Always know where your towel is.

Getting Quicksilver to Launch at Startup on OSX Lion with a SSD

Quicksilver Splash

No Mac setup is complete without Quicksilver. If you’ve never heard of or used it before, I urge you to give it a try. It’s a lightning fast app launcher that’ll really increase your speed/productivity by reducing the amount of clicks/searching/typing you need to do to perform a task.

I digress; I recently installed a fresh version of OSX Lion on my machine and one of the first apps I installed was QS. However I quickly noticed that the Start at Login function wasn’t working very well –see not at all.


  • QS logo appears at startup, but never completely fades out
  • The QS hotkey (CTRL+space) works and brings up the prompt but any subsequent keystroke is ignored

After a bit of searching I found the solution from Jon Stovell on the blacktree-quicksilver google group. It seems to affect OSX Lion setups and in particular machines using Solid State Drives or in my case a Solid State Hybrid Drive.

For completeness sake, here is the solution:

  1. Turn off the Start at login option in QS’s preferences.
  2. Paste the text below into a new plain text file in TextEdit.
  3. Save the file in ~/Library/LaunchAgents with a name like “QuicksilverStartAtLogin.plist”
  4. QS will now automatically start on next login
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> 
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" ""> 
<plist version="1.0"> 

Optionally, you can replace <key>RunAtLoad</key> with <key>KeepAlive</key> if you want QS to restart automatically if it ever crashes.

Happy QS’ing

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