GConf is Gnome's configuration subsystem. It acts as a central configuration repository for many Gnome-based applications, their settings, and the overall Gnome experience. It includes security and lockdown mechanisms, and is pretty extensive. Here's the information I've found so far on GConf that is relevant to our clients:


  • /apps/panel/global: locked_down
  • /apps/metacity/global_keybindings: Go here to disable/set keybindings (such as removing the default ALT+F2 = run dialogue so students cannot arbitrarily run any program on the system)
  • /apps/gnome_settings_daemon/screensaver: start_screensaver
  • /desktop/gnome/background: picture_filename /home/share/backgrounds/picture.jpg
  • /desktop/gnome/lockdown: disable_lock_screen
  • /desktop/gnome/lockdown: disable_user_switching


  • /apps/panel/global/disabled_applets: A list of applets you can disable. This was relevant when removing fast-user-switch and deskbar applets, as Gnome would complain upon login of every user that it couldn't load the applet (they are defaulted to load even when the packages are removed) (see image here)
  • /apps/panel/toplevels/*/background: Will be good for setting panel translucency/color for administrator accounts
  • /desktop/gnome/interface/enable_animations: Will enable/disable animations in various aspects of Gnome, which can be sludgy in LTSP environments

NOTE: If you are not familiar with GConf, please read up on it via the links below to understand how it works and how to set mandatory keys, as this is important if you want to lock down settings for all users.


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