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Developer LXDE Team
Latest version
Release date and age
Frequently updated yes
Programming language C
Platform Cross-platform, Unix-like
Status active
Genre Session Manager
License GNU General Public License
Website lxde.org

LXSession is the standard session manager used by LXDE. The LXSession manager is used to automatically start a set of applications and set up a working desktop environment. Moreover, the session manager is able to remember the applications in use when a user logs out and to restart them the next time the user logs in.

LXSession and LXSession Lite

LXSession supports X11 session management. However, this implementation is currently buggy and rarely used, and due to the complexity of X11 session management the bug cannot be fixed at the moment. A lightweight, stripped down version without X session management is being developed in parallel, named LXSession Lite.

Before the bugs in LXSession get fixed, replacing LXSession with LXSession Lite is highly recommended.

Configuration files

The config files of LXSession are stored in ~/.config/lxsession/<Profile Name>

If the config files are missing, LXSession loads system-wide config in /usr/share/lxsession/<Profile name> instead.

Main config files used by LXSession Lite


This file stores the commands that will be executed at the beggining of the session.


This file stores some configuration options

Main config file used by LXSession (deprecated)


default settings

In the future versions, LXSession will use the same config files as LXSession Lite.

Automatically start some applications on login

Both LXSession and LXSession Lite support freedesktop.org Autostart spec. Put *.desktop files of those applications in ~/.config/autostart, and they will get executed when the session starts.

*Important note: Some gnome applications have "OnlyShowIn=GNOME" key in their *.desktop files (For example, nm-applet of Network Manager). That key means only load this application in GNOME, so that's why they don't get loaded in other desktop environments. Actually, most of those applications can work well under other desktops, but for no good reason they arbitrarily claim that they are GNOME-only. Don't forget to check this key if you cannot get an application automatically started even if its desktop file is already in the autostart directory. If it's not really GNOME-specific (It works after modifying the *.desktop file), file a bug report for that application to its author and packager, . *NOTE* NetworkManager Applet works fine, just comment out or delete "OnlyShowIn=Gnome" in your ~/.config/autostart/nm-applet.desktop . If you are using different desktop environments on different sessions, and wish to use NetworkManager in LXDE, XFCE and Gnome, but not in KDE, you might want to add "OnlyShowIn=Gnome;XFCE;LXDE;" and/or "NotShowIn=KDE;"

Logging Out

To log out from the session you can run the command lxsession-logout. This will show you a dialog asking if you want to shutdown, reboot, change session, etc.