Ubuntu – How to change gnome-terminal profile preferences using dconf or gsettings


After upgrading form Ubuntu 14.10 to 15.10, it seems that changing gnome-terminal preferences using gconftool-2 is no longer supported. I guess this issue is related the Gconf to GSettings migration.

Now, I would like to change some of my old scripts ( since they are broken in Ubuntu 15.10 ) to work with dconf/gesettings instead of gconftool-2.

As an example, on Ubuntu 14.10 ( gnome-terminal version 3.6.2 ) I could set the number of columns in the Default profile using:

$ gconftool-2 --set /apps/gnome-terminal/profiles/Default/default_size_columns \
            --type=int 140
$ gconftool-2 --set /apps/gnome-terminal/profiles/Default/use_custom_default_size \
            --type=bool true

Now, in Ubuntu 15.10, typing:

$ dconf list /org/gnome/terminal/legacy/




$ gsettings list-relocatable-schemas | grep Terminal



The above output confuses me:

Still in Ubuntu 15.10 (using gnome-terminal version 3.16.2), if I run:

$ gsettings list-keys org.gnome.Terminal.Legacy.Profile:/ | grep default

I get:


so there is a default-size-columns key that could (?) correspond to the default_size_columns key in Ubuntu 14.10, but there is no use-custom-default-size key corresponding to the use_custom_default_size key in Ubuntu 14.10. This also confuses me.

Also, if I try running:

$ gsettings set org.gnome.Terminal.Legacy.Profile:/ default-size-columns 150

and open a new gnome-terminal the setting of default-size-columns seems to have no effect since the terminal still opens with 80 columns..

Best Answer

  • The syntax to be used with the gsettings command is described in GNOME Terminal Frequently Asked Questions.

    First you need to find out the identifier of the profile you want to change. For example, the identifier of the gnome-terminal default profile can be obtained from schema org.gnome.Terminal.ProfilesList.

    Then change the desired keys of path /org/gnome/terminal/legacy/profiles:/:UUID/ of schema org.gnome.Terminal.Legacy.Profile: for this profile.

    Note the colons in the above path. It will not work if they are omitted.

    Here is a script that use the above to set default-size-columns of the default profile:

    profile=$(gsettings get org.gnome.Terminal.ProfilesList default)
    profile=${profile:1:-1} # remove leading and trailing single quotes
    gsettings set "org.gnome.Terminal.Legacy.Profile:/org/gnome/terminal/legacy/profiles:/:$profile/" default-size-columns 150