29 October 2013

It can take a while waiting for a Gnome 3 desktop - in my case Fedora 19, to start up, and run some of your favourite apps. We usually have 2 or 3 go to apps that define our working day. Here is how I sped up mine, and kept it secure.

So I’ve done an update, and it required a restart. I like to let it do the restart, walk away for a cup of tea, and have the machine ready for me to work again when I return - not return, log in, and then find I have to wait again. Impatient sort of fella I know. Otherwise, there is wait for it to start, grind, grind, grind, start my apps, grind, grind grind.. And finally I can work. By which time the air of relaxation from the cuppa is gone, along with the enthusiasm, or complete recall of what I was about to do.

All of this, and I want it kind of secure too. The rough plan is to set the machine up to auto login, and start up my favourite apps, then issue a lock screen too. So the desktop is locked (requiring a password), but with everything running. There is probably an insecure window of opportunity there - but I don’t distrust coworkers that much, and for a home machine, my kids aren’t yet that quick.


The key to this is using gnome-session-properties. Being Gnome - it doesn’t have a button in the UI (Gnome are in the habit of taking all but the simplest functionality away at the moment - seems to be the UI fad). However, you can start it with a terminal, or Alt-F2 and type “gnome-session-properties”.

In this dialog you’ll need to add a few things.

  • First - secure it - click add, and set the name to something like “Lock on Start”, and the command needs to be gnome-screensaver-command --lock. Comment as you wish. Click add.
  • Next - add your apps. you may need to use a terminal, or menu editor to find the exact invocations tied to those icons. If firefox is part of your usual setup, which firefox on a terminal will give you the right invocation. Add each as a command in this list.
  • Close this dialog.

Now start the normal settings - click on your username, then settings, then users. In users - unlock it, and set to auto-login your user.

So when you start up - it will automatically log you in, then (and in slightly unknown order - but they don’t wait around) start your apps and lock the screen. When you come back to your desk - unlock the screen - and your apps are there waiting for you to run them.


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