How To Back Up The Gnome Shell Desktop Settings On Linux

Creating a back up of the Gnome desktop environment on Linux involves exporting all database configuration files out of Dconf. To install Dconf, open up a terminal and follow the instructions that correspond with your Linux OS.

Install Dconf

Note: Dconf is a central part of Gnome, so it may already be on your Linux PC. That said, it’s always a good idea to re-install software like this, especially if you accidentally uninstalled it in the past.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install dconf*

Debian

sudo apt-get install dconf

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S dconf

Fedora

sudo dnf install dconf

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install dconf

Generic Linuxes

Installing Dconf on any Linux distribution is quite easy, as it as a central part of Gnome, and the Gnome set of applications. To install Dconf, open up a terminal window, search your package manager for “dconf” and install it.

Back Up Gnome Settings

Creating a full backup with Dconf will allow you to save all Dconf settings and configurations, along with the Gnome Shell desktop environment. For most users this is overkill. However, if you’re paranoid and want to ensure that every setting is safe, this is the way to go.

Open up a terminal and use the dconf dump command to export the entire Dconf database to your Linux PC. DO NOT USE SUDO!

dconf dump / > full-backup

The settings dump is complete. The next step is to look over the contents of the file, to verify that the backup ran correctly. Using cat will print the contents of the data in a terminal, and allow you to look it over.

cat ~/full-backup

If everything looks good, type clear and create a new folder in ~/Documents to hold the backup file. Keeping the Dconf backup in a separate folder will ensure that it doesn’t get accidentally deleted.

mkdir -p ~/Documents/dconf-backups/
mv full-backup ~/Documents/dconf-backups/

Gnome-only Backup

If you aren’t concerned with all of the settings on your Linux desktop and are only looking to back up the Gnome desktop, bookmarks, and Gnome app configurations, this solution is best.

To start the backup process, use the dconf dump command and export ONLY the /org/gnome/ settings.

dconf dump /org/gnome > gnome-backup

When Dconf finishes dumping your settings, verify its contents by viewing it with the cat command.

cat ~/gnome-backup

Look over the file. If everything looks good, create a new folder to hold the backup on your Linux PC and place the file there.

mkdir -p ~/Documents/gnome-backups/

mv gnome-backup ~/Documents/gnome-backups/

Themes And Icons

Making a backup of Gnome Shell will make sure that, when restored, your favorites, as well as other settings are intact. However, Dconf can’t back up the icons and themes you use. If you want these to be intact when you restore your backup, you’ll need to make a copy of your custom icon themes for safe keeping.

Note: most users have custom icon themes in the ~/.icons and ~/.themes folders. If your icon themes aren’t in these folders, follow the system backup instructions instead.

tar -cvpf custom-icons.tar.gz ~/.icons

tar -cvpf custom-themes.tar.gz ~/.themes

mv *.tar.gz ~/Documents/gnome-backups/

Alternatively, create a system-wide backup of your icons and themes.

sudo -s

cd /usr/share/

tar -cvpf custom-icons.tar.gz icons

tar -cvpf custom-themes.tar.gz themes
mv *.tar.gz ~/Documents/gnome-backups/

Gnome Shell, along with all of your custom icons are backed up.

Finish up the process by putting the “gnome-backups” folder on your favorite cloud service. Alternatively, place it on a home server or an external hard drive.

Restore Backup

Download the “gnome-backups” to your Linux PC and open up a terminal. In the terminal, use the CD command to access the files inside.

cd ~/Downloads/gnome-backups

Start the restoration process by importing the Dconf backup file into the system.

Full Restore Command

dconf load / < full-backup

Gnome-only Restore Command

dconf load /org/gnome < gnome-backup

Next, restore your custom icons. To restore the icons and themes for a single user, do:

tar --extract --file custom-icons.tar.gz -C ~/ --strip-components=2

tar --extract --file custom-themes.tar.gz -C ~/ --strip-components=2

Alternatively, for system-wide icons and themes, run the following commands in a terminal:

sudo tar --extract --file custom-icons.tar.gz -C /usr/share/ --strip-components=1 --overwrite 

sudo tar --extract --file custom-themes.tar.gz -C /usr/share/ --strip-components=1 --overwrite

After all the backup files are restored, your Gnome Shell desktop should look the way it did before the backup. If it doesn’t, press Alt  + F2, type “r” and press enter to reset the desktop.

Can’t reset the desktop? You’ll need to reboot your Linux PC. After rebooting, log back into the Gnome Shell. Upon logging back into Gnome, everything will be back to normal.

