Something bad happened to ~/.local

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http://forums.fedoraforum.org – I have Fedora 11, x86_64, fresh install four days ago on newly formatted disk. Gnome desktop. I have been installing and configuring things, rebooting after every few application installations. I have been rebooting so often because this is the fifth distro that I have tried. In the previous four I ended up lacking a window manager, and in two cases I lost the gnome-panel as well. At first I was blaming the latest version of Gnome, which is why I installed Fedora 11 instead of 12. But yesterday I got bitten by the same bug again. In the present instance only metacity is missing. I can function just fine if I just start metacity from a command line after logging in (which is how I am running at the moment. Something is making metacity not load after I log in. In an effort to fix this I created a new user. The new user has the standard Gnome desktop, complete with metacity. So the question is, what does the new user have or not have that is different from my real user? I was pretty sure the problem was in Gnome, not X, so I started polluting the new user's installation by copying config files from my real installation. I started with .gconf, then .gconfd, then .gnome2. I logged out and back in again after each folder was copied, hoping to track down the offending one. I finally found it - the ~/.local folder. As soon as I copied my ~/.local folder to the new user the new user lost metacity after logging in. Of course, before copying one of my folders to the new user I renamed the new user's folder by appending -original to it. I ran diff on the two folders, and there are lots of differences. Mostly the new user doesn't have many application launchers in ~/.local/share/applications/, but I don't think those would make a difference. I was hoping to find a configuration file where "metacity" is located in the -original file and missing in the new one. So far I have not been successful. Yet for sure *something* in that folder is the culprit. Does anyone have any knowledge of what Gnome does with this folder? Any suggestions? (HowTos)