Desktop and window layout, which FILE?

I done me a FUBAR with SystemSettings/Global-Theme when I also checked the “Desktop and window layout” box while working in my Arttix system! Now gone is my painstakingly tweaked desktop!

How can I recover it? I do have very-similar/almost-identical KDE Plasma setups in other distro installations, which file do I need to copy back into the Artix system?

I’d like to see more protection like “volatile until saved” or similar. Also how can I save my entire theme as a backup the wau I do with MyColors for example?

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I have been where you are.

Finally figured out what backup really means. Not just files. Settings too.

The best way I have found to backup settings is to monitor changes as I make them with “fswatch”. It runs in a terminal. Start it just before you make a change, then stop it with “ctrl c”.

Small learning curve, if I did it you can too.

Settings are all over the place, sometimes named not the way you would expect. Things change with new updates so names and locations may be different over time.

Each OS may also change things so do not rely on one system being identical to another.

It is an adventure for sure.

Good luck.


Thanks, right now I’m booted into Tumbleweed and it offers only nfswatch. Plus, I read the blurb and it talks of watching ‘selected’ files. I wouldn’t know which ones to select.

That is the adventure part. Going to the location that fswatch points and finding which folder or file you want is much easier if you do things one at a time.

Engage fswatch and change one thing, then ctrl c to stop. The quicker the better. 100 lines show up really fast if you are slow.

You will start to see patterns of what you want vs. normal computer stuff.

If you want I can give you a list of the locations that my OS uses.


This is really something where we need an undo, IMO. I hear stories like this a lot. We have an explicit warning (in orange text!) and still people manage to blow away their desktop layout without realizing it.

Hi ngraham.

An undo is exactly what is needed.

This is not something that I feel is lacking with KDE.

The attitudes about backup blow my mind. Until you lose something you think it will not happen to you.

I do not install any Linux OS. Everything is a “live” system with some sort of snapshot or savefile to keep the changes I make. Bulletproof.

I keep a few snapshots or savefiles to revert to if there is a problem. Backup. Undo.


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Anyway, the file you’re looking for is ~/.config/plasma-org.kde.plasma.desktop-appletsrc.

I went and copied just


from a backup n=but that wasn’t enough, the next time I booted Artxi the original 4 panels were there but the ones on the right messed up. Each time I tried to reconfigure them KDE went black forcing a hard reset. So next I copied the entire home folder over from the same backup and that did the job.

For whatever MY two cents may be worth no setting should ever be saved without the possibility of undoing until the user clicks SAVE. I’m minded of kdenlive project files (A+).

Thanks vektor, I’ll kick the tires one day but adventure is the LAST thing I need

The best way I have found to backup settings is to monitor
changes as I make them with “fswatch”.

I did have a backup but was cought off guard by this FUBAR happening for the first time ever with KDE. I forgot I had the backup, I’ll be 80 soon and my memory is sharper than a razor-blade but it ain’t wider than it’s edge. All my OS partitions are backed up to an image with dd about once a week, everything else with rsync maybe once a month. I’ll just have to do them every ten minutes so as to remember.

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Hi towbar.

I use PorteuX, a version of Porteus.

Everything is in the form of “modules”. No installation. It runs in ram so everytime I reboot the system it is pristeen again.

If I want to change something I save it to a module. Knowing where stuff is located really helps when I make a new module.

That IS my backup. Saving all the modules to another location in case of equipment failure is easy peasy. Just a bunch of files.


Interesting, similar to what many people have been asking i.e. a reasonably fast but read-only LIVE system where all that is dynamic is constrained to volatile RAM. It’s hard to beat something like this from a secuty point-of-view, got it bookmarked, thanks. Three download attempts from github failed when I tried.

Either an undo or …intuitive, self-explanatory, and either very modularised or single general config files. I wouldn’t wanna presume anything or propose making such calls but I did write a perl based web application in another life that showed me many ‘dev’ features I would make optionally available to mortal users of all progs.

Just to make my own work easier, under options buttons I showed the actual command with swithes that clicking would issue as well as te full path of the config file and the line nimber that would be edited. Such a feature would onbviously not be for everyone but I would certainly make use of it.

Another way would be a single kde-user-prefs file whicg like the old X-configs would liust ALL the kde options that user can make so saving just that one file would be an all-settings backup.

My 2.

Hi towbar.

I really like your idea about keeping track of everything in one place.

Even if it is just a text file, it would be a quick reference to make saving any settings easier. Incorporate the info that your perl app gave you and any remarks that are relevent.

I also create shortcuts to all places that need to be saved to make that job easy and quick.



I hope you don’t mean from my prog in that other life? Wow, that stuff is so far gone I only rememeber flashes of what it was about. I was developing the thing and was using some buttons intended for the final product and it was to make things easier for myself that I had an editable text window under the button. The last command issued by the button would show in it and if there was any improvement or correction I would just edit it in. The file paths were shown too on what in essence was a dialog window five times the intended final size until I got it right. Now, if ANYONE interested in learning some clientware could toggle that kind of ‘verbosity’ ON at will it would help a lot. As a minimum just showing the file path edited by any dialog would go a long way too for most people.

Back in the days I carried my Pups and Slitaz on a keychain.