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Dconf is pretty young, yet my database is already a mess with lots of "schema-less" keys. Is there a way to do some cleaning up, or would I need to start from scratch (by removing ~/.config/dconf/user I guess)?

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any chance you can add a screen-shot of what you are seeing? I dont see the same issue. –  fossfreedom Jul 12 '11 at 17:23
Use any software that makes use of GSettings/dconf, change one of the default values (eg. gnome-nettool, run a whois), remove the application. You now have the remains in your database (eg. in apps.gnome-nettool). Good if you reinstall that software at a later point, yet I want to remove those keys. –  htorque Jul 12 '11 at 18:04
A quick online search let me find a Google Code project that seems to do something similar for gconf...could this be modified to work with dconf? –  Christopher Kyle Horton Jul 14 '11 at 19:18
Have you tried looking at the text file and attempting a find a replace operaation to remove all the unwanted items from your dconf? –  Severo Raz Jul 27 '11 at 8:27

3 Answers 3

up vote 19 down vote accepted

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 /.

If you do this while having dconf-editor opened, it will likely crash.

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Install gconf-cleaner from the software center.
sudo apt-get install gconf-cleaner

In their own words "GConf Cleaner is a tool to clean your Gconf database up that is possibly cluttered with unnecessary or invalid keys."

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If you want to clean the dconf database, you first have to dump the whole dconf configuration via:

morfik:~$ cd ~/.config/dconf/
morfik:~/.config/dconf$ dconf dump / > user-backup
morfik:~/.config/dconf$ ls -al ./user-backup
-rw-r--r-- 1 morfik morfik 30.0K 2015-02-07 08:18:04 ./user-backup

The newly created user-backup file is just a plain text file -- it looks like this:

lock-after-screensaver=uint32 1

So you can edit it and remove desired entries/blocks from the file. In other words -- clean it.

When you're done, load it:

morfik:~/.config/dconf$ dconf load / < ./user-backup
morfik:~/.config/dconf$ ls -al ./user-backup
-rw-r--r-- 1 morfik morfik 14.0K 2015-02-07 08:26:23 ./user-backup
morfik:~/.config/dconf$ dconf update /

And that's it, but you have to remember that all entries that have default values wont be saved -- they will be created anew when some app will ask for it, which is a good thing because you want to backup only the values you had changed.

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