I have a simple script start_chromium.sh:


DISPLAY=:0 chromium-browser --start-fullscreen --kiosk http://server:8080

When I do sudo crontab -e and add @reboot /home/pi/start_chromium.sh to the bottom, it seems ineffective. However, when I do the same with just crontab -e (as pi user) it works as intended.

I have a vague memory as to why this is the case but I can't recall and would love to learn what the holdup is.

  • Trying to do start ANY GUI program from cron is an exercise in futility.
    – Milliways
    Oct 10, 2021 at 1:14
  • Is this because cron might not run within a GUI environment? Oct 10, 2021 at 16:29
  • It might be possible. Have you looked at this approach? - or this cron-gui-launcher project on GitHub?
    – Seamus
    Oct 11, 2021 at 6:00
  • I ended up just uses autostart, thanks! Sometimes it can be overwhelming how many ways there are to do something... Oct 11, 2021 at 15:14

1 Answer 1


The correct way to start a GUI app is with autostart. There are many examples on this site.

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