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In case I have to reset or reinstall my launcher, how can I back up the settings? (Such as the list of applications.)

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

To get a list of applications do:

gsettings get com.canonical.Unity.Launcher favorites > myfavs.txt

Then to reset the launcher to those applications do:

gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Launcher favorites "`cat myfavs.txt`"

Icon size and other Unity settings are stored in this gconf file:

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I had backed up my entire home directory via rsync and the system's package list. Restored the SW structure from the package list backup and the home directory. Some app settings were properly restored (i.e. Firefox had its browsing history intact), but all the Window manager related stuff (Launcher settings, file browser view preferences, Desktop background, compiz tweaks, etc) were gone. Is there any chance to restore that from the home dir backup, or must I have had created a backup through your forementioned commands in the then still active old system? – porg Feb 3 '14 at 22:01
Solution: Within the GUI, Log Out... via the gear icon in the main menu bar. Then switch to a CLI, i.e. TTY1 via CTRL-ALT-F1. There restore .config/dconf/user from your backup. Switch back to the GUI via CTRL-ALT-F7, log in again. Voila: All your Unity related settings are in effect again! Explanation attempt: While an active Unity GUI session the dconf file may be locked or ignored, thus you need to switch to a pure CLI mode. – porg Feb 3 '14 at 22:33

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