I want to autostart a Python script that starts a Tkinter GUI at boot up.

The working terminal command to start the script is python3 /home/pi/Documents/slincam/slincam_menu.py.

I added this command to /etc/rc.local, but the program doesn't show up at boot up. Strangely when I type sudo /etc/rc.local in the terminal, the program starts.

Please, does someone know a solution for this?

  • There are hundreds of similar questions. Answers warn NOT to use /etc/rc.local. To compound the issue you CAN NOT start a GUI program on boot, using ANY method - because there is NO Desktop until login.
    – Milliways
    Commented Aug 24, 2020 at 3:57
  • 1
    Does this answer your question? Running a Python script at startup
    – aklingam
    Commented Aug 24, 2020 at 4:22
  • @Milliways Ok, but is there any way to autostart a GUI-program after the desktop loaded?
    – Neldela
    Commented Aug 24, 2020 at 7:01
  • 1
    @Neldela look at systemd services
    – Swedgin
    Commented Aug 24, 2020 at 8:31
  • Add a line to /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE-pi/autostart to autostart your GUI.
    – Dougie
    Commented Aug 24, 2020 at 10:09

2 Answers 2


A systemd Unit file could do it. Try this:

rpi ~$ sudo systemctl --force --full edit slincam_menu.service

In the empty editor insert these statements, save them and quit the editor:

Description=Slincam Menu

ExecStart=/usr/bin/python3 /home/pi/Documents/slincam/slincam_menu.py


Enable the new service and reboot:

rpi ~$ sudo systemctl enable slincam_menu.service
rpi ~$ sudo systemctl reboot

Check with:

rpi ~$ systemctl status slincam_menu.service

I generally use crontab.. You may add your command to crontab in the following steps.

  1. sudo crontab - e
  2. Open using your favourite text editor
  3. At the bottom add the line: @reboot python3 /home/pi/Documents/slincam/slincam_menu.py

Before doing so, please ensure file permissions.

  • crontab is no good at all for a GUI program. It runs the @reboot lines before the GUI is active.
    – Dougie
    Commented Aug 24, 2020 at 10:07

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