Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

How do I get a program to run automatically every time I unlock the screen in Ubuntu?

share|improve this question

Could be done using the dbus API

(perl example copied from and slightly changed to catch screensaver going on and off)

my $cmd = "dbus-monitor --session \"type='signal',interface='org.gnome.ScreenSaver',member='ActiveChanged'\"";

open (IN, "$cmd |");

while (<IN>) {

    if (m/^\s+boolean true/) {

        print "*** Session is idle ***\n";

    } elsif (m/^\s+boolean false/) {

        print "*** Session is no longer idle ***\n";



Next, allow the script to be run:

sudo chmod +x /usr/local/sbin/

Add the script to the Sessions manager (System>Preferences>Sessions) so that it starts with your login using this command:

perl /usr/local/sbin/

hope this helps

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.