Sublime Forum

From ST3 to ST, copied user folder, only partial recognition by ST(4)


The title says it really. ST(4) has ‘read’ my user folder so have colour schemes, theme and keyboard shortcuts, but no packages have been uploaded at all, don’t even have package control or package dev.

Does this mean I’ve got to open ST3 and then manually reinstall all the packages on ST(4) ?
Having watched a few vids and read a bit this shouldn’t be expected behaviour ?

Safe-mode just reinforces that fact that some stuff is being read from user file and the user file is in ‘right place’.
Also does (separate question) ctrl + ` not work any more to get the command panel (sorry I don’t think it’s called that, the dialog box at the bottom that you can run commands in and get logging output) up ?
Linux 19.3 mate (ubuntu) st 4126

Any help gratefully received…


Ps This Post hasn’t helped though it’s a similar topic…

Pps Should I have copied the entire sublime text folder over in .config? I notice there’s a folder called installed packages. Did think that info was contained in the user folder but hey could well be my bad. I’ll wait a bit before I start reeking havoc…

PPPS Having watched OdatNurds vid again it does look like i’ve got to copy the whole config file not just my user file, drat and double drat !!!



If you just upgrade from V3 to V4 you don’t have to do anything; it will Just Work :tm:.

If you take the steps needed to have ST3 and ST4 running concurrently, or you want to have it use the config folder that’s not branded as ST3’s, or you are setting up a whole new system, then you need to take steps.

The first one is to copy your User folder over (which you did). The remainder of the packages that you installed don’t get copied directly (and you should not do so either, unless you know exactly what you’re doing).

Once your User folder is present, all of your configurations are present, which includes the configuration file for Package Control, which contains the list of packages that you used it to install (such as PackageDev).

All you have to do is install Package Control, and it will see from it’s config that packages should be present, notice that they’re not there, and install them for you.

Package Control isn’t a package that ships with Sublime because it’s a third party package (although SublimeHQ supports it on GitHub); so you need to use Tools > Install Package Control from the menu, or pick the Install Package Control command from the command palette.

Both commands hide themselves when Package Control is installed; if you don’t see them, then check your ignored_packages to make sure it’s not in there.



Unfortunately none of it is working as expected, and in fact everything’s got worse: I either have total Sublime Crash -> Restart Computer or a lot of errors about maps xml formats and other things.
I’m at about an hour or so of trying different things (because what I thought I should be doing wasn’t working so have been free styling), I might just go for ST3, because of work, and I might just be easier to get it going on ST3. I’ll detail what I’m doing when I’ve had a break, it could well be me.

In summary, could you please tell me if these actions are correct please, because maybe I’m doing something wrong in the off:

  1. Putting my User folder (from ST3, which isn’t on this machine and never has been, it’s a fresh ST(4) install) into /home/my_user/.config/sublime-text
  2. Start ST (This was the situation i was at at the beginning of my first post, however NOW nothing happens at all, nothing is read, it’s as if it’s in a fresh install) Am not in safe mode coz the safe folder hasn’t appeared in the sublime-text folder
  3. Installed package control, nothing happens (other than package control installs)
  4. Close ST
  5. If I replace the User folder in Packages with my User folder, I get three error messages. Unfortunately some-one has made the messages un-“copy and pastable”, but ST is a mess. I have none of the functionality I had yesterday (no theme, no colour scheme, no keybindings)

I’ll list other stuff as it happens unless I can get a solution first. Be interesting to see if I have these issues with ST3 on a different machine, hopefully not…

Have screen shotted some errors:

@OdatNurd The internet says you’re replying, so rather than uninstall ST am gonna install ST3, see if I can have some success with than, unless I get a reply from you in a couple of minutes. And thanks for your help so far !



Your step #1 should work just fine; what do you mean by “nothing is read”? If you use Preferences > Browse Packages to open the Packages folder, do you see your User folder in there with the contents that you expect it to have? Do you see any errors in the console that would indicate it’s trying to do something and failing?

