Dconf editor: a very powerful tool that must be handled with care

dconf editor

In the latest versions of Ubuntu, after leaving Unity Shell and switch to using the GNOME shell directly, some things have changed. Although for some users it seems better, others accustomed to Unity will miss many things. You should know that apart from the settings that you can tweak using Settings, there are also other somewhat deeper things to modify certain aspects of the graphical interface.

If you need to make some extra changes, you may be interested in hearing about GNOME Tweak Tool or GNOME Tweaks. You can easily install it from the Ubuntu Software Center itself. And once installed, it will allow you to make numerous changes to the desktop. It is something more powerful and deep than the configuration that allows you to modify it from Settings.

With her can:

  • Configure the appearance and desktop.
  • The startup applications.
  • Adjust the top bar.
  • Configure power options.
  • Typography.
  • Windows
  • Work areas.
  • GNOME extensions.
  • etc.

But if that's not enough, then the ultimate tool is dconf editor, but it's so powerful that you have to use it carefully if you don't want to break the system. With it you can make many changes in GNOME at a deeper level, configuring things that are not possible with the previous tools. In this case, you can also install it by searching for it in the Ubuntu Software Center or through the terminal ...

Once installed, if you look for it among your apps and open it, you will see that it shows 4 directories: apps, ca, com, desktop, org, and system. In order to modifications in GNOME, you must enter:

  • org: where you will find the things in the graphic section.
    • gnome: where is the grouped configuration regarding the GNOME environment.
      • shell: the configuration referring to the graphical shell or interface. And inside you can go wherever you need.

I'm going to put some usage examples, but you can do a multitude of things ...

  • For example, you can change the appearance or effects of the Dock since:
    • org> gnome> shell> extensions> dash-to-dock
    • Alternatively search directly in the search bar dconf "dash-to-dock" to bring up the entry. Then you give it and go into the dock settings. There you can, for example, activate or deactivate the animation, etc.
  • Another example would be enable transparency dynamic:
    • org> gnome> shell> extensions> dash-to-dock> transparency-mode. And from there modify the transparency value.
    • Or search directly in the search engine "transparency-mode" without quotes.
  • Delete the trash icon from the desk:
    • org> gnome> nautilus> desktop> trash-icon-visible. From there, press the switch to remove it.
    • Or search directly for "trash-icon-visible" in the dconf search engine to avoid having to navigate ...
  • If you would like to add recycle bin to launcher menu as a favorite in Ubuntu 19, you can like this:
    • org> gnome> shell> extensions> show-trash. Then toggle it on to display.
    • Or directly look for the "show-trash" entry in the dconf browser.
  • And many more things that I invite you to inquire ...

Be careful what you touch! If you do not know what you are doing, you better not do it ...


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  1.   Daniel said

    Interesting, however I think that happened, I am quite susceptible to leaving the Cag *% $ # with my system. Nice article, greetings.

  2.   anonymous said

    What garbage gnome… .this looks like regedit from the unnameable.
    Why the heck does there have to be a centralized application configuration system?
    so that the others find out that you have installed? or to change them to remote control
    for a few moments and then leave them as they were?
    I say this because I see geolocation options to enable ... it has little time to live
    to gnome applications on my linux.