Read How To Back Up The Gnome Shell Desktop Settings On Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Back Up The XFCE4 Desktop Settings On Linux

Setting up the XFCE desktop environment to a point where it’s comfortable to use is exhausting and time-consuming. What’s worse is that the desktop environment doesn’t have a built-in backup feature, so you’ll need to save your custom desktop configuration files manually. Here’s how you can back up the XFCE4 desktop settings.

Back Up XFCE Desktop Settings

Though the XFCE desktop environment uses a lot of Gnome technologies, it’s not possible to quickly export the settings from Dconf for an easy backup solution. Instead, those looking to create a backup for this desktop environment will need to create one using the file system.

To create a new backup of the XFCE desktop settings, you’ll need to compress and save the critical desktop files inside of the ~/.config folder. Luckily, this process is quickly taken care of with a few terminal commands.

Full Backup

Creating a backup of the XFCE desktop environment through the ~/.config folder isn’t impossible, though it’s time-consuming, as the user will need to isolate and copy out a few individual folders to save for later. If you’re in a hurry and want a quick backup, a great alternative is to create a complete backup of the configuration file instead. This way, not only will your desktop settings be safe, but other aspects of your Linux desktop will have a backup as well.

Keep in mind that choosing to backup everything in the configuration folder will take up much more space than just backing up the XFCE4 files. In the terminal, compress the configuration folder in /home/ using the tar command.

Note: be sure to repeat the backup process for each user that has an XFCE desktop.

tar -czvf full-backup.tar.gz ~/.config

When tar completes, move the file from /home/username/ to your home server, external hard drive or cloud storage host of choice.

Back Up XFCE desktop

If you don’t have time to wait for the entire ~/.config folder to compress, consider just creating a backup of the XFCE desktop files. To start the process of saving your desktop settings, open up a terminal and run the following commands.

mkdir -p ~/Desktop/xfce-desktop-backup

mkdir -p ~/Desktop/xfce-desktop-backup/thunar

mkdir -p ~/Desktop/xfce-desktop-backup/xfce-settings

cp -R ~/.config/Thunar/ ~/

cp -R ~/.config/xfce4/ ~/

mv ~/xfce4 ~/Desktop/xfce-desktop-backup/xfce-settings

mv ~/Thunar ~/Desktop/xfce-desktop-backup/xfce-settings

If you’re on Xubuntu, you’ll also need to copy the Xubuntu folder inside of the configuration directory.

mkdir -p ~/Desktop/xfce-desktop-backup/xubuntu-settings

cp -R ~/.config/xubunu~ ~/

mv xubuntu ~/Desktop/xfce-desktop-backup/xubuntu-settings

With all of the configuration files in the right place, use the tar command to create an archive backup.

tar -czvf xfce4-backup.tar.gz ~/Desktop/xfce-desktop-backup

Themes And Icons

Creating a backup of your XFCE files will not save your custom themes and icons. To ensure that these are safe, you’ll need to create backups of ~/.themes and ~/.icons in your home directory. If your custom themes and icons aren’t set up as a single user, you’ll instead need to create backups of /usr/share/themes and /usr/share/icons.

In the terminal, use the tar command to create an archive backup of your custom theme and icon files.

tar -czvf icons-backup.tar.gz ~/.icons

tar -czvf themes-backup.tar.gz ~/.themes

Or:

tar -czvf icons-backup.tar.gz  /usr/share/icons 

tar -czvf themes-backup.tar.gz /usr/share/themes/

Compression may take a while, due to how many files themes and icon sets tend to have on Linux. When the compression is done, take both TarGZ archives and place them somewhere safe.

Restore Backup

Restoring an XFCE desktop environment with a backup has a lot of work to it. To set your Linux PC back to the way it was before you created a backup, open up a terminal window and follow the steps below.

Step 1: Download your backups and place all of them in the /home/username/ folder.

Step 2: Decompress and restore the desktop archive backup.

