GConf involves a few new concepts, but no rocket science. Essentially GConf provides a preferences database, which is like a simple filesystem. The filesystem contains keys organized into a hierarchy. Each key is either a directory containing more keys, or has a value. For example, the key /apps/metacity/general/titlebar_font contains an integer value giving the size of the titlebar font for the Metacity window manager.
GConf comes with a command line tool called gconftool-1 (for version 1) or gconftool-2 (for version 2) that you can use to get an idea what's going on. Try this command on your terminal:
$ gconftool-2 -R /desktop/gnomeThat will display some of the GNOME 2 desktop settings if you've installed GNOME 2.
Many times it happens that when you remove some software but that leaves behind keys or, for some reason, a key is there but not associated with a piece of software. If this happens you might want to clean up your GConf data to speed up the access of your desktop application. GConf Cleaner is a tool to clean up your these invalid keys.
Gconf Cleaner Installation:
To install Gconf Cleaner on Ubuntu just go to the Package Manager, search for the program gconf-cleaner, select it and clicking on the Install context menu.
After sucessful installation, the Gconf Cleaner can be accessible from the menu Applications > System Tools > GConf Cleaner. This will begin the wizard that will walk you through the process of cleaning your database.
Some applications puts the GConf keys without schemas. in such case, your applications might be damaged after cleaning up. It's recommend to save an registry in GConf Cleaner before actually cleaning up and if you see any weird behavior in your applications, restore your lost keys using following command gconftool --load < saved filename >