Customize GNOME with Configuration Editor

Robert Strohmeyer

Whether you're a seasoned Linux user or a newb who's just switched from Windows, getting your Linux experience to run just the way you want it can be a time-consuming chore—especially if you do it by tweaking every app and setting individually. But with the GNOME Configuration Editor, you can tweak everything—from your OS interface to your individual apps—through a single, easy-to-use menu.

If you're running Ubuntu, Config Editor is not enabled by default. To enable it, go to System > Preferences > Main Menu, select System Tools from the left menu, and then put a checkmark next to Configuration Editor. Close the Main Menu editor and then run Configuration Editor from the Applications > System Tools menu.

If you've used RegEdit to edit the Windows system registry, the Configuration Editor interface should feel at least vaguely familiar to you almost immediately. In the left pane, you can select any of the various applications or GNOME features on your PC, and you can tweak the settings in the right pane.

As an example, I prefer to use CTRL+V to paste copied text into Terminal, rather than the default of Shift+CTRL+V. To tweak this setting, I click the arrow next to gnome-terminal in the left pane, and then select keybindings. In the right pane, I scroll down to paste and then highlight the key entry. I delete <shift> from the entry, and close the editor. The next time I want to paste into Terminal, CTRL+V will do the trick.

Once you get a feel for Configuration Editor, it becomes a convenient one-stop shop for all of your interface tweaks—whether you're editing settings for GNOME itself, or any of the apps you have installed.

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