I would like to have a look at the files the dconf-editor uses to read/write settings, and I'm assuming that they are managed by gsettings. Where are these files stored on the system, and in what format?
Following some advice, I made a change and ran this:
find ~/.[!.]* -mmin -5
Among the displayed results was
~/.config/dconf/user. It's a binary file, a sort of database where GSettings stores stuff.
Here's what the manual for dconf had to say:
dconf-editor reads gsettings schemas from $XDG_DATA_DIRS/glib-2.0/schemas to obtain descriptions, default values and allowed values for keys.
So to find out where these files are all you have to do is open up a terminal and write this in:
> echo $XDG_DATA_DIRS
There is where your answer will be (provided it is set) if it isn't set try
> set | grep XDG
You should find some variation on that name with a dconf folder inside. For me the variation was.
XDG_RUNTIME_DIR which was set to
/run/user/1000 and held a directory called
dconf with a binary file inside.
Ultimately though, if you want to find any useful human readable information you will be better off looking for the schemas themselves rather than binary files.
A better method would be strace to find out. Using a binary file, why for some wrong idea about performance, how dumb for multiple reasons! KDE does it right but it's not as light as xfce with nautilus!