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Where Are Gnome Extension Preferences Stored?

Ubuntu 14

GNOME extensions are a powerful tool that can transform and enhance your Linux desktop experience. They enable you to add new functionality, tweak system behavior, and customize your desktop to your liking. But have you ever wondered where GNOME extension preferences are stored? This article will delve into the locations and methods used to store these preferences.

Quick Answer

The preferences for GNOME extensions are stored in XML files, GSettings, or keyfile, depending on the extension and installation method. You can manually edit the XML files, recompile the "gschema" files, or use Dconf Editor to modify the settings.

Understanding GNOME Extension Preferences

GNOME extension preferences are stored in different locations depending on the installation method and the extension itself. By default, the extension settings are stored in XML files with the .xml extension. However, some extensions may use alternative storage methods such as GSettings or keyfile.

Global Extension Preferences

If you installed the extension globally, the default extension settings can be found in the /usr/share/gnome-shell/extensions/<extension directory>/schemas directory. Here, the <extension directory> is the name of the directory containing the extension files.

The extension’s XML file contains <key> tags that list the keys and <default> tags that contain the default values. You can manually edit these files, but to transfer settings across systems, you need to update the extension’s “gschema” file.

To recompile the “gschema” file, use the command:

sudo glib-compile-schemas /usr/share/gnome-shell/extensions/<extension directory>/schemas

In this command, glib-compile-schemas is a utility that generates a binary form of the schema files. The /usr/share/gnome-shell/extensions/<extension directory>/schemas is the directory containing the schema files.

Local Extension Preferences

If you installed the extension locally, the default extension settings are located in the ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/<extension directory>/schemas directory. Similarly, you can manually edit the XML files and recompile the “gschema” file using the command:

glib-compile-schemas ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/<extension directory>/schemas

Using Dconf Editor

To locate and modify the extension settings using a GUI, you can use the Dconf Editor tool. Install it using:

sudo apt install dconf-editor

The <schema> or <path> tags in the XML file will guide you to the corresponding schema in Dconf Editor, typically located under /org/gnome/shell/extensions/. You can search for the schema and key in Dconf Editor and make changes. Note that some extension settings may only be available after they have been set at least once.

Keyfile Backend

In some cases, when the GSETTINGS_BACKEND environment variable is set to keyfile, the extension settings are stored in a text file at $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/glib-2.0/keyfile. This can be useful for developing and testing extensions.

Monitoring Changes

If you want to track changes to the extension settings, you can use the dconf watch / command to monitor the modifications made via Dconf Editor. Install the dconf-cli package using:

sudo apt install dconf-cli

Conclusion

In summary, the preferences for GNOME extensions can be stored in XML files, GSettings, or keyfile, depending on the extension and installation method. You can manually edit the XML files, recompile the “gschema” files, or use Dconf Editor to modify the settings. The dconf watch / command can help you monitor changes to the extension settings. Understanding how and where these preferences are stored can help you better manage and customize your GNOME extensions.

Where can I find the default extension settings for globally installed GNOME extensions?

The default extension settings for globally installed GNOME extensions can be found in the /usr/share/gnome-shell/extensions/<extension directory>/schemas directory. The <extension directory> refers to the name of the directory containing the extension files.

How can I manually edit the extension settings for GNOME extensions?

To manually edit the extension settings for GNOME extensions, you can modify the XML files associated with the extension. The XML files contain <key> tags that list the keys and <default> tags that contain the default values. You can make changes to these tags as needed.

How can I transfer extension settings across systems?

To transfer extension settings across systems, you need to update the extension’s "gschema" file. After making changes to the XML files, you can recompile the "gschema" file using the glib-compile-schemas command. For globally installed extensions, the command would be sudo glib-compile-schemas /usr/share/gnome-shell/extensions/<extension directory>/schemas. For locally installed extensions, the command would be glib-compile-schemas ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/<extension directory>/schemas.

Is there a graphical tool to modify extension settings?

Yes, you can use the Dconf Editor tool to locate and modify extension settings using a GUI. You can install it using the command sudo apt install dconf-editor. The Dconf Editor allows you to search for the schema and key corresponding to the extension and make changes to the settings.

Where can I find the extension settings for locally installed GNOME extensions?

The extension settings for locally installed GNOME extensions can be found in the ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/<extension directory>/schemas directory. Similar to globally installed extensions, you can manually edit the XML files and recompile the "gschema" file to update the settings.

How can I track changes to the extension settings?

You can use the dconf watch / command to monitor modifications made to the extension settings. This command allows you to track changes made via Dconf Editor. To use this command, you need to install the dconf-cli package using the command sudo apt install dconf-cli.

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