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cinnamon-session - Start the GNOME desktop environment


cinnamon-session [-a|--autostart=DIR] [--session=SESSION] [--failsafe|-f] [--debug]


The cinnamon-session program starts up the GNOME desktop environment. This command is
typically executed by your login manager (either mdm, xdm, or from your X startup
scripts). It will load either your saved session, or it will provide a default session for
the user as defined by the system administrator (or the default GNOME installation on your

The default session is defined in gnome.session, a .desktop-like file that is looked for
in $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/cinnamon-session/sessions, $XDG_CONFIG_DIRS/cinnamon-session/sessions
and $XDG_DATA_DIRS/cinnamon-session/sessions.

When saving a session, cinnamon-session saves the currently running applications in the
$XDG_CONFIG_HOME/cinnamon-session/saved-session directory.

cinnamon-session is an X11R6 session manager. It can manage GNOME applications as well as
any X11R6 SM compliant application.


The following options are supported:

Start all applications defined in DIR, instead of starting the applications defined
in gnome.session, or via the --session option. Multiple --autostart options can be

Use the applications defined in SESSION.session. If not specified, gnome.session
will be used.

Run in fail-safe mode. User-specified applications will not be started.

Enable debugging code.

Show the fail whale in a dialog for debugging it.


Sessions are defined in .session files, that are using a .desktop-like format, with the
following keys in the GNOME Session group:

Name Name of the session. This can be localized.

List of component identifiers (desktop files) that are required by the session. The
required components will always run in the session.

List of task providers that are required by the session. A default provider for
each task has to be defined with a DefaultProvider-TASK key; the provider can be
overridden by required components, the saved session or autostart applications. The
task providers will always run in the session.

Identifier (desktop file) of the default provider for TASK. If no provider for TASK
is found in the required components, the saved session and in the autostart
applications, the default provider will be started.

Here is an example of a session definition:

[GNOME Session]
Name=GNOME fallback

The .session files are looked for in $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/cinnamon-session/sessions,
$XDG_CONFIG_DIRS/cinnamon-session/sessions and $XDG_DATA_DIRS/cinnamon-session/sessions.


cinnamon-session sets several environment variables for the use of its child processes:


This variable is used by session-manager aware clients to contact cinnamon-session.


This variable is set to the X display being used by cinnamon-session. Note that if
the --display option is used this might be different from the setting of the
environment variable when cinnamon-session is invoked.

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