Sunday, 28 April 2013

What is dconf editor, how is it useful ?

Dconf is
  • low-level configuration system whose main purpose is to provide a backend to GSettings on GNOME 3.X desktops.
  • dconf is a simple key-based configuration system. Keys exist in an unstructured database.
  • dconf system can be considered as a kind of replacement for gconf system which was used in GNOME 2.X series desktop.
  • dconf-editor is a Graphical Editor for Simple key-based configuration system which is dconf.
Install dconf Editor
Launch dconf Editor
  • To launch dconf Editor open command launcher (Alt+F2) and run command "dconf-editor".
    Alt + F2 ==> dconf-editor
  • Alternatively you can press left "Win" key or (Alt+F1) to open "Activities" and type "dconf" upon which you can see dconf Editor appearing grouped under "Applications".
dconf Editor Essentials
Find keys
 The various keys can be found by invoking search settings from top panel and then plugging in appropriate "search string" as shown below
dconf-editor Find Keys
 dconf Editor is a very useful configuration editing tool and the inner "workings" are as follows:-
  • All the settings are categorised broadly under Schemas.
  • All the Keys that logically belong together are grouped together under Schemas.
  • The various key's values can be changed by double clicking on them and entering new values. To save new settings we need to press return key .
  • To restore original values we can always use the "Set to default" button at the bottom of the tool.
dconf Editor Usage
The tool can be used for many purposes like:-
  • Changing preferences/settings for many native GNOME applications settings. Example:- Get Totem working again after crash by changing schema "org.gnome.totem"
  • Perform some advanced settings which is sometimes not possible to do from even the applications. It is possible to reduce inbox refresh time to 30 seconds in Evolution. In this case it is accomplished by changing schema "org.gnome.evolution.mail"
    Evolution interface allows minimum refresh rate of 1 minute
    Evolution set inbox refresh rate
    dconf Editor allows reduction of refresh rate to 30 seconds.
    dconf-editor Evolution set inbox 30 sec refresh rate
  • Change default directory where the screenshots are stored if "Print Screen" button is pressed. In this case schema that is modified is "org.gnome.gnome-screenshot"
    Print Screen default Save Folder
  • We can change mouse button modifier (Modifier to use for modified window click actions) from <SUPER> or "Win" key to <ALT>. You can use "Alt" key and click on any open window to "drag" it around. The schema to be changed in this case is "org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences".
    dconf-editor mouse button modifier <Alt>
  • It can serve as a replacement / alternative for "gnome-tweak-tool" and "gnome-control-center". Most of the settings in Tweak tool are available / changed using dconf Editor.
  • Change mouse from left to right click by editing the schema "org.gnome.settings-daemon.peripherals.mouse" as shown below.
    dconf-editor left handed mouse button settings

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