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I have a multi-user environment. I would like them to use one profile (with specific settings like: themes, shortcuts, installed keyboard layouts, wallpaper, main menu items, etc.).

Currently I need to set the same settings for each user. Is there any way to just copy some files to another user's profile and have all this stuff already configured?

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You can copy the .gconf folder from between users' home directories. Afterwards, you'll probably have to do chown the whole copied directory recursively, so that all the contents are owned by the proper user. With this approach, you should test and see if such copying is both enough and not too much (that no private information got copied etc.) If this is not enough, look at the meaningful names of other "hidden" directories in user's home directory (those whose names start with a dot - you might need to enable viewing of them in your file manager). One good candidate would also be .conf.

Once you determine the directories that contain only settings which you'd like to be common for the two users, you can try making a symlink from one to another. That is (for each such directory) :

  • at /home/user1/, backup the settings directory - for example by mv .gconf{,-backup}
  • create a symlink to the other user's directory: ln -s /home/user2/.gconf /home/user1/.gconf.

From now on, each change in settings will be stored in user2's home directory only - applications run by user1 will follow the symlinks and use the same settings.

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Unfortunately it's not so simple: there are plenty files under ~/.gconf that contain references to files under $HOME using the absolute path, so you need to replace /home/user1/ by /home/user2/. Usually a global text replacement will work, but in principle there could be coincidental occurrences that should not be replaced. – Gilles Sep 19 '11 at 23:03
In general yes, I was thinking about copying .gconf folder too. BTW can you tell that in those folder (I am especially intereted in .gconf) no user specific settings (I mean strictly bound to that user and contain usernames for example) – bakytn Sep 20 '11 at 3:46
@Gilles and bakytn: Yes, you're both right - that is why I wrote about testing. I emphasized that part now. – rozcietrzewiacz Sep 20 '11 at 6:34

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