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Created 8 years ago, edited 7 years ago.
Status changed 6 years ago

118 votes


In the past I had a problem that after each new Linux install I lost my programs settings.

Since a while I have been keeping my home folder on a separated partition.

It solved this but since I have a PC and a Laptop at the same time I feel that I'm spending too much time and efforts to set-up my daily used programs on the similar way.

I mean:
- configure Conky
- configure Audacious, Audacity, Chromium, Firefox plug-ins, Skype...
- nautilus preferences: opening .avi files with VLC instead of Totem.
- Mintmenu set-up (favorites, clours, System apps)
- Wammu/++gammu
- etc.

I think a small program could identify the installed apps and put their configuration into the ~/Dropbox/Config folder (after asking of course), after that link them to their original places.

With this no needed set-up programs again after a new installation just the program would create the necessary symbolic links.

I can't imagine how big work is it - I'm afraid of it's a huge one - but at least the gnome preferences storing with manually added applications would be a great help for the neither new nor high-end-expert Linux users.

Thanks for your attention.


3 years ago

Right now I use a back-up script to set my favorite applications and settings. This isn't always working fine. Some sort of application or UI that exports apps and settings to a cloud or external HD would be great.  
3 years ago

I made a bash script to help with situations like these or when installing a new system. It simply has a listing of my "favourite" applications and includes some setting changes I want.

I would love to see this implemented in a way that the user has a nice UI to select which current applications need to be "saved" and for it to save settings, backgrounds, etc.

By saving applications I mean a list which, upon a new install, will be fetched from repos in the normal manner. Non application files, like backgrounds, could be saved directly. The user should be able to choose their own internal server for this or, as you stated, use services like dropbox,, etc.

This would make it a LOT easier when setting up a new system or when having to reinstall, to get your desktop back to 'normal'!
4 years ago

Are there any attempts for a solution. If yes where can i join in?  
5 years ago

A way to store items in the cloud to not loose your home folder would be a great idea.  
6 years ago

Clem and the Guys have been working on LMDE, utilizing the rolling edition model. Even this has problems, especially when there is a major update. However, if you wish to stop having to undertake a re-install on every new release perhaps you should consider LMDE.

New > Rejected
6 years ago

although mint has faults so does windows and mac, it would make alot more sensible to just patch the holes in the OS.  
7 years ago

The idea is, if I understood it correctly, to be able to port existing settings from an installation to another.

The idea suggested was using a "dropbox" folder in the user home.

I like the idea of having a separate space for settings, and another for anything else. Example, if you backup the user directory, you end up with errors logs, thumbnails, that is, lots of stuff that have nothing to do with your preferences.

Lots of stuff in kde are simply auto-generated data, instances, all linked to the current session, which is completely irrelevant to the reinstallation of a desktop with the same settings.

Just by putting a "resinstallation settings directory", an app could easily export or import the data to match the settings of the desktop in question.

Now, that is asking for lot of work, especially from the desktop itself, i.e. kde or gnome, but I'm looking forward for it.
7 years ago

Well, I don't think there's "security risk." We all download packages from the Web - so where's the difference?  
7 years ago

It's a good idea, the problem is that in order to do this, you must have constant internet connection, and you would have to "stream" your applications over the internet, creating not only lag in the system, but also a security risk.  
7 years ago

Great suggestion, I give it a +1! ;-)  
7 years ago

What? I know this is a problem but take all your .HIDDEN folders and copy them elsewhere. I use Back-in-time and Mint backup tool. Long story short...Never had to worry after an install if I was going to have my settings screwed up.  
7 years ago

How wonderful your idea is!
What's more its naming is very cool!
7 years ago

I like the 'cloudy' touch of system configuration  
7 years ago

Useful. +1  
8 years ago

Interesting idea  
8 years ago

This would be great..  
8 years ago

u can use jolicloud  
8 years ago

This would be pretty useful!  
8 years ago

I'd also like to see it sniff and existing windows install (or possibly other linux installs) and pick up alternative applications to the windows one and port across configuration and setup. e.g. network settings, users, printer config, documents and settings stuff. obviously granular and opt-in.  
8 years ago

Thank you for your comment Gramps.

You're right.
But in the meantime thanks to Heltonbiker's post I realized that making backups is not exactly what I need.
At the moment I am storing my conkyrc and skype preferences in my dropbox folder. This way when I change something -I often do so- or having a chat it appears on my other computer very soon and it makes me satisfied.
8 years ago

If I'm reading the features of Mint 9 correctly it's new backup program will do that and allow you to restore to a new install so I think you could use it to clone to machines with the same programs and settings  
8 years ago

Good Idea +1 From Me  
8 years ago

Thank you Heltonbiker your comment.

As I see OneConf is much more what I wanted before, and yes I belive it will be useful.
8 years ago

This idea have been suggested here once in a while, and for sure is a great idea! And it seems Ubuntu folks are already on the way!
Take a look at these:

"Even more tantalising is the possibility that OneConf could be integrated into the Ubiquity installer thus allowing for your settings to be reimplemented actually during the re-install." (from OMG!Ubuntu)

Other ideas from Jac978