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I am having a problem with Gnome3 (actually, I have it set to fallback mode, or Gnome 2). I have two displays and I need an X screen (I used nvidia-xconfig and nvidia-settings to do this) for each screen. However, every time I either restart X or log in, Gnome seems to be adding the objects values under /gnome/gnome-panel/layouts (ex. first time I set the two separate X screens I had clock, then log out/in, there was clock and clock1 under objects, and then log out/in there were three, clock, clock1, clock2,.......log out/in, ............30 times....clock, clock1, clock2, ......clock 42.....!! The same thing goes for top-panels, menu-bars, etc.)

After a while, I found out I could remove all those using the dconf-editor, going to /gnome/gnome-panel/layouts, removing all the repetitions under fields objects-id-list and top-id-list and leaving one value of each object. This is not a solution but at least allow me to keep using Linux without so much trouble. However, the problem persists every time I restart X or log in.

I now finally learned about "dconf" and where the user profile settings are located (~/.config/dconf/user) and one can use "dconf" to see the keys. In my case, I need to change/remove many keys (all those clocksX, workspace-X, menu-bar-X, etc., where goes from 1 to 42 and still counting) so it's really tedious and boring to be changing one by one using "dconf write". So I found "dconf dump", which actually allow me to dump everything into a .txt file and edit the file really quick (i.e, "dconf dump / >> dump_user.txt"). The problems? Two of them:

  1. How do I "load" back "dump_user.txt" I edited into the user profile? (I read somewhere there was a "dconf reload" but reload doesn't exist as a command under "dconf")

  2. How do I stop Gnome from keep adding more objects to my desktop environment every time I log in/restart X?

NOTE: The problem doesn't occur when I set the displays to use TwinView feature (i.e., the desktop is extended/shared by both displays). However, for my case I need two separate X's.

Any help/suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

EDIT: I found a way to remove the keys permanently.

"This is possible using the dconf reset command, though it's not clear if that's a side-effect of a bug.

For a single key:

dconf reset "/path/to/the/key" Must not end with a /.

For a whole path:

dconf reset -f "/path/to/the/path/" Must end with a /."


But again (as the author of the original post said), it's a temporary patch not the solution. I have no idea why dconf (or whatever piece of software does that) keeps adding keys every time I restart X/log in.


share|improve this question

Use dconf load, not dconf reload. Try dconf help to see the available commands. dconf dump is the inverse of dconf load.

So in this regard, if you backed up and modified your dconf settings with:

dconf dump / > settings.txt

You can modify them on file using any text editor, and then populate them into ~/.config/dconf/user by:

dconf load / < settingsModified.txt
share|improve this answer

It will stop when someone fix the bug in gnome panel.

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If you would like to edit dconf configuration files I would suggest you use the dconf-editor gui or the gsettings frontend.

dconf-editor can be installed by running sudo apt-get install dconf-tools. gsettings should already be installed, but it is much harder to use.

share|improve this answer
I was using those tools. – user86322 Aug 29 '12 at 19:32

Ubuntu 13.04 - Has half fix for bug in gnome-panel. Panels will be created on correct screen, but you will need manually create objects for other screen panels. Or use dconf-tools to move object to correct panels.

Ubuntu 12.04 - You can go to launchpad bug and download two last attached packages which includes full fix. Or you can wait until other devs will merge my fix. If that happens, than everyone will get this fix with updates.

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