Settings lost after reinstallation

Greeting folks,

I have been using Linux since 2004, and recently struck a problem with Manjaro that I have no encountered before with any Linux distro, including Manjaro, and am hoping somebody can point out if I made an error.

I am using the 64bit version with Cinnamon desktop. I previously had the minimal version loaded, but went for the bigger one this time, as it was a pain getting things like printing running with the minimal one.

I got caught with an upgrade problem involving video codecs, that appears to be common at the moment, and also appears to not have an easy solution, as well, I had a larger hard drive to set up, and excess software that I had trialled and not uninstalled. I therefore decided to reinstall Manjaro, and load the contents of the /home partition from the other disc.

Usually this gives me a leaner operating system with everything looking and acting the same as it did prior to the reinstall. This time though nothing adopted the settings from the earlier installation, even after I overwrote /home with the backup. I decided to not persist, and started again redoing settings, as it is a work machine, and I need it running. Consequently I setup the email accounts in Thunderbird from scratch, desktop themes, Firefox extensions, etc. etc.

I realise that I am talking a bit of a needle in a haystack, but would anyone have an idea as to what I did wrong, or is it built into Manjaro now? I can see me doing this again down the track, and do not want the same hassles. One thing I have always appreciated about Linux, is how easy it is to reinstall the operating system and not lose personal data if one has a separate home partition.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and for any advice.

Best regards,
Roger

I do reinstall my system from time to time - especially when it gets cluttered from too many experiments - packages I don't need but have installed due to questions asked in the community.

Quite some time ago - I created a procedure - to save myself the pains of securing data and making them available after reinstall.

The concept I am using - the principles of if - is outlined in below topic. It may be of use for you as well.

What you describe does sound rather odd.
Is it possible that cinnamon DE was keeping a 'stored session' or similar ?
(of course overwriting files or the whole partition of home .. should be effective)

It sounds like you forgot to backup (or to restore) the hidden directories that are inside your /home

I.E. My home directory contains:

ls ~
bin      Documents  logs   Pictures  Templates
Desktop  Downloads  Music  Public    Videos

but it also contains:

ll ~
total 280K
drwxr-xr-x 24 fab-user fab-user 4.0K Feb 10 21:12 ./
drwxr-xr-x  6 root     root     4.0K Dec 13 22:30 ../
-rw-------  1 fab-user fab-user  69K Feb 10 19:27 .bash_history
-rw-r--r--  1 fab-user fab-user   21 Sep  3 21:27 .bash_logout
-rw-r--r--  1 fab-user fab-user   57 Sep  3 21:27 .bash_profile
-rw-r--r--  1 fab-user fab-user 4.0K Dec  8 23:47 .bashrc
-rw-r--r--  1 fab-user fab-user 4.0K Dec  8 23:33 .bashrc~
drwxrwxr-x  2 fab-user fab-user 4.0K Feb  6 00:45 bin/
drwxr-xr-x 27 fab-user fab-user 4.0K Feb 11 02:24 .cache/
drwxr-xr-x 27 fab-user fab-user 4.0K Feb 11 13:17 .config/
drwxr-xr-x  3 fab-user fab-user 4.0K Feb 10 17:10 Desktop/
-rw-r--r--  1 fab-user fab-user 4.8K Oct 30  2017 .dir_colors
-rw-------  1 fab-user fab-user   50 Dec 16 23:42 .directory
drwxr-xr-x 18 fab-user fab-user 4.0K Feb 11 12:48 Documents/
drwxr-xr-x  5 fab-user fab-user 4.0K Feb 11 03:19 Downloads/
-rw-rw-r--  1 fab-user fab-user  43K Dec 13 22:27 .face
lrwxrwxrwx  1 fab-user fab-user   20 Dec 13 22:27 .face.icon -> /home/fab-user/.face
drwx------  2 fab-user fab-user 4.0K Dec 15 21:56 .gnupg/
-rw-r--r--  1 fab-user fab-user  339 Feb 10 21:12 .gtkrc-2.0
lrwxrwxrwx  1 fab-user fab-user   20 Dec 13 22:27 .icon -> /home/fab-user/.face
drwxr-xr-x 11 fab-user fab-user 4.0K Dec 22 03:20 .icons/
drwxr-xr-x  3 fab-user fab-user 4.0K Dec  7 18:01 .kde4/
-rw-------  1 fab-user fab-user  186 Feb  9 23:45 .lesshst
drwxr-xr-x  3 fab-user fab-user 4.0K Nov 14 14:56 .local/
drwxr-xr-x  2 fab-user fab-user 4.0K Dec 16 16:20 logs/
drwx------  5 fab-user fab-user 4.0K Dec  7 17:27 .mozilla/
drwxr-xr-x 63 fab-user fab-user 4.0K Jan 18 22:52 Music/
drwx------  3 fab-user fab-user 4.0K Dec  7 18:01 .nv/
-rw-r--r--  1 fab-user fab-user 2.1K Feb 10 18:24 .nvidia-settings-rc
drwxr-xr-x 43 fab-user fab-user  12K Feb 10 23:56 Pictures/
drwx------  3 fab-user fab-user 4.0K Dec  8 22:43 .pki/
-rw-r--r--  1 fab-user fab-user   28 Nov 11 23:18 .profile
drwx------  2 fab-user fab-user 4.0K Feb 10 15:42 .psensor/
drwxr-xr-x  2 fab-user fab-user 4.0K Nov 10  2017 Public/
drwxr-xr-x  2 fab-user fab-user 4.0K Dec 21 02:26 .steam/
lrwxrwxrwx  1 fab-user fab-user   33 Dec 21 02:26 .steampath -> /home/fab-user/.steam/sdk32/steam
lrwxrwxrwx  1 fab-user fab-user   31 Dec 21 02:26 .steampid -> /home/fab-user/.steam/steam.pid
drwxr-xr-x  2 fab-user fab-user 4.0K Nov 12  2018 Templates/
drwx------  4 fab-user fab-user 4.0K Dec 19 19:41 .thunderbird/
drwxr-xr-x  3 fab-user fab-user 4.0K Feb 10 14:15 Videos/
-rw-------  1 fab-user fab-user   56 Feb 10 21:12 .Xauthority
-rwxr-xr-x  1 fab-user fab-user  100 Oct 30  2017 .Xclients*
-rwxr-xr-x  1 fab-user fab-user 1.6K Nov 11 23:18 .xinitrc*

So if you:

  • did backup .config restore that first as that contains most configs.
  • did not back it up: Please continue what you're doing: You're on the right track, back it up next time!

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