Full-backup Restore

tar -xzvf full-backup.tar.gz -C ~/

XFCE Only Restore

tar -xzvf xfce4-backup.tar.gz -C ~/

cd xfce-desktop-backup/xfce-settings

mv * ~/.config

cd xfce-desktop-backup/thunar

mv * ~/.config

Finish up by restoring your custom icons and themes.

tar -xzvf icons-backup.tar.gz -C ~/

tar -xzvf themes-backup.tar.gz -C  ~/

Or:

sudo tar -xzvf icons-backup.tar.gz -C /usr/share/

sudo tar -xzvf themes-backup.tar.gz -C /usr/share/

Step 3: Use the rm command and remove all of the TarGZ archive files.

rm *.tar.gz

Alternatively, if you’d like to keep the XFCE backup archive files on your Linux PC, it’s a good idea to move them somewhere else on the file system, where they’re out of the way.

mkdir -p ~/Documents/tar-archives/

mv *.tar.gz ~/Documents/tar-archives/

Step 4: Applying the backups should force your XFCE desktop setup to instantly change. However, this isn’t always the case. To ensure that the backup is in full effect, reboot your computer and log back in.

Read How To Back Up The XFCE4 Desktop Settings On Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Make Windows Apps Work On Linux With CrossOver

Thanks to modern technologies like Wine, using Windows programs on Linux works pretty well. However, Wine isn’t exactly user-friendly, and often users have trouble understanding how to make Windows apps work on Linux.

One of the best ways to solve this problem is to avoid using traditional Wine in favor of CrossOver. It’s a tool that takes all the best parts of Wine and adds on a super user-friendly layer that can automatically set up dozens of Windows programs, games, and many types of apps with the click of a button.

Install CrossOver

CrossOver Office isn’t free software. As a result, installing it isn’t as easy as opening up the Ubuntu Software Center, searching for “CrossOver” and clicking the install button. Instead, if you want to use this software, you’ll need to purchase a license.

If you’d like to use CrossOver Office for free, there is a 14-day trial. To install the trial, follow the instructions below that correspond with your Linux distribution.

Ubuntu And Debian

The CrossOver software has excellent support for Ubuntu, Debian and Linux distributions that are derivatives of them.

To start the installation on your Ubuntu or Debian PC, head over to the official Linux download page. On the download page, click the “Linux Distribution” drop-down menu, and select “Ubuntu, Mint or Other Debian.”

After selecting your distro, enter your first name, email address, and click the box next to “I am not a robot” to start the DEB download process.

When the download is complete, open up a terminal window and use the CD command to move into the ~/Downloads folder.

cd ~/Downloads

In the ~/Downloads folder, install CrossOver with the dpkg command.

sudo dpkg -i crossover_*.deb

Installing the CrossOver DEB package in the terminal can sometimes result in dependency errors. If a dependency error pops up for you, fix it with the apt install command.

sudo apt install -f

Arch Linux

Though there’s no official download page, Arch Linux users can access CrossOver Office via the AUR thanks to the Arch community. To start the AUR installation, open up a terminal, and enter the commands below.

Note: installing CrossOver in the AUR may cause problems, as it doesn’t have official support from the developers. If you run into issues getting the package working, it may be a good idea to follow the “Generic Linux” instructions instead.

sudo pacman -S base-devel git

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/crossover.git

cd crossover

makepkg -si

Fedora And OpenSUSE

Those on Fedora, OpenSUSE, and other Redhat Linux distributions can install CrossOver Office by going to the official Linux download page, selecting “Red Hat, Fedora or other RPM-based Linux”.

Fill out the information on the page, and click the download button. When the CrossOver RPM file finishes downloading to your Linux PC, open up a terminal and use the CD command to move to the ~/Downloads folder.

cd ~/Downloads

Install CrossOver by using either Fedora DNF or OpenSUSE Zypper.

Fedora

sudo dnf install crossover-17.5.1-1.rpm

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install crossover-17.5.1-1.rpm

Generic Linux

Need to install CrossOver Office and using a Linux distribution that isn’t using Arch, Debian or Redhat as a base? If so, you’ll need to download the generic BIN file to get CrossOver Office working. To download, visit the official download page, fill out the information it asks for and click the “download” button.

Now that the BIN file is done downloading to your Linux PC, it’s time to start working with the command-line. Open up a terminal and use it to move into your ~/Downloads folder.

cd ~/Downloads

In your ~/Downloads folder, update the CrossOver BIN file’s permissions so that it will execute as a program.

sudo chmod +x install-crossover-*.bin

Start the installation dialog with:

./install-crossover-*.bin

Running the command above will launch a CrossOver installation wizard. Follow the prompts, and read everything carefully, as this installation wizard will walk you through how to install the software on your Linux PC.

Use CrossOver

Open the application center on your Linux desktop, search for “CrossOver” and launch it. When the app opens, click the “install Windows software” button to get started.

Installing Windows software on CrossOver doesn’t mean downloading any old EXE file and loading it up. Instead, users utilize CrossOver’s fantastic database of configuration files to help load up programs.

