I am creating a live CD for use in a kiosk/installation. The main reason is to prevent a conventional hard drive from becoming corrupted in an environment with lots of power interruptions--in fact I can tell the staff there to simply flick off a light switch at the end of the day and feel confident that it will come back reliably in the morning.

I am using uck to install the nvidia drivers, the application my team is creating, and the like. So far, all is working well, except for one thing: the screens turn off after 5 minutes. As I understand it, the system settings for all this are set by the default dconf profile. I can't just change the settings for the root user in the uck terminal; user "ubuntu" is created from scratch on every boot. I need to change the default profile.

I did some digging and found the dconf key that I want to provide a new default for is idle-delay.

I tried to follow the instructions on the dconf wiki page, but it's pretty confusing to me. I also tried to follow the instructions here for setting the idle-delay, without success.

My question is: what are the correct files to create, and/or commands to run, to specify in the dconf db that every new user should start out with a profile that leaves the monitor on all day? /org/gnome/desktop/session/idle-delay appears to be the key I want to set.

Thank you kindly!

1 Answer 1


To change the default for any DConf key setting, create a file in /usr/share/glib-2.0/schemas/. The filename should end in .gschema.override, but you are free to choose what to call it. You will need administrative privileges, of course.

The override file has the following syntax. You can include multiple paths in one file, and multiple key changes under each path header.

[org.gnome.desktop.session]      # Path with defaults you want to change
idle-delay=42                    # Key with default value set to '42'

Then jump to a command line (Ctrl-Alt-T) and run:

glib-compile-schemas /usr/share/glib-2.0/schemas/


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