Atom Launches New Instances Without Stopping

64-bit Linux Mint 18.3

Problem launching Atom

I was attempting to resolve a problem with Atom not being able to delete a file from within it’s IDE and a poster suggested adding an env var (ELECTRON_TRASH=gio) in bash.bashrc. The only place I could find this file was etc/bash.bashrc.

So I edited this file as root adding ELECTRON_TRASH=gio to the end of the file.

This appears to have been a big mistake as it causes Atom to relaunch itself over and over infinitely. I have been able to go back to the etc/bash.baschrc file as root, edit the line out and re-start the computer. However, launching Atom has the same problem, even after I uninstalled/re-installed it (and even different versions of it such as Atom-Nightly).
I have posted the issue on Linux Mint forum as well but no-one appears interested, so perhaps it is purely an Atom issue [?].

I have been using Atom without issue for over a year so it is unfortunate such an odd issue prevents it’s use …

How can I prevent this behavior and return to only one instance of Atom launching at a time?
thx for any help …

System: Host: linuxuser-Intel-i5 Kernel: 4.15.0-42-generic x86_64 (64 bit gcc: 5.4.0)
Desktop: Cinnamon 3.6.7 (Gtk 3.18.9-1ubuntu3.3)
Distro: Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia


I am not much of an expert in this area, but I will post what I would do to go after this problem.

I guess I would have to start with trying to find out the rationale for adding the environment variable. What is gio? I am wondering why the presence of that var is triggering this behavior.

Next thing… I am always suspicious of system restarts, because restarts can not actually restart the OS, but instead, hibernate it, that means writing the OS state to disk and reloading it upon wake up. so when it wakes up, the nap it took has no effect on the state of the system.

Have you tried entering this at the command line, while using the same account as the one that launches Atom?


it it answers witjh gio, then that var needs to be unset. It would be easy to not find this var even if it is there somewhere, because you have to be in the same shell as it…it could be in a shell you are not aware of.

definite bummer of a problem.

1 Like

This has been solved with:
“It seems that Atom’s per-user configuration folder is ~/.atom; try, with Atom closed, deleting or moving that out of the way, mv ~/.atom ~/.atom.orig , and seeing if the problem persists.”

Good news.

I wonder how that configuration became affected by a setting in etc/bash.baschrc

I’ve been a very satisfied LM user and recommend it even to my mother! One of the advantages has been not having to know the answer to questions like this. I thought I was in for a long struggle, but getting an effective and simple forum answer has been re-assuring.
Thanks for taking the trouble to respond. Knowing that it wasn’t something immediately obvious to everyone else was helpful in itself …

That doesn’t sound quite right. Your .bashrc file is typically how you configure the shell, and if it doesn’t exist already you can just make one. By default it lives in your home folder (so ~/.bashrc).