I wrote a small C executable that uses "printf" statements for debugging, like

printf("Starting up...\n");

When I run the executable in a Terminal window with ./myProgramme all the printf output appears in the Terminal window, fine so far.

But I want to autostart the executable and added the line


to the autostart file of lxsession (.config/lxsession/LXDE-pi/autostart)

After booting the Pi, the executable is running (I checked with ps -A), but I can't find the printf output anywhere I looked (/var/log/messages, /dev/stdout, /dev/stderr)

I also tried changing the autostart line to

@./myProgramme > /home/pi/myLog.txt

but no "myLog.txt" file is created after booting...

1 Answer 1


OK, after some hours of trial & google I found my answer:

First, the lxsession autostart does not work like bash, so it ignores the "> /home/pi/myLog.txt" part of the line

When using /etc/rc.local to autostart myProgramme it kind of worked (it created the myLog.txt file), but the logfile contained no outputs from the printf commands.

I found the reason for that to be that my programme never terminates (it runs in an endless loop, monitoring in the background), so apparently in this case the "printf"-messages are only sent to stdout when the stdout-buffer is full (4K of text), even though all printf messages where terminated by a newline "\n". That's why I didn't see outputs in the myLog.txt file, at least not when I tested it, as the messages never accumulated to >4K size

After putting the line

setbuf(stdout, NULL);

into my C code and recompiling, the stdout buffer is disabled and now I see the printf-output in myLog.txt :-)

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