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XFCE Session Manager doesn't "see" some of the applications I use regularly.

Namely:

  • google-chrome-stable (installed through apt-get, from http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb/)
  • A bunch of JetBrains programming tools (Java apps, installed under /opt)
  • SublimeText (installed under /opt)

These apps don't appear in the list under the "Session" tab in the "Session and Startap" configuration screen, aren't properly shut down and don't come back after restart. All of this is annoying.

Some of the apps that it does see and manages properly are:

  • ROXTerm terminal app (native XFCE app)
  • Krusader file manager (KDE app)
  • Skype

What's the reason behind this? Anything I can do to fix it?

System is "Debian Unstable" (just updated from Jessie to Stretch), XFCE 4.10.


Update, answers for @jcoppens:

Did you start your favorite programs directly from the menu, or from a terminal? (the java apps too?)

All programs have a .desktop file under /usr/share/applications/. Also a shortcut on my user's Desktop. I usually start them through kupfer, which finds them without problems.

And did you try 'Save session' in the Session and Startup window? Do you have 'Save session on logout' enabled? And do you actually use the commands to shutdown/logout?

Yes. Yes. Yes. :-(

Also, have a look at ~/.cache/sessions, where the actual session is saved, something like xfce4-session-account:0. In that file is the actual list of what is saved on logout.

Checked it. It's generated properly. Everything that appears under "Session and Startup" is registered here and later brought back. As expected.

@jcoppens the real mystery is how your session stuff gets saved when it isn't detected by the XFCE session manager. Perhaps there's some other application / daemon that actually saves the session in your case? Can you check?


Update: relevant active daemons:

 ~ $ ps x | grep -E 'xfce4-session|xfsettingsd'
 1009 ?        Sl     0:00 xfce4-session
 1311 ?        Ssl    0:00 xfsettingsd --display :0.0 --sm-client-id 21d1495d8-70ec-495d-9869-879a9d9c4ae8
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I have, at the moment, at least 15 applications spread over 5 desktops. Only a handful show up in the session table. Eg., I have at least 6 terminals open. I've noticed this problem a long time ago, but didn't want to waste time on complaining, because the applications do show up on reboot.

Some tasks do not appear on reboot, such as programs which were launched from inside a terminal (I use mc a lot), but that is understandable, as XFCE cannot see what is running in the terminal.

Did you start your favorite programs directly from the menu, or from a terminal? (the java apps too?)

And did you try 'Save session' in the Session and Startup window? Do you have 'Save session on logout' enabled? And do you actually use the commands to shutdown/logout?

Also, have a look at ~/.cache/sessions, where the actual session is saved, something like xfce4-session-account:0. In that file is the actual list of what is saved on logout.

EDIT: The settings daemon has to be running:

1727 ?        Ssl    0:00 xfsettingsd --display :0.0 --sm-client-id 218ea527f-3075-47a8-b361-874c0272c6be
5216 tty1     S      0:00 xfce4-session-settings
1710 tty1     Sl     0:05 xfce4-session
  • A couple of suggestions: Did you try to install XFCE 4.12? The new version seems to handle sessions a little better than before. And I would suggest filing a bug report at bugzilla.xfce.org/enter_bug.cgi?product=Xfwm4, maybe with a reference to/copy of all the information in your original post. – jcoppens May 8 '15 at 14:00
  • I just did a fresh install of Debian 8 in a VM. It acts the same way. So it seems this is a Debian/XFCE bug. I'll try going through their channels and maybe try a 4.12 install, if I feel brave enough. Thanks for the help, @jcoppens. – panta82 May 8 '15 at 14:13
  • You're welcome. I compiled and installed 4.12 a couple of weeks ago, and it was the first time that went without a single problem! Not much difference between versions, except for better handling of the new gtk3 CSS handling, and I noticed some improvement of session handling, and much better handling of display switching. It's well worth the effort. – jcoppens May 8 '15 at 14:18
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    Just a last remark - if you post the issue on the XFCE tracker, I'd suggest you add the tracker number here, so others can follow it. Thanks. – jcoppens May 8 '15 at 14:21

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