To install a Windows program in CrossOver, type the name of the program in the search box. When you see the program you want, click on the result.

Start the installation by clicking “continue”, then “install”, CrossOver will then automatically download, configure and set up your Windows program to run on Linux.

When the process is complete, your CrossOver application is launchable via “Windows Applications” in your program menu.

Read How To Make Windows Apps Work On Linux With CrossOver by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Back Up The Mate Desktop Settings On Linux

If you’re new to Linux and the Mate desktop environment and looking to create a quick backup of your settings and desktop, you’ll be interested to know that it’s easier than you think. Follow along with the guide below and learn how to use Dconf and the terminal to correctly backup your Mate desktop settings.

Install Dconf

Backing up the Mate desktop settings is possible thanks to Dconf. It’s a database system that many Gnome-like desktop environments rely on to define things on the desktop environment for the user.

On many Linux installations, the Dconf tools we need are already there. However,  if you’re missing the Dconf tools (for whatever reason), it’s best to follow the instructions below and learn how to re-install them.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install dconf* -y

Debian

sudo apt-get install dconf* -y

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S dconf

Fedora

sudo dnf install dconf

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install dconf

Generic Linuxes

Using an obscure Linux distribution and not sure how to re-install Dconf? Open up your terminal and search your package manager tool for “dconf”.

Can’t find it? Consider turning to something like Pkgs.org, or your distribution’s official documentation.

Dumping The Database

As the Mate desktop environment has all of its data in Dconf, you’ll need to export the database information to back your setup up. To start the extraction process with Dconf, open up a terminal window.

In the terminal window, it’s critical that you do not try to use the sudo command, or gain root with su. Desktop environments do not use the root user, or root file system to set up a working environment, so attempting this will fail to back up anything. Instead, run all commands with your regular user.

Backup All Of Dconf

The most straightforward way to backup the Mate desktop settings is to forget about trying to figure out what area of Dconf needs backing up specifically and instead creating a large copy of every single piece of data available in it.

This way is time-consuming, as the dumping process accounts for everything Dconf has to offer, but the benefit is that no matter what you’re sure to get a reliable backup of your Mate desktop setup on Linux.

dconf dump / > ~/Desktop/dconf-full-backup

Verify that the backup of Dconf works by looking at the content of the file, using the cat command. Combine it with more to make looking at it line-by-line easier.

cat ~/Desktop/dconf-full-backup | more

If everything in the file looks satisfactory, the backup of Dconf is successful. Feel free to take this backup and place it on Dropbox, Google Drive, MEGA or whatever you use for Cloud Storage on Linux.

Backup Only Mate desktop

An alternative to backing up everything is to tell Dconf to only export items in /org/mate, rather than everything. Going this route is safe, as it covers all of the Mate desktop information on your Linux PC. However, it will not back up other areas on your Linux PC that Dconf handles, so keep that in mind.

Start the exporting process by entering the following command in a terminal.

dconf dump /org/mate > ~/Desktop/dconf-mate-backup

Take a look at the backup to ensure that the export went through by running the cat command.

cat ~/Desktop/dconf-mate-backup | more

If the backup file looks good, upload the backup somewhere for safekeeping.

Back Up Themes And Icons

Backing up your desktop settings isn’t going to save your custom icons and theme files. If you want to back up these, you’ll need to create a Tar archive. In a terminal, compress both the ~/.themes and ~/.icons folders.

Note: if your custom themes and icons are installed system-wide, rather than for a single user, you’ll need to create backups of /usr/share/icons and /usr/share/themes/ instead.

tar -czvf icons-backup.tar.gz ~/.icons

tar -czvf themes-backup.tar.gz ~/.themes

Or:

tar -czvf icons-backup.tar.gz  /usr/share/icons 

tar -czvf themes-backup.tar.gz /usr/share/themes/

Restoring The Backup

To restore your Mate desktop environment backup, open up a terminal window and CD to the folder where you keep your backup. In our guide, the backup is saved in the ~/Documents folder.

cd ~/Documents

Next, use the Dconf command and restore your backup. To restore a full backup, do the following command in a terminal:

dconf load / < dconf-full-backup

Restoring the desktop-only backup works the same way as the full backup. Just use the dconf load command and point it to the backup file.

dconf load /org/mate/ < dconf-mate-backup

Loading the backup file into Dconf will load all of your preferences into the Mate desktop. The changes should happen automatically, though it’s a good idea to reboot just in case.