It’s entirely believable that pulling out the User and putting in another one with different (or no) content while you have files open will cause problems if you were using syntax definitions or color schemes that were installed from that location, because Sublime remembers in the session info where it loaded those things from and tends to get rather angry when they are not there.

You can clear those errors by closing and re-opening files that are using those things.

In any case

  1. Start from a state in which absolutely nothing has been installed (there is no ~/.config/sublime-text or ~/.config/sublime-text-3 folder at all, and in which you know for a fact that Sublime is not running.
  2. Start Sublime Text 4; you get an empty window, and it should think it is unregistered
  3. Use Preferences > Browse Packages to open the Packages folder in your file management tool
  4. Quit Sublime Text entirely
  5. In the file manager window that’s open, replace the User folder with the one from your other computer

Under no circumstances whatsoever should you take anything from Installed Packages, or Local, or any of the other folders; literally just the User folder into the Packages folder that Sublime showed you.

Now, restart Sublime Text. If you had a custom color scheme that is not installed, or for which you had local customizations, then things won’t look right. That is to be expected.

Use Preferences > Settings ; you should see the settings that you expect to see there from your other system.

Use View Package File from the command palette and search for Package Control Settings; you should find the single file coming from your User package; hit enter to open it up. It will show you a list of installed_packages ; those are the packages that it will try to install.

If your package control settings are setting install_missing to false, then comment out that setting.

Install Package Control; then check the console. If you see messages telling you that it’s installing missing packages, then wait for a while. If you don’t see anything, quit and restart Sublime.

Your error screenshots from above don’t make a lot of sense unless you have files with those names that are just empty or something (in which case, remove them). The format of files has not changed between versions.

You may want to double check that the files you’re putting in place are owned by your user and are readable by you; if they’re not readable then Sublime can’t open them, which may cause all sorts of weird issues.

1 Like


Thank you, working on it…



I’ve done exactly as per your numbered instructions, and I’ve actually had a few more errors. This is really frustrating, as I was doing some work with my “reduced” settings but it’s now quite broken. (Oh I made everything rwx with chmod in User folder before moving it)

Re settings That section is empty and thus can’t do anything in the rest of your post… as have no preferences. SIGH. Thanks for you help, even though it’s not working, I’ll owe you another coffee…

PS What I can’t understand is I can’t even get to the state I was at when I first posted, even with a fresh install, it’s a good thing I’m bald !

If you read that last PPPS it’s wrong I was looking at the wrong folder, Nothing has been installed by ST, only error messages…



If you put a Preferences.sublime-settings file that most definitely has content into the User folder that Preferences > Browse Packages shows you, but going into Preferences > Settings doesn’t show you any of that file content on the right hand side, then your issues go far beyond a Sublime Text issue because reading the content of a file is in no way magic or special to Sublime.



You are right, I think, I had a flash, because it did seem really weird. Fortunately I haven’t taken my other machine apart yet. More soon…

Good news back to the original situation I started with at the beginning of the post…

I guess I can now start from here…


I guess some of these messages were to be expected, problem is it doesn’t say what package, how to find out ? but I think I can re-post in a separate question…



So what happened is that I’d had a system error (unbeknown to me) whilst copying my User folder. All the files were there, but they were 0 bytes. Massive Face Palm. In my defence I don’t think I’ve had that error before in 15 years of computing (maybe once before a long time ago). Normally I have everything in list format (so that those errors immediately show) but was using the GUI on a fairly new linux install thus it was in Icons mode.

The answer really to the original question is Install Package Control, which I must have missed in @OdatNurd’s most informative video.

In summary: To go from ST3 to ST(4); install ST(4), replace it’s brand new User folder with your User folder, then install package control. Then sort the minor glitches…

Thanks @OdatNurd is there a superperson emoji ? :santa: :man_singer: :person_in_lotus_position: :genie:

Here we go :keyboard: :man_superhero: