In GNOME 3 desktop icons are hidden by default. I tried to show them up this way:

 gconftool-2 --set -t bool /org/gnome/desktop/background/show-desktop-icons true

It didn't work. So I tried:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background show-desktop-icons true

It works!

gconftool-2 --get /org/gnome/desktop/background/show-desktop-icons says that value isn't set for this key.

gconf-editor does not list /org folder. Why?


GSettings API in GNOME 3 uses the dconf storage backend by default. (It had a GConf backend for a short while, but that didn't last.)

To access data in the database directly, use the dconf tool:

dconf list /org/gnome/
dconf dump /org/gnome/ > backup.ini

However, avoid doing this for anything else but backups. Most of the time, you'll want to use the high-level gsettings tool, which uses the same high-level API – so it'll always see the same settings the actual apps do, and verifies values against the same schema (which dconf does not).

gsettings list-schemas
gsettings list-recursively org.gnome.desktop.background

gsettings is also backend-independent, so it would work the same on OS X (which uses a plist backend) and Windows (which uses a Registry backend).

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