budgie-session - Man Page

Start the budgie desktop environment


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


The budgie-session program starts up the budgie desktop environment. This command is typically executed by your login manager (either gdm, xdm, or from your X startup scripts). It will load either your saved session, or the default budgie installation on your system. Note that budgie-session is a wrapper script for budgie-session-binary.

$XDG_CONFIG_HOME/budgie-session/sessions, $XDG_CONFIG_DIRS/budgie-session/sessions and $XDG_DATA_DIRS/budgie-session/sessions.

When saving a session, budgie-session saves the currently running applications in the $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/budgie-session/saved-session directory. Saving sessions is only supported with the legacy non-systemd startup method.

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


The following options are supported:


The directory DIR to be searched for autostart .desktop files. This option can be used multiple times. When this option is present, then default autostart directories will not be searched.


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


Use the legacy non-systemd method of managing the user session.


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.

Session Definition

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


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.

Here is an example of a session definition:

[budgie Session]

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

It is best to use --builtin if session customizations are required. This is due to the way that budgie currently defines the components that will be started on each session type.


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


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


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

Behavior of budgie-session ifself can be modified via the following environment variable:


This variable specifies a list of directories to the searched for autostart files. This variable overrides all directories specified via the --autostart option, as well as all default autostart directories.


$XDG_CONFIG_HOME/autostart $XDG_CONFIG_DIRS/autostart /usr/share/gnome/autostart

Applications defined via .desktop files in those directories will be started on login.

$XDG_CONFIG_HOME/budgie-session/sessions $XDG_CONFIG_DIRS/budgie-session/sessions $XDG_DATA_DIRS/budgie-session/sessions

These directories contain the .session files that can be used with the --session option.


This directory contains the list of applications of the saved session.


If you find bugs in the budgie-session program, please report these on https://github.com/buddiesofbudgie/budgie-session/issues.

See Also


Referenced By


Oct 2023 BUDGIE