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

How To Use Meld To Compare Changes In Files On Linux

If you do a lot of development or code auditing on Linux, searching through code to find subtle changes can be very tedious. Luckily, there’s an easy solution: just use Meld. With Meld you can quickly detect changes in files, directories and more.

Install Meld

To use Meld, you need to be running either Ubuntu, Debian, Arch Linux, Fedora, OpenSUSE or a Linux OS that can install Flatpaks.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install meld

Debian

sudo apt-get install meld

Arch Linux

Getting the Meld application on Arch Linux isn’t possible without enabling the “Extra” software source. This repository is often shut off by default on many Arch installations, as it has software not critical to the majority of systems.

Turning on the Extra software source is done by making a small edit to the Pacman configuration file. To do this, open up a terminal and gain root access with the su command. If you choose not to allow su, a sudo -s will suffice.

su -

or

sudo -s

Using your root access, open up the Pacman configuration file in the Nano text editing application.

nano /etc/pacman.conf

In Nano, use the down arrow keys to navigate down the file Search for the “Extra” entry. There are three lines to the “Extra” repo. Remove all # symbols from in front of the lines, and press Ctrl + O to save your changes. Exit the editor by pressing Ctrl + X, and re-sync the Arch packaging tool.

pacman -Syy

Running a re-sync downloads new repository information for already set up software repos. It’ll also download the package listings and set up Extra. When that’s taken care of, it’s safe to install the Meld application to Arch Linux.

pacman -S meld

Fedora

sudo dnf install meld

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install meld

Generic Linux via Flatpak

Meld is a part of the Gnome project, so the software finds its way on just about every Linux distribution in the form of a native binary package. However, if you’re on a Linux distribution that for some reason doesn’t have access to a native installer, the next best thing is to get the app via Flatpak.

Before installing Meld via Flathub, follow our guide to learn how to set up the Flatpak packaging system on your Linux PC. When you’ve got Flatpaks working, open up a terminal and enter the following commands to install Meld.

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo
flatpak install flathub org.gnome.meld

After running the commands above to install Meld, launch it for the first time with:

flatpak run org.gnome.meld

Use Meld To Compare Files

Meld’s primary purpose is to find subtle differences in text, and it can detect changes very quickly. Better still, Meld has support for lots of different types of text and file types, ensuring that no matter what, your changes are detectable.

If you’re not sure how to check for “differences” in files in the Meld application, follow these steps.

Step 1: In the Meld start-up page, look for “file comparison”. Under the “file comparison” option, you’ll notice a button that says “none”. Click it and use it to browse for the first file in your comparison.

Step 2: Loading up the first file into meld will transform the app into a split-screen mode. On the left side of the split-screen, you’ll see the first file you’ve added. On the right, you’ll see a blank page. Click the title of the page and load up the file you want to compare with the one from earlier.

Step 3: When the two files finish loading into Meld, it’ll highlight changes it sees in the text with the color blue, and similarities with lime green. Scroll through, and look at the text. If you’re unhappy with differences, click the arrow icon above the “diff” and allow Meld to change it.

When you’re satisfied with the changes you’ve made with Meld, click the “save” button.

Use Meld To Compare Directories

Aside from checking various files for differences in text, Meld can find differences in directories. Directory comparison is a handy feature if you’re trying to keep two different folders the same, but can’t tell if they have the same contents.

To use this feature, launch Meld, look to the start-up screen, and click the “directory comparison” button.

After selecting “directory comparison”, two boxes with “none” will appear. Click on both of the boxes and use the menu to set the folders you’re trying compare. When the folders are set, click “compare”, and the Meld application will instantly load both folders and highlight the differences in both directories.

Copy Files/Folders

Need to copy a file or folder from one side to the other? Scroll through the list, select a directory or file, and right-click on it. After right-clicking, click on the “copy to” option to move the data.

Read How To Use Meld To Compare Changes In Files On Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Install The Flat Remix Icon Theme On Linux

Looking to spice up your Linux desktop with a fresh new icon theme? Check out the Flat Remix icon theme!

The Flat Remix icon theme sports a simple flat design with some tasteful shadows thrown in. It also makes use of color gradients and depth, making it look very modern.

