Many every day actions in Ubuntu can be done easily from terminal using dbus. The main advantage is it can be done exactly the GUI does, using a one liner, such as change brightness, copy file, etc.

  • For example, to decrease brightness standard terminal method is:

    xbacklight +30%      #-30%

    While dbus method (I break line for better readability):

    dbus-send --session --print-reply --dest="org.gnome.SettingsDaemon" \
        /org/gnome/SettingsDaemon/Power \
        org.gnome.SettingsDaemon.Power.Screen.SetPercentage uint32:30
  • To copy file

    cp ./a/source ./b/destination


    qdbus org.gnome.Nautilus /org/gnome/Nautilus \
        org.gnome.Nautilus.FileOperations.CopyFile \
        "file:///source/directory" "*" \
        "file:///destination/directory" ""

In qdbus graphical indicators are displayed with speed and canel button.

So the dbus is something interesting and I really want to learn D-Bus stuff. Please guide my by providing some e-books, links, etc.


There is quite a concise list of documentations available from:

to learn basics and procedures when it comes to use dbus in our applications.

Another good resource for finding out how implemented dbus properties work is experimenting with dbus calls using the rather nice tool d-feet Install d-feet. With this you can inspect or call available dbus properties from the system or the session bus:

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