Although I've been using Linux since 2001, this is the first time I've rolled up my sleeves and seriously tried Gnome, the most popular desktop environment. Bear with me as I discover all those tips and tricks that you Gnome users have known all along. …
The Gnome desktop environment and conforming Gnome applications store their configuration in a central database, GConf. The system-wide stuff is at /etc/gconf, and per-user stuff at ~/.gconf. So if you're looking for the per-user configuration files for a Gnome application, don't look for ~/.foobar, look for ~/.gconf/apps/foobar.
It is best to configure Gnome and its applications using their GUI tools. TODO: Document them. They include:
When you need to edit configuration files by hand, gconf-editor (System – Preferences – Configuration Editor) eases the job.
Gnome's menus are fully compliant with the XDG specification of freedesktop.org.
I have no need for Tracker so I uninstall it. If you keep it, you might want to turn off its default behavior of indexing removable media (System – Preferences – Search and Indexing – Indexing), which often keeps USB sticks momentarily busy when you want to unmount them and serves no purpose that I can imagine.
Some of Gnome's files should be excluded from your backup routine. (You do have a backup routine, don't you?) You will want to exclude:
- ~/.cache/ (I think this is a Gnome-created directory, but I might be mistaken)
If you use a sync-based backup, you will also want to exclude these files. They are not themselves so large, but being often-changing, their many historical versions can overrun your storage space:
ArchLinux Gnome Tips