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I have a number of versions of gnome installed on a number of different hosts. All users have network mounted home directories. In some cases gnome works poorly when reading configuration from the .gnome2 directory. I would like to read config files from version specific directories. Is there any way to specify this when starting gnome? Environment variables perhaps? I know how to move the .gconf directories but this is not sufficient. I need to read the .gnome2 from a different path.

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I think this is where someone who ask you why you aren't keeping your versions in sync? Even if you get different versions of your .gnome2 directories, you're going to have different versions of other programs and I think you run a high risk of different versions of programs having issues with newer config file options.

Do you require having multiple versions for testing or something?

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I wish I had that option. Butupgrading a couple of thousand older machines to have the same version of gnome as the new computers we deliver is not possible. The older computers will live the rest of their life with older versions of gnome I'm afraid. – Ulve Nov 17 '10 at 7:27
I sympathize with you on the situation you must be in, but please tell your employer that if they want to have a couple thousand machines, that they need to have the proper human resources to manage it. – deltaray Nov 17 '10 at 14:24

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