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I would like to copy my "settings" from my desktop to my laptop. I am running KDE on Arch. I am not sure what to do with ~/.config, ~/.local, and ~/.kde4 since they have subdirectories with names that match my desktop hostname. If I naively copy everything, I get all sorts of errors/warning when logging in and trying to open my email/calendar/akonadi.

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This is a really, really lame (non-)feature of KDE. ~/.config and ~./local actually do not have anything to do with it -- they are XDG standard filesystem hierarchy things used by various independent applications, not KDE.

After you install, get out of X (so KDE is not running) and try copying just your old ~/.kde/share/config in, then restart X.

If you have a hard time stopping X because of XDM and system services, you could try doing it in a VT while KDE is still loaded, just do not go back to X from the VT -- kill it on the command line to force a re-start (or just plain halt and reboot).

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