which ones are active. You can enable or disable them in the GUI. It does provide a level of additional information if you select Advanced and go to the Services tab. This includes priority, tags and a home page you can visit to get more detail. You can find more information on it here: http://www.marzocca.net/linux/bumdocs.html and install it with apt-get install bum

If you're just looking to add a program to startup, there was a (gnome-based) Startup Applications program with a simple click and add interface available in jessie (or in my installation at at least). I can't establish if it is present in stretch from a simple google.It may be worth checking to see if the option is available in your menu.

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  • That's pretty much what I was looking for; thanks. However it doesn't show all the processes (incl daemons) that are shown under System Monitor->Processes after I started up so it's missing things. Furthermore it would be nice if it also displayed some more info on each process; for instance it could fetch packages.debian.org descriptions among other things. And it could also compare the hashes with those fetched from some online source. But most useful would be showing truly all startup processes (also incl those of other users).
    – mYnDstrEAm
    Jul 6, 2017 at 10:57
  • Sadly bum has been removed from Debian's repos now. Still looking for an alternative GUI...
    – mYnDstrEAm
    Jan 6, 2021 at 19:03
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Startup-Watcher

Also as an alternative this application can watch for changes on 32 locations about auto-starting applications, services etc.

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Here is a Qt GUI to manage systemd units which may autostart: SystemdGenie

To install it on Debian you also need to run: sudo apt-get install extra-cmake-modules libkf5auth-dev libkf5coreaddons-dev libkf5crash-dev libkf5i18n-dev libkf5xmlgui-dev libsystemd-dev and in the installation instructions at the link above replace the cmake command with: cmake (without the prefix). It's currently not in Debian's repositories and only works for autostarts by systemd.

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To add or remove startup apps using XFCE in Debian 10, I click the XFCE start button, then navigate to Settings -> Settings Manager -> Session and Startup. From there I simply use the "Add"/"Remove" buttons with the checkboxes beside each item to do the rest.

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  • KDE also has settings for Autostarts but it basically doesn't show anything. It's probably not much different for XFCE or can you see all the systemd services and so on that get started automatically there?
    – mYnDstrEAm
    Jan 10 at 15:31

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