Autostart locations in KDE4

Tim Edwards tkedwards at
Thu Jun 2 21:39:10 BST 2011

On Thu, 02 Jun 2011 14:54 +0000, "Duncan" <1i5t5.duncan at> wrote:
> Tim Edwards posted on Thu, 02 Jun 2011 11:53:52 +0200 as excerpted:
> > Recently I found that knetworkmanager wasn't starting up when I logged
> > into KDE. I tried looking for any mention of it in the 'startup and
> > shutdown' control centre module, but no luck. Eventually I found a tip
> > on a forum that I had to set 'Autostart=true' in
> > ~/.kde4/share/config/networkmanagementrc
> FWIW I don't use networkmanager at all, here.  I have two main systems 
> here.  My workstation is setup with a constant wired Ethernet connection 
> that's started as one of the system init services.  My netbook... isn't 
> really used as a /net/book but rather as a portable un-networked computer 
> most of the time.  Its Ethernet, which I use for updating from the 
> dedicated 32-bit chroot system image on my otherwise 64-bit workstation, 
> is likewise initscript controlled but in a non-default runlevel, and its 
> wireless hasn't been a big priority for me.  I did try to get the netbook 
> wireless networking running at one point but failed, I believe due to a 
> kernel bug with the particular kernel I was running at the time.  I've 
> since upgraded kernels but as I said, it hasn't been a big priority to
> get 
> that working, and I've not gotten back to it.
> As such I can't and won't attempt to deal with the networkmanager stuff
> at 
> all.  However, I can help with the following...
> > So my question is, what's the status of the autostart stuff: Shouldn't
> > it all be configurable through the standard control centre module which
> > stores its settings in the standard (~/.config/autostart)
> > directory?
> Not really.  The setting found in that location serve a specific purpose 
> -- USER configurable autostart (and auto-stop).  It's not for general
> KDE/
> desktop services (there's a different place to configure that) or for 
> general system services (configured using whatever tools your
> distribution 
> provides for setting up and configuring system initscripts and services).
> > Does KDE go scanning through ~/.kde4/share/config/ looking for
> > 'Autostart=' in rc-files?
> I don't believe so in general.  However, knetworkmanager is evidently
> (the 
> caveat about my not running it here applies, thus "evidently", based 
> purely on the evidence you reported above) available as a kde desktop 
> service if so configured, and this is /evidently/ the config-file
> location 
> where that preference is stored.  Presumably there's also a GUI option 
> controlling it somewhere, but since I don't have the software installed,
> I 
> can't be sure where that might be.

First off, thanks for the detailed explanation of the autostart
locations, I've saved it to a text file as a reference. 

However the problem is that although all those autostart locations you
detailed are managed by the Startup & Shutdown control centre module
nothing resembling networkmanager appears in that control centre module.
I think that's at least 2 bugs:

1) The fact that KDE scans rc-files in some fashion to start programs, a
behaviour that sounds hacky and probably isn't documented anywhere but
in the code itself. These programs should appear properly in Startup &

2) A bug in knetworkmanager that it doesn't register itself in Startup &

Not to mention that it's not the only program that does this. Going
through the icons in my control bar I see the following programs that
start with KDE, do not appear in Startup & Shutdown module and are not
Klipper (.kde4/share/config/klipperrc)
Kmix (.kde4/share/config/kmixrc)
Size Change and Rotate (.kde4/share/config/krandrrc)
Korganizer Reminder Module (.kde4/share/config/korgacrc)

So if you have any of the following installed on your machine you'll be
able to see the same behaviour.

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