New LXSession autostart problem: 2 instances of nm-applet

John Hupp lubuntu at
Tue Nov 19 19:43:02 UTC 2013

On 11/18/2013 7:59 PM, John Hupp wrote:
> On 11/18/2013 5:40 PM, John Hupp wrote:
>> On 11/18/2013 4:52 PM, Federico Leoni wrote:
>>> 2013/11/18 John Hupp <lubuntu at 
>>> <mailto:lubuntu at>>:
>>> > When understanding broke upon me today concerning LXSession's default
>>> > setting (in 13.10) of 'disable_autostart=config-only' (rather than
>>> > 'disable_autostart=no'),  I changed it to NO and immediately solved a
>>> > weeks-old problem with SpiderOak Backup not auto-starting.
>>> >
>>> > But this change triggered a new problem: There are two instances of
>>> > nm-applet running.  Both instances work and yield the same 
>>> information.
>>> >
>>> > Since I had set disable_autostart=no in both
>>> > /etc/xdg/lxsession/Lubuntu/desktop.conf and in
>>> > ~/.config/lxsession/Lubuntu/desktop.conf, I considered it possible 
>>> (though
>>> > unexpected) that this was causing two instances to autostart, but 
>>> setting
>>> > disable_autostart=config-only once again in
>>> > /etc/xdg/lxsession/Lubuntu/desktop.conf did not solve the problem.
>>> >
>>> > The obvious questions: What happened?  How can I fix it?
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > --
>>> > Lubuntu-users mailing list
>>> > Lubuntu-users at <mailto:Lubuntu-users at>
>>> > Modify settings or unsubscribe at:
>>> >
>>> John,
>>> you need to disable "network" from Prefereces-->Desktop
>>> Session Settings.
>>> F.
>> That sort of works.
>> As Julie Lavergne noted today in a post with Subject: 'Back on 13.10 
>> release,' lxsession-edit (Preferences: Desktop Session Settings) has 
>> been removed from 13.10.  It has been replaced by 
>> lxsession-default-apps (Preferences: Default Applications for 
>> LXSession).  I think you and I had some previous exchange on this topic.
>> But the layout and functionality of lxsession-default-apps seem 
>> confusing.  You might think that its Autostart tab was intended to 
>> replace lxsession-edit's functionality, but as far as I can tell so 
>> far, it's major function is to disable/enable whole classes of 
>> autostarting apps.  There seems to be a provision for manually adding 
>> and controlling single apps, but there is no pre-populated list as 
>> there was with lxsession-edit.
>> In any case, on the Running Applications tab, I edited Network GUI: 
>> nm-applet and set that to NO.  This results in only one instance of 
>> nm-applet running for that user.  The edit must be repeated for all 
>> users.  [There is undoubtedly a global configuration that would fix 
>> that, but it does not seem to be achievable through the GUI, and I 
>> have not found documentation for accomplishing that directly in a 
>> configuration file.]
>> But I still don't know where the other instance of nm-applet is 
>> launching from.  /etc/xdg/lxsession/Lubuntu/autostart is empty, as is 
>> ~/.config/lxsession/Lubuntu/autostart.  And there is no *.desktop 
>> entry for nm-applet in the ~/.config/autostart folder.
> After some further research, I found that the still-enabled instance 
> of nm-applet is auto-starting from /etc/xdg/autostart/Network.desktop.
> But I also found that /etc/xdg/lxsession/Lubuntu/autostart and 
> ~/.config/lxsession/Lubuntu/autostart are both empty files.  So in 
> lxsession-default-apps, when I set changed Network GUI from nm-applet 
> to 'no', what was it writing that setting to?

I don't have a full grasp of this, but now know another piece of the 
puzzle.  I already understood that LXSession will autostart apps from 
these locations:
     /etc/xdg/lxsession/Lubuntu/autostart (command file)
     ~/.config/lxsession/Lubuntu/autostart (command file)
     /etc/xdg/lxsession/Lubuntu/autostart (autostart directory 
containing *.desktop files)
     ~/.config/autostart (autostart directory containing *.desktop files)

But now I understand that the new LXSession tools will also autostart 
many apps from these conf files:
     ~/.config/lxsession/Lubuntu/desktop.conf (this is the more 
important file and takes precedence in case of conflicting entries)

With some of the apps that may be started via desktop.conf, there is an 
autostart option to control whether or not the app autostarts. But in 
the case of the network manager GUI, if a command is specified (e.g. 
network_gui/command=nm-applet), it autostarts -- there is no option not 
to have it do so.

Lxsession-default-apps (aka menu Preferences: Default Applications for 
LXSession) reads-from/writes-to 
~/.config/lxsession/Lubuntu/desktop.conf, so settings made this way are 

Some important info sources: 
(LXSession supports these additional autostart methods) 
(explanation of the relevant environment variables);a=blob;f=data/desktop.conf.example;hb=HEAD 
(sample desktop.conf detailing all options) 
(a Julien Lavergne post to the LXDE_List that provides some helpful context) (more interesting stuff about 
LXDE configuration)

Even if you read through all of the above, though, you will still find 
some info gaps.  For instance, the location of desktop.conf, or 
additionally, that there are actually two locations, and that the 
user-location version prevails.  Also that lxsession-default-apps 
reads/writes only the user-location version of desktop.conf.  In fact, 
as far as I know, lxsession-default-apps is currently documented very 

(I could add for others who are newbies or not-long-exited from that 
status that all of the above addresses only application autostarts 
occurring after user login.  Service/daemon control uses a whole other 
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