January 27, 2009

Trimming some fat off Mint

Filed under: iotal,linux — SiKing @ 7:49 am

The other day I went poking around in my Sessions Preferences (System > Preferences > Sessions). This is a tool that controls all the running background apps per user basis; versus Service Settings, which controls background processes for the entire machine. What are all those things and how did they get there? Some of them were placed there during initial installation, some showed up after installing certain apps, and some the user (possibly unknowingly) adds himself.

Sessions Preferences

The app has three tabs:

  • Startup Programs lists various programs that you can dis/enable next time you login
  • Current Session lists the currently running programs
  • Session Options has two controls

Unfortunately, I found that disabling certain items in the Startup Programs tab does not necessarily prevent them from showing up in the Current Session tab after a reboot. I am not sure if this is a bug, but it is at the very lest un-intuitive. Here is how I cleaned up my system:

1. Make sure that Startup Programs list what you want / need / consider important. Check everything off to start. Restart your X session – Ctrl-Alt-Backspace will do, as the normal logout may not be working at this point.

2. In Current Sessions kill everything that does not appear in Startup Programs. You will have to 1) select the app in question, 2) click Remove, and lastly 3) click Apply. It is actually sufficient to only Apply the changes after you remove the last one.

At this point I was left with the following:

  • compiz – (hopefully) self-explanatory. If you happen to kill it, it is not obvious how to get it back. I had to run ‘compiz‘ from the command line, and Reload Window Manager using the Fussion-icon utility – this utility is a must and should be installed by default.
  • nautilus – this apparently needs to be running to make a whole bunch of stuff work (desktop wallpaper for example). If you do kill it, you need to run ‘nautilus‘ from the command line and it will be able to figure out the rest on its own.
  • gnome-panel is where you keep everything that you want to launch. If you kill it, just restart it from command line.
  • gnome-session-properties which is the window you’re looking at. Note the trashcan icon next to it – this means that it will not be restarted next time.

3. At this point go into the Session Options, and click Remember Currently Running Applications. To prevent further pollution, make sure to check off Automatically remember running applications when logging out.

4. Lastly go back to Startup Programs, and turn on everything that you know you need. Restart your X session.

If you completely reboot after this, things may take a little longer to come back than usual. This is normal only the first time.


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