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I reinstalled my desktop machine with Ubuntu 10.10., coming from Gentoo where I used XFCE. My home is usually NFS-mounted from a server. During the install I let the installer set up my user, but of course my NFS-home wasn't mounted then; I have a regular /home/user now.

If I mv /home /home.old and mount my NFS-home to /home instead, I cannot login because Gnome complains about some config-files (sorry, no exact error message as there is no way to copy&paste this).

Which of my /home.old/user directories do I have to copy over to my NFS-home so that Gnome is happy again?

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Well, I guess .gnome2 and .gnome2_private and similar. However, if I were you, I would create a new user (with empty home) to log into gnome. Then you can check the new user's home and you will clearly see what kind of directories are created so you will know what you need copy then.

By the way, it's a bit odd situation: you told that you used XFCE on that NFS mounted share and no gnome (?). Then gnome should create directories at the first time. Are you sure that you (as the user, I mean, including gnome) can write to the mounted NFS /home? Isn't it possible that you used with different uid/gid with gentoo and/or different uid mapping policy with NFS export and/or mount?

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It definitely wasn't a permission problem, I had checked that. Moving .gnome* did the trick. I guess the problem comes from the fact that albeit running XFCE, if you start some gnome-based applications, they will write stuff to .gnome* and obviously some of that wasn't compatible. –  jhwist Feb 11 '11 at 16:54
    
Oh, forgot to add: if anyone should have a similar problem, also check for .mozilla, as you might be running incompatible versions of firefox. –  jhwist Feb 11 '11 at 16:55
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