Any way to figure out which files are modifed by GUI applications?

For instance, I want to know what files change when I tell Lutris to disable one of my monitors vs. when I use the KDE display settings to disable a monitor because when Lutris re-enables my monitor I’m missing my wallpaper and context menu on the second display.

Not sure if there’s a program for it (likely there is) but you can see the differences in files by

  • copy your $HOME folder to e.g. an external disk
  • use some diff program (e.g. meld) to see what has changed and how

For example (note: I did not test if this works… :wink:):

cp -a $HOME /path/to/a/folder/in/your/external/disk/

# run the GUI app that changes something in your $HOME folder

meld $HOME /path/to/a/folder/in/your/external/disk

Note that /path/to/a/folder/in/your/external/disk must be mounted to an existing and writable folder somewhere on the external disk.

Note also that if your $HOME folder has much data, the copying takes time. The external disk must have enough space as well.

You can try going into htop, select the process you want and press l to see a list of files used by the process.
It might not work if lutris opens and closes the file quickly, not giving you time to do this but it’s worth trying ig.

It’s very easy to find modified files with:

find $HOME -newermt '1 minute ago'

Thanks. This one seemed to do it. I could see that both Lutris and Display Settings were disabling/enabling the monitor by modifying the same file. I wonder if KDE just does something on top of that when using Display Settings. When I quit a Lutris game that re-enables the monitor I have to run kstart5 plasmashell in order for the second monitor to come back fully.

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