I have two programs called settings. Is there a reason to have two of them?

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system settings:

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This is a typical Linux system design issue and would never happen on Mac or Win.

  • 1
    you have 3. "tweaks" is settings too. Those 2 you mentions do different things and are divided in USER and ADMIN tools. Perfectly fine in my opinion "This is a typical Linux system design issue and would never happen on Mac or Win" Windows most certainly does the same thing. There is a system registry and a user registry. Even worse: there are 3rd party closed source tools to do this. So you can't even examine what happens.
    – Rinzwind
    Aug 21, 2018 at 16:46
  • "Those 2 you mentions do different things" This is not true. Almost all menu options do the same thing, but are named differently: Bluetooth, Power, Network, Sound, Language, Privacy, etc.
    – sunwarr10r
    Aug 21, 2018 at 17:19
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    The part "This is a typical Linux system design issue and would never happen on Mac or Win." of the question has been suggested to be removed which is constructive, however I'd like to leave it here as a comment because the focus on UX on Linux-compatible desktops (which are meant by "Linux" here) is a huge issue. I base this on hundreds of issue reports by me regarding UX with questionable outcome. That is, of course, not a noticeable argument to throw yourself in the hands of commercial OS. Aug 21, 2018 at 19:29

1 Answer 1


There are three packages which may affect your experience in this case:

  • "Settings" is the standard settings app when using the GNOME Desktop Experience, which is the default with current Ubuntu 18.04.

  • "System Settings" was the default settings app for Ubuntu 16.04, the previous LTS release of Ubuntu, which used the Unity DE.

  • "Tweaks" is probably GNOME Tweaks, an app that exposes settings which are accessible normally only using the command line interface in the GNOME DE. Similar to what "Unity Tweak Tool" was for Unity in 16.04.

System Settings is probably a leftover from 16.04, if you recently upgraded to 18.04. Maybe the upgrade process did not uninstall Unity, and you still have it along with its apps in your installation; although I am not sure if it could happen like this, I have never upgraded a Ubuntu install. Or it could be that you installed the ubuntu-unity-desktop meta-package in 18.04 and it actually installed Unity along with its whole stack of apps, including System Settings.

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