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My main account got messed up, as I tried to fix it things went downhills.

  • keyboard mess - tried unity --restore and deleting .gconf2*, fail
  • deleted .* in ~, total havoc. Chromium and Firefox crashes etc.

Now, another user account is fully functioning, but I really want my regular username back.

Is there any way to completely wipe the settings for the messed up account or copy the profile from the functioning user?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

I would boot into recovery mode an go to the root shell, then do:

Backup old folder:

mv /home/youruser /home/youruser-backup

Create new 'home' folder for youruser

mkdir /home/youruser

Set correct read/write access

chown youruser:youruser /home/youruser

Reboot system

shutdown -r now

That would give you an empty folder for your old default user. You should be able to login and then copy your important files back from youruser-backup to youruser.

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thanks! simple & solid. – user8302 May 18 '11 at 9:45
If you dont feel like booting up (twice) and entering recovery mode you can create a temp user with admin privileges (using GUI: Administration > Users and Groups), logout and login with this user, and then issue the above commands. Logout and youre ready to login with your "reseted" original user :) – MestreLion Jun 15 '11 at 18:14

You can remove your old non-working user account, then rename the new working account to the old username, see this question: How do I change my username?

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Would the new user be in the sudoers group? – sashoalm Jan 2 '13 at 9:26

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