How to reset an existing Mate set up

If for some reason you want to reset you existing Mate settings to default or reinstall Mate after having removed it, but do not want to use your previous settings, the following steps should do the trick. I have tested the following steps in Virtualbox and my own system, and in both cases it worked without problem.

Note: Before you follow the steps below, make sure you are not, and have not logged into your Mate desktop. You can do this from a different DE if you have one installed along with Mate, or from virtual console by clicking: ctl-alt-F2 when you get to your DM login screen.

  1. The profile file for Mate is located in /home/yourname/.config/dconf/user
    You can remove the file or choose to rename it in case you have second thoughts and want to restore your previous profile later. You can remove it from within an existing DE or use the following command in console:
     $ rm /home/*yourname*/.config/dconf/user  use the  $ mv /home/... command to rename the file.

The reason why you should remove the file without having logged into your Mate environment is because a new file will be created on logout, and thus saving your current settings

  1. If you want to completely remove Mate, and be sure you don’t leave any residue in your system, run:
     $ sudo pacman -Rns mate mate-extra  
     In case you get an error message about dependencies, like Mate-tweak, be sure to uninstall them first and run the command again. After you removed Mate, use the command in step one to remove the user file as well.

When (re-)installing Mate using command line, be aware that you can not choose the default option for Mate-extra , because (currently) the two calculators listed do not like each other. Personally I think that one of them should be removed from the default list. Therefore, first install mate base then mate-extra, selecting the preferred packages.

If you install the Mate desktop, make sure you install mate-tweak & dconf & dconf Editor as well. If screen tearing is a problem, installing Compton should solve this. After you installed Compton you can set the window manager to Marco-Compton in mate-tweak and/or donf Editor.


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