I want to get list of applications which run at start up using terminal. In windows we can use msconfig.

is there any command i can use to show startup applications?

5 Answers 5


You did not specify your distro; however, in Ubuntu and Debian you can find these applications by running:

ls /etc/init.d

All the files in this directory are actually links to the applications and on boot the OS goes through this directory and starts them all.



Includes Linux init scripts only.

To list all AutoStart Applications in gnome, list all files under "autostart" directories. e.g.:

find / -name "*autostart*"

ls -1 "/etc/xdg/autostart" "/home/$USER/.config/autostart" "/usr/share/gdm/autostart"  "/usr/share/gnome/autostart"

To list all systemd services:

ls -1 /lib/systemd/system/*.service /etc/systemd/system/*.service

sudo systemctl list-unit-files --type=service --state=enabled --all

  • 1
    It would be nice to see some explanation to this commant. Nov 4, 2019 at 19:45

The systemctl is the init system used by Ubuntu and other Linux distributions and it only lists systemd units. On Linux machine not all services are managed by systemd, neither they are listed under service units. Therefore, it is among other means to check for a specific task or a daemon.

Other applications are started by a desktop environment or a window manager after logging in. The autostart configuration files are located in different places depending on your display manager and desktop environment. Please refer to their documentation. The common locations are,


This would be the case if the application is started as a parent process, otherwise, you should ps aux | auto_starting_application where auto_starting_application is the application you are looking for, then note its PID and pstree -p PID_of_auto_starting__application to find out which parent application started this application.



Cap list and watch startup applications, scripts and servies

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