Note: As the Flat Remix icon theme is  Material Design inspired, it goes very well with flat GTK themes like Evopop, Paper, and Arc.

Ubuntu

The Flat Remix icon theme has a few different ways for Ubuntu users to install it, though the best way is through the official PPA. The main reason to go with the PPA over the source instructions is the fact that users will get regular updates. Having regular updates to Flat Remix means always having a fresh, current set of icons.

To set up the Flat Remix PPA, open up a terminal and enter the following command.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:daniruiz/flat-remix

With the PPA set up on Ubuntu, it’s time to run the update command. This update will allow your PC to refresh all of its software sources, as well as detect any new sources recently added.

sudo apt update

Running the update command will no doubt detect any pending software updates for Ubuntu. While installing these updates isn’t essential to the Flat Remix icon theme, we recommend doing it anyway, as having an up-to-date version of Ubuntu is never a bad thing.

sudo apt upgrade -y

Ubuntu is up to date. The last thing to do is to install the  Flat Remix icon theme with Apt.

sudo apt-get install flat-remix

Arch Linux

Arch Linux users looking to use the Flat Remix icon theme on their PC have the option of going the AUR route, as the icon theme has an official package there. The AUR package is similar to building the icons from source, it’s an excellent way to go, because the AUR is much faster.

Before interacting with the Arch Linux AUR, you’ll need to do a few things. Specifically, you’ll need to update your PC and install some development packages. To update, run the command below.

sudo pacman -Syyuu

When everything is up to date, install the development packages.

sudo pacman -S base-devel git

Next, grab the Flat Remix snapshot from the AUR using Git.

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/flat-remix-git.git

CD into the snapshot folder.

cd flat-remix-git

Install the Flat Remix icon theme into Arch Linux by executing the makepkg command.

makepkg -si

Fedora

The creator of the Flat Remix icon theme has a Copr software repository available for Fedora Linux users to make it much easier to install and enable the icon theme. If you’re looking forward to regular, automatic updates to Flat Remix through DNF, open up a terminal and allow the third-party software source.

sudo dnf copr enable daniruiz/flat-remix

The Flat Remix Copr repository is working on Fedora. Finish up the installation process by using the DNF command below.

sudo dnf install flat-remix

Source Instructions

If you’re on a Linux distribution that doesn’t have direct support for the Flat Remix icon theme, you’ll have to install it from source. To start the installation, open up a terminal and use the CD command to move to the tmp folder.

cd /tmp

Next, install the Git package to your Linux PC.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install git

Debian

sudo apt-get install git

Fedora

sudo dnf install git -y

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S git

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install git

Other Linuxes

Git is a top-rated service for Linux users, so you should have no problem installing the tool on your Linux PC. Search your package manager for “git” and install it.

Can’t find it? Download and install it from the official website.

Git is working. Use it to clone the icon theme to your Linux PC.

git clone https://github.com/daniruiz/flat-remix

Create a new icons folder in your home folder if you’d like to use it as a single user.

mkdir -p ~/.icons

Install the icons for your single user with:

cp -r flat-remix/Flat-Remix* ~/.icons

Alternatively, if you prefer to make Flat Remix available for all users on your Linux PC, do the following command in a terminal window.

sudo cp -r flat-remix/Flat-Remix* /usr/share/icons/

Enable Flat Remix Icon Theme

Now that the Flat Remix icon theme is set up on your Linux PC, it’s ready to use. To allow it to be your default icon theme, open up “Settings”, search for “appearance”, and select “Flat Remix” in the icon area.

Want to turn on the Flat Remix icon theme but not sure how? We can help! Choose the desktop environment you use on Linux to learn how to enable a custom icon theme!

Read How To Install The Flat Remix Icon Theme On Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Set Up Rclone For Linux

Many cloud services don’t support the Linux platform, so if you’re looking to transfer files back and forth you’ll need to use a third-party solution. There are many types of solutions that enable Linux users to access third-party cloud services (like Google Drive, Backblaze, etc) but Rclone for Linux is the best by far, as it allows users to have multiple connections to many different services.

