I have been trying to get a program to start automatically on boot. I have tried using systemd, init.d, rc.local, and cron to execute my bash script in order to invoke a program (e.g. open an instance of LXTerminal), and still can’t see it on boot.

systemd: I created a service in /etc/systemd/system/, following this template:

Description=My service

ExecStart=/usr/bin/python3 -u main.py


I then created my bash script in /etc/systemd/system and made it executable, before following the instructions in the official Raspberry Pi documentation, running the following commands:

sudo cp myscript.service /etc/systemd/system/myscript.service
sudo systemctl start myscript.service
sudo systemctl stop myscript.service
sudo systemctl enable myscript.service

I was informed that a symlink was indeed created, but the program did not run after starting the service.

init.d: Following this example, I added one init script under /etc/initd/, made the script executable, and registered the script to be run at startup, with no result.

rc.local: Following the official documenation found here, I added my bash script to the the rc.local file in /etc/, with no result.

cron: Following the official documentation found here, I ran crontab with the -e flag to edit the cron table:

crontab -e

Then, I added a scheduled task to crontab:

@reboot bash /home/pi/mybashscript.sh &

Unfortunately, there was still no result. I am hoping to use any method to run a program automatically on startup on Raspbian Buster. Please respond if you have had any experience with accomplishing this, or have ran into the same problems. Thanks for your help!

  • What happens when you run your crontab command from the CLI?
    – Seamus
    Commented May 31, 2020 at 0:09
  • I then created my bash script in /etc/systemd/system why? what does the bash script do? how is it at all related to the service you created? Commented May 31, 2020 at 0:10
  • This Question is lacking the vital piece of evidence - viz. the script!
    – Milliways
    Commented May 31, 2020 at 0:11
  • @Seamus, crontab hangs with no result, and the only choice seems to be to use a Control+C keyboard interrupt to exit out.
    – Riaementi
    Commented May 31, 2020 at 6:58
  • @JaromandaX, the bash script was to run my program with several parameters, but I got it working by adding "lxterminal -e bash /home/pi/myScript.sh" to my lxsession-autostart, as per Botspot's suggestion. My service's only purpose was to automatically start the script on boot.
    – Riaementi
    Commented May 31, 2020 at 7:02

1 Answer 1


execute my bash script in order to invoke a program (e.g. open an instance of LXTerminal

If your auto-started program needs anything graphical, then you're trying the wrong thing.
Try putting it in the lxsession-autostart:

sudo mousepad /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE-pi/autostart

Add your command to the bottom of the file, then save and exit.

  • This works, thank you! I was able to get it to autostart by adding "lxterminal -e bash /home/pi/myScript.sh" to the lxsession autostart file, in order to have my script run in the LXTerminal terminal emulator.
    – Riaementi
    Commented May 31, 2020 at 7:07

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