Saving Linux desktop settings for troubleshooting

Saving Linux desktop settings for troubleshooting


I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been faced with a fresh install of Linux and had to painstakingly remember and reconfigure all the settings from my previous setup. Sometimes it’s a breeze, but other times it can be a real hassle. And let’s not forget those moments when you’ve made sweeping changes to your desktop, only to find yourself longing for the previous setup. But fear not, my fellow Linux lovers, for there is a solution – enter SaveDesktop.

SaveDesktop is a handy little app that allows you to save your desktop configurations, including icons, themes, fonts, backgrounds, and even Flatpak apps. It creates a configuration archive that you can easily reapply later using the same app. The best part? It’s incredibly easy to use.

So how does SaveDesktop work? Well, it supports various desktop environments, including GNOME, Xfce, Cinnamon, Budgie, Pop!_OS (now COSMIC), Pantheon, and MATE. If your desktop is on that list, read on to learn how to install and use this nifty application.

Installing SaveDesktop

Before we dive into the installation process, make sure you have a running instance of any Linux desktop distribution that supports Flatpak, and a user with sudo privileges. With that out of the way, let’s proceed.

  1. Install Flatpak: If your distribution doesn’t come with Flatpak preinstalled, don’t worry – you can easily install it. For Ubuntu-based distributions, run the following command:
sudo apt-get install flatpak -y

For Fedora-based distributions, run:

sudo dnf install flatpak -y
  1. Add the Flathub repository: In order to install apps from Flathub, you need to add the necessary repository. Run the following command:
flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub
  1. Install SaveDesktop: Now comes the exciting part – installing SaveDesktop. Run the command:
flatpak install flathub io.github.vikdevelop.SaveDesktop
  1. Open SaveDesktop: Once the installation is complete, you can open SaveDesktop for the first time by running the command:
flatpak run io.github.vikdevelop.SaveDesktop

Alternatively, you can simply log out and log back in, and the SaveDesktop launcher will be automatically added to your desktop menu.

Using SaveDesktop

Now that SaveDesktop is up and running, let’s explore how to use it to save and apply your desktop configurations.

  1. Configure your first save: The first thing you need to do is give your archive a name. In the SaveDesktop window, type a filename in the “Set the file name” space.

  2. Select the settings to be saved: Click on “Items to include in the configuration archive” and a popup will appear. Enable the items you want to add to the archive, such as icons, themes, fonts, and backgrounds. If you use a lot of Flatpak apps, I would recommend enabling that option as well.

  3. Enable optional scheduled saving: SaveDesktop also offers the option to enable periodic saving of your configuration archive. You can choose from Never, Daily, Weekly, or Monthly in the “Periodic saving” dropdown menu.

  4. Save the configuration: Once you’ve configured the options, click “Save”. You’ll be prompted to choose a location to store the configuration archive. I recommend saving it to an external drive or cloud storage, so you can easily retrieve it in case of OS reinstallation or any other mishaps.

Importing the archive

In the event that something goes wrong with your desktop, fear not – SaveDesktop has your back. Follow these simple steps to import your configuration archive and restore your beloved desktop:

  1. Open SaveDesktop and click “Import”.
  2. Select “Import from file” and choose the configuration archive you created earlier.
  3. Click “Open” to import the archive.
  4. SaveDesktop will apply the settings and prompt you to log out and log back in.

And voila! Your desktop will be restored to its previous incarnation, thanks to the mighty SaveDesktop.

So, next time you find yourself in need of a desktop configuration backup solution, give SaveDesktop a try. It saves you the trouble of manually reconfiguring your desktop every time and gives you peace of mind knowing that your configurations are safely stored and easily recoverable. Happy tinkering, Linux enthusiasts!