Install Google Go

Rclone uses Google Go, so before you can install it, you’ll need to have a build profile set up and ready to go. Thankfully, most Linux distributions have a recent version of the Go language in their software sources. Open up a terminal and get it set up on your Linux OS.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install golang

Debian

sudo apt-get install golang

Arch Linux

Most Linux distributions automatically set up a build environment for Google Go. Arch isn’t one of those distributions. Use the Pacman package tool to install the latest version of Google Go. Then, set up a build environment by following the official Arch Wiki instructions.

sudo pacman -S go

Fedora

Fedora Linux has Google Go in the official software sources, but it doesn’t automatically set up a build environment. Use the DNF packaging tool to get Go, then follow the Fedora Developer instructions that show how to set up a build environment.

sudo dnf install golang

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install go go-doc

Generic Linux

Using a Linux distribution that doesn’t have a convenient package for installing Google Go? You’ll need to set everything up manually. Setting up Go from scratch starts out by downloading the release from the website.

cd ~/Downloads

wget https://dl.google.com/go/go1.11.linux-amd64.tar.gz

When the Go package finishes downloading to your Linux PC, use the tar command and extract it to /usr/local.

sudo tar -C /usr/local -xvzf go1.11.linux-amd64.tar.gz

Go is working. The next step is to configure a development/build environment so that we can install Rclone on Linux. Start out by using the mkdir command to make a new folder.

mkdir -p ~/go-development

Following the main folder, create the “bin,” “src,” and “pkg” subfolders.

mkdir -p ~/go-development/bin
mkdir -p ~/go-development/src
mkdir -p ~/go-development/pkg

Open your Bash profile in the Nano, text editor.

nano ~/.profile

Or:

nano ~/.bash_profile

Paste the code below into Nano.

export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/go/bin
export GOPATH="$HOME/go_projects"
export GOBIN="$GOPATH/bin"

Save the edits to your profile with Ctrl + O, and exit with  Ctrl + X.

Install Rclone

To install Rclone on Linux, open up a terminal and use the go get command. Running this command will download a recent version of the Rclone source code directly to your Go development environment.

go get github.com/ncw/rclone

CD into your Go environment path.

cd $GOPATH/bin

Find the Rclone binary file and place it in your Bin directory. Putting the data in this directory will make the app executable, like any other program.

sudo cp rclone /usr/bin/

Install Rclone Without Google Go

Using the Google Go version of Rclone is a great way to get the application up and running, as Go has support on nearly every Linux distribution.

That said if you don’t feel like setting up Go, feel free to check Pkgs.org for a binary version to install.

To install the Binary version, scroll through the list on the page, find your Linux distribution and click on “rclone.”

Use Rclone on Linux

Setting up Rclone on Linux starts by generating a new configuration file. In a terminal, run the rclone config command.

rclone config

Using Rclone requires a new remote. To create a new remote connection, press the “n” button on your keyboard and press the enter key.

In the terminal box, type the name of the connection. In this tutorial, we’ll call this connection “test.”

After selecting a name, choose the type of connection for Rclone to use. Options are:

  • 1. Amazon Drive
  • 2. Amazon S3
  • 3. Backblaze B2
  • 4. Dropbox
  • 5. Encrypt/Decrypt a remote
  • 6. Google Cloud Storage
  • 7. Google Drive
  • 8. Hubic
  • 9. Local Disk
  • 10. Microsoft OneDrive
  • 11. OpenStack Swift (Rackspace Cloud Files, Memset Memstore, OVH)
  • 12. SSH/SFTP
  • 13. Yandex Disk

Enter the selection number for your new connection and press the enter key on the keyboard to move on to the next step in the configuration process.

Follow the prompts and do what the steps say. When your new Rclone connection is ready to go, write the letter “y” for “yes this is OK” and press the enter key.

Copying Files

Your new Rclone connection is set up. Let’s copy some files. To copy some data into the root directory of your connection, do:

rclone copy /home/username/path/to/local/data-folder/ nameofconnection:remotefolder

Syncing Files

Want to sync some data down from your remote connection with Rclone? Do it with the following command.

rclone sync /home/username/path/to/local/data-folder/ nameofconnection:remotefolder

Read How To Set Up Rclone For Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter