GNOME (GNU Network Object Model Environment) is probably the most used graphical environment in the Linux ecosystem, if only because all major Linux distributions such as Fedora, RHEL, Debian and Ubuntu ship with it as the default desktop. GNOME strives for simplicity and ease of use, and for this reason, not without some criticisms by a part of the Linux community, tends to be less customizable than other desktop environments such as KDE Plasma or XFCE. Instead of using plaintext configuration files, GNOME stores its settings in the dconf database, which can be manipulated using the “dconf-editor” GUI, or from the command line using the “dconf” utility.
How to customize Firefox using policies
In a world where Google Chrome is, by a large margin, the most used web browser, Firefox represents the only relevant open source alternative. The Mozilla browser is installed by default (or at least available in the official repositories) of all the most used Linux distributions. In order to configure its behavior we can change settings interactively, or, more conveniently, we can create and deploy “policies”.
How to set default programs using update-alternatives on Debian-based distributions
More often than not, on our Linux system, we can find two or more applications of the same type installed: it is typically the case of text editors, but we can also have multiple web browsers, for example. Setting the default application used to perform a specific task system-wide, however, can sometimes be problematic. To solve this problem, on Debian and Debian-based Linux distributions, we can use the alternatives system and the “update-alternatives” tool.
How to keep configuration files under version control with Etckeeper
On Linux-based operating system the /etc directory is used to hold global configuration files for applications and services. A good set of configurations is really important for a good working system, so being able to keep track of changes and quickly revert them, in case something go wrong, is crucial. Etckeeper helps us achieve this goal keeping configuration files under version control.
Introduction to the dconf configuration system
Dconf is the low-level configuration system used by the GNOME desktop environment. It is basically a database, where the various configuration are stored as keys together with their values. The keys in the database can be inspected, changed, or dumped with the dconf utility or by using the dconf-editor graphical tool.
How to customize i3status on Linux
I3 is one of the most used tiling window managers on Linux. A tiling window manager arranges windows in a non-overlapping way: this allows us to use screen space efficiently, but can require a little bit of time to get used to.