Gnome 3 dimmer setting


Ubuntu’s Unity is fun and all, but I’m giving Gnome Shell (apt-get install gnome-shell) a try. A new desktop environment is a great excuse for the Gnome developers to implement a new settings framework and simplify what’s shown in the UI. I was running into the screen dimming delay, which was too quick by default.

It’s an easy change:

gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.power idle-dim-time 30

Behind the scenes, gsettings uses dconf as a backend. Both clients can monitor changes. In one window, run dconf watch /. In another, gsettings monitor org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.power. dconf lets you monitor the whole namespace - gsettings requires a schema, which maps to a subtree in the dconf space.

Now, try that gsettings line again and see the changes monitored at both levels. Changes through the GUI will also show.

It’s great when a system either chooses the exact same defaults that I’d use or lets me tune the difference, but hitting that exact spot for everyone isn’t really an option. Like Firefox’s about:config, that balance between making the most common settings visible and the rest tweakable for people who care seems like a nice compromise.

(Music: They Might Be Giants, “2082”)
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