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I am happy that gconf-editor exists, and is readily accessible (once you know about it), but it seems strange that there are two completely seperate places to customize an application's look and feel.

I am quite new to Linux, and after two decades of Windows, this "new" paradigm sometimes leaves me feeling like a lost and wandering pilgrim... but I've come to realize that I don't need MS at all (almost; just one .NET app I need/want) ...and when I get mono installed in wine, I won't even need to run Windows in a VM :) ... but I actually get a perverse sense of happiness (or is it revenge) at seeing Windows as the "guest"... but I digress...

In the meantime, I want to understand how gnome is put together.

What is the general design intent of gconf-editor"?
Where/how does it fit into the gnome world?
Are all settings for a given app availble via gconf-editor?
Is gconf-editor conceptually any/much different to the Windows registry?


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up vote 6 down vote accepted

This is the original document for gconf. It's similar to the registry in that it's a centralized location for applications to store configuration information. Some apps abuse it and put data in there.

gconf-editor is just an application that shows you the keys and the values, it's not meant to be an end user tool. If an application is designed for GNOME you'll find it's configuration in there.

Note that gconf will be superceded by dconf in GNOME 3.

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Thanks Jorge... I feel like I'm back on track... It seems to me (now) that gconf-editor is a view (editable) into the underlying, full and complete set of persistant configuration data for any/all apps which use this system... and an application's Edit-->Settings dialog is simply a subset view (editable) of that same persistant data-base (but for that one specific app, only)... – Peter.O Oct 7 '10 at 0:58

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