gconf/dconf - gsettings


Well-Known Member
There are many things I like about Linux over MS Windows. One of these things for a long time was no WindowsRegistry
However it seems lately Linux is leaning more and more towards "registry type" configurations. I have mixed feeling about this.

For example, in the "old days" (a couple of years ago :) ) I would normally put my proxy setting in either my bashrc or bash_profile.
If I wanted to make it global for all users, maybe I would put it in /etc/environment or /etc/profile .

This still works... for the "most" part. But not always. In Ubuntu, SusSE, Fedora, (I think Redhat 8.x also, but haven't checked)
You would use gsettings to do this.

To make switching easy, I went to the network settings, changed the proxy to manual and entered all my information for the proxy (host & port).
Then if I wanted to surf without proxy, I simply had to execute the following command:
gsettings set org.gnome.system.proxy mode 'none'
In order to switch back to the proxy connection I had to use the following command:
gsettings set org.gnome.system.proxy mode 'manual'
No need to specify host & port again, since those are already saved. If, however, you have to work with several proxies and would need to switch between different hosts, you can specify the proxy data with the following commands:
gsettings set org.gnome.system.proxy.http port 8080
gsettings set org.gnome.system.proxy.http host

Changes take effect immediately.

gsettings help is useful
gsettings list-schemas will show the default templates/frameworks. If you've used Java frameworks, this is similar.

gsettings has autofill help commands, for example if you type ...

gsettings set org.gnome.system.proxy.http

and then press the tab key, it will show you the options to complete the command.

If you've forgotten what you've set something to, you can use the "get" command, for example...

gsettings get org.gnome.system.proxy.http port

... will show you which port you have set for your proxy.

Now I know I have focused on proxy settings for this post, but this also works with many other system wide configurations.


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I think it may have to do with what DE you are using, from what I remember for certain desktop settings for Cinnamon you also had use gsettings. Currently I'm using i3wm with the xfce4 bar and don't need gsettings for anything. I actually think that's a bad thing that certain DE's seem to be going to that direction, it's been over a year since I last used Cinnamon. I can't remember do they offer it as an option of how the change the settting, so that you can use gsettings or edit the appropriate file?
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
MATE, Gnome and KDE all use it. But it's not so much about the GUI,
obviously you can use the CLI gsettings, etc...
But rather the fact that is something like a registry for Linux.

A bus setting editor.
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