P.S. I have just found Is it possible to monitor dconf for changes? It, together with the answer by Volker Siegel, answers my question. A note for Xubuntu users: some settings are not in dconf, but in xfconf.

P.P.S. Related:

original question:

When troubleshooting, sometimes I wish the application remembered: what exactly has the user changed in its settings recently.

I wonder: does anybody know any application that has something like the log of changes of its settings?

The most similar things I knew about are:

  1. apt/history.log (but that is the installations history)
  2. prefs.js of Firefox (but that is the union of all changes = without time).

The program etckeeper keeps track of setting changes in the /etc directory, using a source code repository like git or bzr. So it really tracks the actual changes of config files. It commits changes automatically when installing packets, for example.

See man etckeeper

It's easy to set up - not much more than apt-get install etckeeper and optionally editing /etc/etckeeper/etckeeper.conf to select git instead of the default bazaar as version control "backend" - see this answer: Kevin Bowen on: "Is there an application to manage config files in the /etc folder with version control software?"

In theory, you could actually manage all your configuration files in a source code repository.
In practice, that is more tedious than it sounds - I would not recommend it as a general solution.

The question whether to use Canonicals bazaar (bzr) or Linus's git as repository backend is not really important;
You do not interact much with the repository in normal operation, and if you need to, like for tracking down a config problem, you'll need only basic vcs features, easy to look up.

If you are familiar to one of them more than the other (or plan to get familiar), choose it.

One can discuss the question a long time in the style of the editor war of vi and emacs; for the basics see Is it easier to manage code with GIT or Bazaar? - Google will keep you stocked with ammunition of your preferred side.

One objective reason to choose git is working in a software related field; I would expect more git to be used, or migrated to; so it's a useful skill to have worked with it a little.

  • Thanks! I will vote up your answer, when I will have reputation 15+. – Martin Novy Jul 9 '14 at 16:00
  • Hi, can you link something about brz vs git. Because following your steps I will change my repository without knowing why/where it's good or not using bzr or git. thanks a lot. – cm-t Jul 11 '14 at 7:23
  • @cm-t Ok, but that's a political question ;) – Volker Siegel Jul 11 '14 at 7:59
  • @VolkerSiegel, thank for adding something about that, It will looks more transparent (less FUD ;) ) – cm-t Jul 11 '14 at 12:32

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