Solution for OEMs/Gnome

Daniel Carrera daniel.carrera at
Thu Apr 13 09:23:56 UTC 2006

Stanislav Brabec wrote:
>>Gconf seems like an incredibly complicated way of adding an icon. And it 
>>doesn't seem to work at all. There is no connection between what I see 
>>on gconf-editor and the icons I see on my desktop.
> Yes, for panel it is true. But there is one chance, much simpler with
> GNOME 2.14 (it has merged gconf tree in ~/.gconf/%gconf-tree.xml):
> - Create new user account.
> - Configure it as you want.
> - Logout.
> - Open your ~/.gconf/%gconf-tree.xml in an text editor.
> - Find everything with /apps/panel/default_setup in its key.
> - Insert it to updated panel-default-setup.entries.

I don't have that file. I take it that Ubuntu ships with a previous 
version of Gnome.

>>Except that I don't understand the contents of ~/.gconf
> These are XML files with user's changes of configuration read by gconf
> daemon.

Yes, I know what XML is, and I'm quite comfortable with XML. But that 
doesn't tell me what any of of those files means or how they work. They 
really aren't self-describing and there are 124 of them just in my 
~/.gconf directory. I'm not going to read 124 XML files in a vain hope 
of guessing how they work.

>>It seems easier to just cp ~/.gconf ~/.gnome2 /etc/skel/
> Yes, but once user makes mistake, there is no way to reset to OEM
> default.

But I don't have any other solution. As I keep saying, the Gconf 
comfiguration is a huge and incomprehensible. I shouldn't have to read 
124 xml files just to add an icon.

>>If you are talking about .../gconf/schemas/panel-default-setup.entries 
>>then I have no idea how to edit it.
> See above.

Above you said this is an XML file. I knew that. I can tell you that 
OpenDocument files are XML, does that suddenly mean that now you know 
how they work?

> Not icon, you are adding keys there. But even this is not intuitive, if
> you need a new drawer:
> - Go to lowest existing drawer

Drawer? On gconf-editor I can't see anything I'd call a drawer. I see a 
tree-view of what someone might call "folders". And which one is "last"? 
Are you talking about /apps/panel/objects/object_9? Ok, I'm there.

But what does this have to do with keys? I've figured out that the 
settings for the pre-configured entries are called "keys" (object-type, 
description, etc). But I don't want to add a new property to a 
pre-configured panel entry. I want to add a new one that corresponds to 
a new icon
> - Right click in right empty window

I see no empty window. I see two columns full of stuff, none of which 
seems relevant to adding an icon to the panel.

> - Enter the key name, including missing part of the path and /.
> - Exit gconf-editor.
> - Run gconf-editor.
> Drawer and key are here.
> I have just filled it as a bug:

Thank you for filing that bug. Sadly, I don't see what adding a key to a 
panel entry has to do with adding an icon to the panel. I swear I'm not 
trying to be difficult. I did take another look at gconf-editor and I 
did try to find a way to do what I want.

>>Still don't know how to edit .entries or .schemas. Like you said, they 
>>aren't exactly straight forward.
> In a text editor with a little understanding of XML.

I have more than "a little" understanding of XML. That doesn't 
automatically make me understand how Gconf works. Do you have a little 
understanding of XML? Are you sure that if I gave you a broken 
OpenDocument file and said "fix the tables" you would be able to do it?

Knowing XML (which I do) is not enough to understand every XML format 
ever made. If it did we wouldn't have to worry about Microsoft making a 
gibberish XML and trying to make it "standard".

>>>- Change GConf path and use separate GConf database
>>No use unless I can generate a separate GConf database.
> Yes, you can, it should be simple:
> Create $sysconfdir/gconf/2/local-defaults.path (or edit
> $sysconfdir/gconf/2/path)
> Add there a directory (see the syntax in the path file).
> Create this directory and make it world readable (default in most
> distributions).

It isn't simpe, look, first I don't know the value of $sysconfigdir, so 
I have to guess. I'll guess that it's /etc/. Okay, I see that it's a 
series of include statements and one of them is 
/etc/gconf/2/local-defaults.path. Ok, so I go edit the file and then I 
find that I still haven't the faintest clue of what to put on it. There 
are 124 files in my ~/.gconf and none of them is obviously the one I 
should copy to local-defaults.path (even if I assume that copying it is 
what I should do - which is not known).

>>>But as I wrote before, for panel all these ways are very unintuitive.
>>You could say that :)
> It is unintuitive only for default panel setup. For other things, it is
> very straightforward. For example - change the init splash:
> - Find /apps/gnome-session/options/splash_image in gconf editor.

Configuring existing items is simple enough, but that doesn't make the 
XML file comprehensible, and it doesn't tell me how to create a new 
entrie that does what I want.

> - You see nice help, which will say you, what you can do.

I've heard the help, and I learned some things from it. In particular, 
to make a setting a default, I should right-click and choose "set as 
default". But I'm still right back at square one. How do I add a icon 
through gconf-editor?

    /\/_/   A life? Sounds great!
    \/_/    Do you know where I could download one?

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