There are two tools you can use to browse system and application preferences stored as GSettings values, the dconf-editor graphical utility and the gsettings command line utility.
Both dconf-editor and gsettings also allows you to change preferences for the current user.
Note that these tools always operate using the current user's GSettings database, so you should not run these applications as root.
Both dconf-editor and gsettings require a D-Bus session bus in order to make any changes. This is because the dconf daemon must be activated using D-Bus.
You can get the required session bus by running gsettings under the dbus-launch utility, like this:
$ dbus-launch gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background draw-background true
dconf-editor may be better to use if you are not familiar with the options available in an application. It shows the hierarchy of settings in a tree-view and also displays additional information about each setting, including the description, type and default value.
gsettings is more powerful than dconf-editor. Bash completion is provided for gsettings, and you can write scripts that include gsettings commands for automated configuration.
For a complete list of gsettings options, see the man page.
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