How to backup color/settings in gnome 3.3 'terminal'?


hello !

i’ve been looking around on how to have an individual backup of the config file responsible for storing the color/settings in the gnome 3.3 ‘terminal’ program.

it’s so i don’t have to manualy change the terminal colors and my settings each time i do a clean install of a gnu/linux distro. does anybody know where that file is located ? i assume it’s a permanent file somewhere on the file-system since the settings persist between reboot sessions.

it would be nice to have a dedicated button to save from the gui … i posted here since maybe others would want the same thing but it’s not immediately obvious on where to look.

any help is appreciated !


I don’t have access to Gnome at the moment to check but is dconf dump what you are looking for?


Like zero said - a more detailed answer can be found here:


@zero @gusnan and to anyone else interested - this hasn’t been a solution to me. only partially.

the solution one could expect from the above post is this

dconf dump /org/gnome/terminal/ > gnome_terminal_settings_backup.txt

Reset (wipe out) the settings before loading a new one (probably not really required):

dconf reset -f /org/gnome/terminal/

Load the saved settings:

dconf load /org/gnome/terminal/ < gnome_terminal_settings_backup.txt

Disclaimer: I haven’t tested the restore steps. I recommend that before the reset/load operations you back up your entire dconf database, which is stored in the single file ~/.config/dconf/user, using a simple standard filesystem copy operation (as opposed to some dconf command). In case of problem you can restore it just as easily (maybe from another terminal emulator or the Linux console).

doesn’t pull any color settings from any profile (default or not) only some text settings (which can be useful)


Works for me - looking at the file that I export with the dump command, it looks like this:

palette=['rgb(7,54,66)', 'rgb(73,103,132)', 'rgb(0,128,153)', 'rgb(0,119,181)', 'rgb(156,214,255)', 'rgb(80,114,116)', 'rgb(42,161,152)', 'rgb(238,232,213)', 'rgb(0,43,54)', 'rgb(24,59,57)', 'rgb(88,110,117)', 'rgb(101,123,131)', 'rgb(131,148,150)', 'rgb(108,113,196)', 'rgb(147,161,161)', 'rgb(253,246,227)']
font='Monospace 8'

schema-version=uint32 3

it clearly lists the colors that are saved in the palette field, and saves and restores this properly for me. (I am on Gnome Terminal 3.30.2 if that matters)

It isn’t something simple like that you have “Use colors from the system theme” checked? (Don’t know the exact phrase, I am translating from my Swedish system).


hmm, also check if the dumped data you are restoring have the “palette” field like in my example, if it doesn’t have this, it hasn’t got anything to restore. (Seems I run into this some times).


apologies. it seems to work once the default colors have been changed. it doesn’t list any color settings in the generated text file unless it’s been modified beforehand.

yes it works ok. this is THE solution untill GNOME decides to implement a more elegant solution in a gui - an export button.

once again - the steps

  1. setup a custom profile beforehand with modified color settings

  2. open the terminal

  3. type or copy paste

dconf dump /org/gnome/terminal/ > “replace-this-with-whatever-name-you-want-your-saved-terminal-color-settings-to-be-named”.txt

  1. to load simply

dconf load /org/gnome/terminal/ < “replace-this-with-whatever-name-you-gave-your-saved-terminal-color-settings-from-step-3”.txt

quotes only needed if you used spaces in the name - just use the minus sign or underscore if you have multiple words in the filename


Glad you got it working for you.


almost forgot. the above command will “put” your text file in your home directory.

that is /home/“your-username”

where / = root

you could also specify somewhere else if that’s not what you want

i like to keep mine together with the other “.” files in my home folder then i can hide them or keep them visible.