Restore Icons And Themes

The Mate desktop settings are back to normal, thanks to restoring the backup in Dconf. The last step is to restore your icons and themes. To do that, move your themes-backup.tar.gz and icons-backup.tar.gz files to ~/Desktop, and then use the following decompression command.

tar -xzvf icons-backup.tar.gz -C ~/
tar -xzvf themes-backup.tar.gz -C ~/

Or:

sudo tar -xzvf icons-backup.tar.gz -C /usr/share/

sudo tar -xzvf themes-backup.tar.gz -C /usr/share/

Read How To Back Up The Mate Desktop Settings On Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Install And Use The Nozbe Task Manager On Linux

If you’re looking for a useful, native task management tool on Linux, you’ve got a lot of choices. However, if you need a task manager that also has an excellent mobile application, sync features, and team integration, the Nozbe task manager is one of the best.

Installation

The Nozbe task management service supports Linux, though it doesn’t have any packages users can install on OSes like Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Arch Linux, etc. Instead, if you’re going to use Nozbe, you’ll need to go to the website, download a Tar archive, extract it, and run a script.

To get the latest version of Nozbe for Linux, head over to the official website and click the “Nozbe for Linux” button in the top left. Alternatively, if you don’t feel like going to the site, try the wget command below.

cd ~/Downloads

wget https://nozbe.com/linux64 -O NozbeLinux.tar

Nozbe downloads as a Tar archive, and not TarGZ, TarXZ or other formats. As a result, extracting it is a bit different. To obtain the files inside of the archive, run the following command in a terminal:

tar -xvf NozbeLinux.tar

Running the command above should fully extract all of the contents inside of it. Sometimes, however, de-compressing Tar archives doesn’t go so well. If you see an “Uncompressed” file, rather than the Nozbe installer files, go back to your terminal and re-run the extraction command. If it still fails, open up your file manager, right-click on NozbeLinux.tar and select the “extract” option.

When the contents of NozebeLinux.tar are done extracting, it’s time to start the installation. On Linux, the installation process is taken care of thanks to an automatic Bash script. In the terminal, start the installer with the command below:

./downloader.sh

The downloader script for Nozbe installs in several locations in the user’s home folder. Specifically, it places all application files in ~/.Nozbe, ~/.config/, and ~/.local/share/applications. Since these file folders go into /home/, you must re-install Nozbe for each user that needs access to the software. If you’re OK with the installer placing files in these locations, press the enter key and let the script install the program.

The downloader is quite quick and will get Nozebe working on your Linux PC. When the process completes, look through your application menu, search for “Nozbe”, and launch it to get started using it.

Setting up Nozbe

Using the Nozbe task management system on Linux requires a user account. The best (and quickest) way to set up a user account is to connect your Google account. To allow Nozbe to access your Google account, click the “use your Google account” button.

Clicking on the “use your Google account” button opens up a new window in your default web browser. Use the user interface to sign in to your Google account. When you’re done logging in, Google will ask you to connect your account to the Nozbe system. Read the overview that it displays, and click the “allow” button. Selecting the “allow” button will open a success page, letting you know that Nozbe is now set up. It will then launch the app and allow you to begin adding tasks.

Adding Tasks

The best way to use Nozbe is to use the “projects” system. This feature allows users to silo different tasks into different areas, rather than keeping them all in one location. To set up a project in the Nozbe app on Linux, look to the sidebar and select “projects”. Select “add your first project”, and click “create” to add it to the sidebar.

Creating a new project in Nozbe will allow you to add tasks to it. To add a new task, click on the text box and write out your task. When the task is written out, press the enter key on the keyboard to add it to the list.

Don’t want to use the project system to add tasks in the Nozbe app? Go to “Inbox” and click “start adding tasks to inbox” instead.

Uninstall Nozbe

Nozbe is a useful task management application for Linux, and in general, though, it’s not for everyone. Uninstalling Nozbe is about as easy as installing it, thanks to the developers. Open up a terminal and follow the steps below to uninstall it from your Linux PC.

Note: be sure to repeat this uninstall process for every user that runs Nozbe on your Linux PC.

Step 1: Use the CD command and move the terminal from its launch directory to the ~/Downloads folder.

cd ~/Downloads

Step 2: In the ~/Downloads folder, run the Nozbe uninstallation script.

./uninstaller.sh

Step 3: Finish up the uninstallation process by deleting the NozbeLinux.tar archive, and scripts using the rm command.

rm downloader.sh

rm uninstaller.sh

rm Readme.txt

rm NozbeLinux.tar

Read How To Install And Use The Nozbe Task Manager On Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter