I installed Elementary OS 5.1 (Hera) to share my existing /home partition originally created in Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS.

I'm super pleased to be able to work out of the same home directory and discovering a few quirks like my desktop background setting getting clobbered.

Ubuntu uses a dynamic wallpaper and it clobbers Elementary's wallpaper setting (and vice versa). The specific entry from dconf in question:


There are settings in dconf that are ElementaryOS specific:


Is there a way to configure Elementary and Ubuntu to use distinct keys for its desktop background for example?

It totally makes sense that some people would want the same background and have a single shared key.

EDIT: the current workaround to avoid a null background is to use dconf Editor and set it to "Use default value" (which defaults to different values on boot for Ubuntu and ElementaryOS)

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What I really want are two separate desktop settings for each install.

1 Answer 1


I can't really answer as I have no idea, but I wonder if what you want to accomplish can be done another way; For example adding the pantheon desktop to ubuntu or adding whatever desktop you are using in ubuntu to Elementary os. Then you don't have to dual boot and you can use all the same folder layout.

  • ah - i do suspect if I installed multiple desktops, my settings in the dconf db would still get clobbered. doing a "conf dump /" - I can see some settings are "[io/elementary/*]" specific and others like "[org/gnome/desktop/background]" are shared (thus clobber each other) Mar 31, 2020 at 20:14
  • +riffer I went ahead and rephrased my question and simplified the details by using one specific example. thanks for helping keep the ball rolling :) Mar 31, 2020 at 20:38

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