How To Back Up The Budgie Desktop Settings On Linux [Guide]

If you’re looking to back up the Budgie desktop, panel, widgets, and all of that, it requires working with Dconf. To work with Dconf, you’ll need to ensure that it’s installed and working on your Linux PC.

Install Dconf

Note: Dconf is most likely already on your Linux PC. Still, it’s important you try to re-install this software, just in case.


sudo apt install dconf*


sudo apt-get install dconf*

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S dconf


sudo dnf install dconf


sudo zypper install dconf

Generic Linuxes

Need Dconf on your system but not using something on the list above? Open up a terminal and use your package manager to search for “dconf.” When you’ve found it, install all packages with “dconf” in the name.

Back Up Budgie Settings

A full backup with Dconf is the best way to ensure that all of your system settings (including Budgie) are safe. To create the backup, launch a terminal window and run the dconf dump command to make a copy of your entire Dconf setup. DO NOT USE SUDO!

dconf dump / > full-backup

With the setting dump complete, run it through the cat command to verify the contents of the file.

cat ~/full-backup | more

If the contents of the file look good after running it through the cat command, type clear to blank out the terminal. Then create a folder in your ~/Documents directory to store the backup file. Moving the data here, rather than keeping it in your home directory is a good idea, as it will ensure that you do not accidentally delete it at a later date.

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mkdir -p ~/Documents/dconf-backups/  mv full-backup ~/Documents/dconf-backups/

Budgie-only backup

Going the Budgie-only route when creating a new backup is an excellent idea if you only care about saving your core settings, and not the entire system. To make a new backup, export the data in /com/solus-project/ using the dconf dump command.

dconf dump /com/solus-project/ > budgie-backup

After the export command finishes, view the backup file with the cat command. Looking at the data file will allow you to assess whether the backup was successful.

cat ~/budgie-backup | more

If the backup looks ok, create a new backup folder in ~/Documents and move the data there with the mv command.

mkdir -p ~/Documents/budgie-backups/  mv budgie-backup ~/Documents/budgie-backups/

Themes And Icons

You’ve backed up your Budgie settings by exporting them from Dconf. Making a backup in that way will ensure that your panel, widgets and other customizations are intact. However, it will not keep your custom icons and themes in place, as Dconf is only text and can’t contain icon and theme files. As a result, you’ll need to make a complete backup of both your ~/.icons and ~/.themes folders.

To create the backup, open up a terminal and use the tar command to compress these folders.

Note: if you install custom themes and icon files system-wide, you’ll need to back up the /usr/share/icons/ and /usr/share/themes/ directories, rather than ~/.icons and ~/.themes.

tar -cvpf custom-icons.tar.gz ~/.icons  tar -cvpf custom-themes.tar.gz ~/.themes  mv *.tar.gz ~/Documents/budgie-backups/

Alternatively, create a system backup.

sudo -s  cd /usr/share/  tar -cvpf custom-icons.tar.gz icons  tar -cvpf custom-themes.tar.gz themes
mv *.tar.gz /home/username/Documents/budgie-backups/

Take the “budgie-backups” folder and upload it to your favorite cloud storage provider for safe keeping. Alternatively, put it on a home server or an external hard drive.

Restore Backup

Download your “budgie-backups” folder from the cloud (or a home server) and place it in ~/Downloads on your Linux PC. Then, open up a terminal window and use the CD command to navigate from home directory to your ~/Downloads folder.

cd ~/Downloads/budgie-backups

Using the dconf load command, restore your Budgie desktop settings.

Full restore command

dconf load / < full-backup

Gnome-only restore command

dconf load /com/solus-project/ < budgie-backup

After restoring the Budgie desktop backup, it’s time to put our custom icons and themes into place on the system.

Restore icons for a single user

To restore your custom icons and themes for a single user, run the following commands in a terminal window.

tar --extract --file custom-icons.tar.gz -C ~/ --strip-components=2  tar --extract --file custom-themes.tar.gz -C ~/ --strip-components=2

Restore icons for system-wide users

To restore system-wide icons and themes, do the following operations in the command-line.

sudo tar --extract --file custom-icons.tar.gz -C /usr/share/ --strip-components=1 --overwrite   sudo tar --extract --file custom-themes.tar.gz -C /usr/share/ --strip-components=1 --overwrite

With all the files restored to your Linux PC, Budgie should look as if it did before you made the backup. If it doesn’t look right, log out of the session and log back in.

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