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According to, the settings could be saved at one of the following places:

  • GConf
  • KConf (not applicable in a default Ubuntu 12.10 installation I guess)
  • INI configuration file (located in ~/.config/compiz/compizconfig)

In particular, I'm looking for the unityshell plugin settings. E.g. the panel opacity. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find all of those settings.

"Most" settings seem to be present in GConf, in apps/compiz-1/plugins. But the unityshell plugin isn't present in that directory.

The ~/.config/compiz/compizconfig/config file is present (it seems to be automatically created when I start unity), but it remains empty.

The ~/.compiz-1/metadata/unityshell.xml file seems to enumerate all options I'm looking for, but those are the default values, probably not necessarily the active options.

~/.cache/compizconfig-1/*.pb seems to contain all options, but those are binary files, and since it's a cache, I doubt this is Compiz' location to permanently store its configuration.

DConf also showed a few Compiz settings under org/compiz, but again, not everything.


Thanks in advance for the information!

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

All the settings related to Unity and Compiz are stored in the directory~/.config/dconf/ as a binary file user.

If you are looking to modifying the settings using the configuration file, you can't quite achieve that as it is stored as a binary file and is not human-readable. If tweaking the settings is your motive, I would suggest you use a configuration tool like Unsettings for that.

share|improve this answer
Thanks. I did come across that file indeed. Isn't that file editable with dconf-editor? Because as I wrote, DConf doesn't seem to contain anything I'm looking for. And yes, I will need a way to programmatically alter those settings, but in the case of DConf that shouldn't be a major problem. – Mr. Pixel Jan 22 '13 at 14:38
It is a binary file and is probably editable by a hex editor rather that dconf-editor. If you are looking to programmatically manipulate the settings, I would suggest using the gsettings API for that. Where the settings are stored is pretty much irrelevant. – jokerdino Jan 22 '13 at 14:52
Alright, thanks for the information. But using the gsettings command, I still can't find anything else besides what I found with dconf-editor. Maybe it's because I left the default values unchanged? Maybe the settings aren't stored until they are actually changed... I'll take a closer look at it later on. – Mr. Pixel Jan 22 '13 at 15:43
Well yes, you need to have a value different from what is default for all the relocatable schemas' setting. – jokerdino Jan 22 '13 at 16:00

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