Fresh Install of Ubuntu MATE rather than just installing DE on original Ubuntu

So I figure the majority of my issues with UM is because I just installed the DE on top of regular Ubuntu. So I am going to do a fresh install of UM. I have my /home directory backed up. After finishing with the UM install, can I just rsync my home folder to the new home folder? Or will that mean issues I had previously (I have opened topics for them with no apparent answers, so I think its time to fresh it up).


Should I install UM then restore just the Documents, Pictures, Music and then just install my missing apps and reconfigure each of them. Doing it this way will mean I lose what ever email address I have and any emails that are currently in Thunderbird, for example. Also if I do it this way, are there specific folders I can copy from the backup that contain, my Firefox passwords etc? I know how to import the bookmarks into new Firefox, I assume that won't include passwords, correct? I also don't really want to recreate my address book in Thunderbird.

I am doing this October 10th so I have a few days to see what responses I get. Ideally restoring the complete home directory is preferred but I don't want to see the same problems creep up that I am trying to get rid of. (Specifically, the Save as window (in all browsers)defaulting to search when trying to rename a file that I am downloading, That window also doesn't conform to my GTK3 theme, its not dark like the rest of the windows, and The power settings do not require a password on resume from sleep, the screensaver asks for password but sometimes I cannot enter it, have to use the switch user to get back into the session)

So thanks in advance, I really appreciate the input.

Hello mickee

Please see this post of mine, from a few years ago, which covers this exact topic (migrate from Ubuntu to Ubuntu-Mate):

It describes the very simple procedure to follow. Note that for the migration backup I used "Déjà Dup", the standard Ubuntu backup program, and not Grsync.

I also strongly recommend that you read this other post before you plan your course of action:

If you are the only "user" on the Ubuntu-install, and will be the only "user" on the Ubuntu-Mate-install, then you will allocated a "UID" of 1000 in each case and all will be well.

A backup is good, two backups, on two separate drives is better...

Plan carefully and all should go well. :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

And, if I may add, it is a great thing to have UBuntu Mate...

understood, thanks. So should I restore the complete home directory I have backed up? Its UID1000, and will be same as UM, or do I just restore my data and reinstall apps and reset them up? I am wondering if restoring my whole home directory, along with all my installed apps configurations will carry problems I am currently having with UM DE, from just installing the DE on top of regular Ubuntu? Like for instance, should I restore my .thunderbird files from backed up home? Or just install thunderbird and manually configure it all again, like setting up my email accounts etc. I would prefer restoring my entire home folder. But not sure if that in itself is what is causing the issues with my current UM?

Hallo mickee

I myself have chosen to carry my "broken" bits of Ubuntu-Mate with me into the future for the last two releases. I have found work-arounds for them.

IF, you want to try and backup your home folder without the "config" files (these are hidden files with a dot in front of their names thus ".config" - if you want to see them open Caja and press Ctrl + H), you could make a fresh backup using "rsync" in a terminal. Without the config files you should leave your problems behind you. Be warned that I have not used this command myself at this point in time.

This command should work:
rsync --dry-run -r -t -vv -progress --delete --exclude=”.*” --exclude “.*/” -s /home/your-user-name/ /media/your-backup-drive-location-path

When the dry-run works for you, you can run the command for real by removing "--dry-run" from the command. Then use that backup of your home folder to "restore" your files to a fresh Ubuntu-Mate installation (if your prefer you could use Grsync to perform the restore). Plan well and take things slowly. :thinking:

thanks, I will not restore the .config file

Is it just .config I won't copy? There are whole lot of dot folders in my backed up /home dir. Or do I not restore any of the dot folders?

sorry. Relooked at that command. No . files or folders should be restored if I understand that rsync command

I have moved all .folders and .files from my backup to elsewhere. Then copy over what's left.