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So, I needed to move my existing data to a new machine. I expected basically all settings (e.g. google chrome bookmarks, nav bar contents in gnome3, etc.) to be preserved if I simply copied my $HOME to the new machine. This is what I did:

  1. Installed all packages from old installation: sudo yum install -y $(cat old-rpm-list.txt).

  2. Mounted old drive in new fedora 19 installation: vgscan && vgchange -a y and mount /dev/f19old/home /mnt/oldhome)

  3. Copied old home directory to new home directory: cp -avpr --preserve=all /mnt/oldhome/user /home/.

  4. Update all packages and restarted: sudo yum update -y && reboot

So, since all the preference files (~/.*) were moved to the new installation, I thought everything would be preserved. But my chrome doesn't have my bookmarks and my nav bar and VPN settings (gnome preferences, I presume) were not preserved.

Have I missed some files I needed to come over from /etc/ or something?

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Do your old and new user have the same UID? – matthias krull Dec 10 '13 at 18:41
@matthiaskrull Yes. Old: uid=1000(user) gid=1000(user) groups=1000(user),10(wheel),1001(vboxusers) context=unconfined_u:unconfined_r:unconfined_t:s0-s0:c0.c1023. New: uid=1000(user) gid=1000(user) groups=1000(user),10(wheel) context=unconfined_u:unconfined_r:unconfined_t:s0-s0:c0.c1023 – CHK Dec 10 '13 at 19:07
Why do you think you don't have the same preferences? Are you sure your problem isn't related to changes in the software you are running? – Zoredache Dec 10 '13 at 19:13
@Zoredache There shouldn't be any changes to the software running. Both the old and new should have the same packages installed and were fully up to date. Additionally, my virt-manager doesn't have any of the VMs it used to. – CHK Dec 10 '13 at 19:53

So, since all the preference files (~/.*) were moved to the new installation

Sounds like they weren't to me.

The cp command you used may not have copied any hidden folders / files that are in your home directory. Given that's where a vast majority (if not all) user specific preferences are held, it looks likely that they have not been copied over.

run this in your OLD home folder

ls -la

To show a folder listing with hidden folders. They all start with . You can either try copying them one by one, or you can do something like this:

cp -var {.config,.VirtualBox,.mozilla} /your/new/home/folder/location

That said, Ive always been a fan of rsync myself

rsync -var --progress /home/CHK /newhome

Once its finished copying, make sure the ownership of the folder is correct by issuing

chown -R CHK:CHK /home/CHK

ps. Also -p and --preverse-all are the same

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Timestamps indicate hidden file copy worked:` user@work ~ $ ls -la | head total 12660 drwx--x---+ 78 user user 4096 Dec 10 14:02 . drwxr-xr-x. 4 root root 4096 Jul 8 04:56 .. drwxrwxr-x. 2 user user 4096 Nov 25 15:13 .389-console drwx------. 3 user user 4096 Apr 17 2013 .adobe drwxrwxr-x. 9 user user 4096 May 28 2013 apache-tomcat-6.0.26 drwxrwxr-x. 4 user user 4096 Jun 14 16:35 apps drwxrwxr-x. 9 user user 4096 Nov 1 17:18 backup -rw-------. 1 user user 36047 Dec 10 14:09 .bash_history -rw-r--r--. 1 user user 18 Nov 29 2012 .bash_logout` – CHK Dec 11 '13 at 16:25
Also, the man page says -p == --preserve=mode,ownership,timestamps and I believe there are 6 total possible (those 3 and context, links, xattr). =all tries to do them all. – CHK Dec 11 '13 at 16:27

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