Using python to start programs after logging in

Cecil Westerhof Cecil at
Thu Jan 19 18:36:41 EST 2017

On Thursday 19 Jan 2017 22:21 CET, Cecil Westerhof wrote:

> On Thursday 19 Jan 2017 21:12 CET, MRAB wrote:
>> On 2017-01-19 19:08, Cecil Westerhof wrote:
>>> I am writing a python program to start the programs that need to
>>> be started after logging in.
>>> I have the following imports:
>>> from subprocess import check_call, Popen, STDOUT
>>> from time       import sleep, strftime
>>> And use the following code: check_call(tuple('wmctrl -s
>>> 10'.split())) log_file =
>>> open('Logging/firefox_%T.log'.replace('%T', strftime('%F_%R')),
>>> 'w') Popen(tuple('firefox'.split()), stdout = log_file, stderr =
>>> The first statement is to go to the correct desktop.
>>> Is this a good way to do things, or could I do it in a better way?
>> Apart from the other answer, your use of .replace is odd. This
>> would be better:
>> log_file = open('Logging/firefox_%s.log' % strftime('%F_%R'), 'w')
> The reason is that it is ‘generic’ code. In the future instead of
> string it will be a variable and only when the variable contains %T
> it should be replaced.
>> Even better would be to use the 'with' statement as well.
> The same here. Not always has the output to be logged and then I
> would use NONE for log_file.

I wrote a function for switching to the correct virtual desktop and
starting all the commands. I am also using with now:
def do_desktop(desktop, commands, seconds_to_wait = 10):
    desktop_command = ('wmctrl -s ' + desktop).split()
    for command_arr in commands:
        command         = command_arr[0].split()
        log_directory   = command_arr[1]
        directory       = command_arr[2]
        if (directory != ''):
        if (log_directory == 'NONE'):
            log_file_name = log_directory.replace('%T', strftime('%F_%R'))
            with open(log_file_name, 'w') as log_file:
                Popen(tuple(command), stdout = log_file, stderr = STDOUT)
        if (directory != ''):

The function set_default_dir:
def set_default_dir():

The example with firefox is then done with:
commands = [
    ['firefox', 'Logging/firefox_%T.log', ''],
do_desktop('10', commands, 30)

Sometimes a command needs to be executed in a different directory,
that is done like:
commands = [
    ['lein run',                                                                    'NONE', 'Clojure/Quotes'],
    ['xfce4-terminal --maximize --execute screen -S Clojure -c ~/.screenrcClojure', 'NONE', ''],
do_desktop('6', commands, 30)

Cecil Westerhof
Senior Software Engineer

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