Is there an official tool that can save and restore gnome-specific settings ? I know several applications uses ~/.config, I don't care about them, just settings for gnome, e.g panel applets, keyboard shortcuts, and other application uses gconf.

P.S: it's best for both gnome2/3

  • 1
    Usually it's enough to backup/restore ~/.config. Doesn't that work in your case?
    – phunehehe
    Jul 2, 2012 at 5:41
  • @phunehehe Simply copying ~/.config doesn't work in my case (Ubuntu Gnome Shell Remix 12.04)
    – user24321
    Oct 6, 2012 at 0:39

2 Answers 2


You can also dump the Gconf database and reload it on a new installation:

[user@oldinstall] gconftool-2 --dump / > gconf_dump.xml
[user@newinstall] gconftool-2 --load gconf_dump.xml

I can't say I have tried this myself and I don't know how far it will go in backing up your individual settings. It should work fine for backing up things like your wallpaper, your panel configuration and so on. It will definitely not back up your application settings; for that you need terdon's answer.



Backup both ~/.config/ and ~/.gnome2/. You may as well also get ~/.icons and ~/.themes.

As far as i know, there is no ~/.gnome3/.

  • Why only ~/.gnome2? There is no ~/.gnome3? What's the relationship between ~/.config and ~/.gnome{2,3}?
    – phunehehe
    Oct 6, 2012 at 14:42
  • @phunehehe, see updated answer. As for the difference, each dir has different config files but i don't know the details.
    – terdon
    Oct 6, 2012 at 15:38

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