gnome-session - Starts up the GNOME desktop environment


gnome-session [--autostart=DIR] [--default-session-key=KEY] [--failsafe|-f] [--debug]


The gnome-session program starts up the GNOME desktop environment. This command is typically executed by your login manager (either gdm, xdm, or from your X startup scripts). It will load either your saved session, or it will provide a default session for the user as defined by the system administrator (or the default GNOME installation on your system).

The default session is defined in the GConf keys under /desktop/gnome/session. When saving a session, gnome-session saves the currently running applications in the $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/gnome-session/saved-session directory.

gnome-session is an X11R6 session manager. It can manage GNOME applications as well as any X11R6 SM compliant.


The following options are supported:
 Start all applications defined in DIR, instead of starting the applications defined in /desktop/gnome/session/default_session, or via the --default-session-key option. Multiple --autostart options can be passed.
 Sets the GConf key from which applications running a default session should be read to KEY. If not specificed, /desktop/gnome/session/default_session will be used.
 gnome-session will run in fail-safe mode. User-specified applications will not be started.
 Enable debugging code.


gnome-session accepts all of the standard environment variables used by gnome programs, other than the SESSION_MANAGER environment variable. gnome-session also sets several environment variables for the use of its child processes.

This variable is used by session-manager aware clients to contact gnome-session.
This variable is set to the X display being used by gnome-session. Note that if the --display option is used this might be different from the setting of the environment variable when gnome-session is invoked.


gnome-session-properties(1) gnome-session-save(1) gnome-wm(1)


If you find bugs in the gnome-session program, please report these on

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