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12.2. Customizing Default Favorite Applications

Favorite applications are those visible on the GNOME Shell dash in the Activities Overview. You can use dconf to set the favorite applications for an individual user, or to set the same favorite applications for all users.

12.2.1. Setting Different Favorite Applications for Individual Users

You can set the default favorite applications for an individual user by modifying their user database file found in ~/.config/dconf/user. The following sample uses dconf to set gedit, Terminal, and Nautilus as the default favorites for a user. The example code allows users to modify the list later, if they wish to do so.

Example 12.3. Contents of /etc/dconf/profile:

# This line allows the user to change the default favorites later

Example 12.4. Contents of ~/.config/dconf/user:

# Set gedit, terminal and nautilus as default favorites
favorite-apps = ['gedit.desktop', 'gnome-terminal.desktop', 'nautilus.desktop']


You can also lock down the above settings to prevent users from changing them. See Section 9.5.1, “Locking Down Specific Settings” for more information.

12.2.2. Setting the Same Favorite Applications for All Users

In order to have the same favorites for all users, you must modify system database files using dconf keyfiles. The following sample edits the dconf profile and then create a keyfile to set the default favorite applications for all employees in the first floor of an organization.

Example 12.5. Contents of /etc/dconf/profile:


# This line defines a system database called first_floor


Settings from the user database file will take precedence over the settings in the first_floor database file, but locks introduced in the first_floor database file will take priority over those present in user. For more information about locks, see Section 9.5.1, “Locking Down Specific Settings”.

Example 12.6. Contents of /etc/dconf/db/first_floor.d/00_floor1_settings:

# This sample sets gedit, terminal and nautilus as default favorites
# for all users in the first floor
favorite-apps = ['gedit.desktop', 'gnome-terminal.desktop', 'nautilus.desktop']
Incorporate your changes into the system databases by running the dconf update command.
Users must log out and back in again before the system-wide settings take effect.