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<title>Data conversion: GIO Reference Manual</title>
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<div class="titlepage"><div><div><h2 class="title" style="clear: both">
<a name="id-"></a>Data conversion</h2></div></div></div>
GConf comes with a GSettings backend that can be used to
facility the transition to the GSettings API until you are
ready to make the jump to a different backend (most likely
dconf). To use it, you need to set the <code class="envar">GSETTINGS_BACKEND</code>
to 'gconf', e.g. by using
<pre class="programlisting">
g_setenv ("GSETTINGS_BACKEND", "gconf", TRUE);
early on in your program. Note that this backend is meant purely
as a transition tool, and should not be used in production.
GConf also comes with a utility called
<span class="command"><strong>gsettings-data-convert</strong></span>, which is designed to help
with the task of migrating user settings from GConf into another
GSettings backend. It can be run manually, but it is designed to be
executed automatically, every time a user logs in. It keeps track of
the data migrations that it has already done, and it is harmless to
run it more than once.
To make use of this utility, you must install a keyfile in the
directory <code class="filename">/usr/share/GConf/gsettings</code> which
lists the GSettings keys and GConf paths to map to each other, for
each schema that you want to migrate user data for.
Here is an example:
<pre class="programlisting">
antialiasing = /desktop/gnome/font_rendering/antialiasing
dpi = /desktop/gnome/font_rendering/dpi
hinting = /desktop/gnome/font_rendering/hinting
rgba-order = /desktop/gnome/font_rendering/rgba_order
some-odd-key1 = /apps/myapp/some_ODD-key1
The last key demonstrates that it may be necessary to modify the key
name to comply with stricter GSettings key name rules. Of course,
that means your application must use the new key names when looking
up settings in GSettings.
The last group in the example also shows how to handle the case
of 'relocatable' schemas, which don't have a fixed path. You can
specify the path to use in the group name, separated by a colon.
There are some limitations: <span class="command"><strong>gsettings-data-convert</strong></span>
does not do any transformation of the values. And it does not handle
complex GConf types other than lists of strings or integers.
Don't forget to require GConf 2.31.1 or newer in your configure
script if you are making use of the GConf backend or the conversion
If, as an application developer, you are interested in manually
ensuring that <span class="command"><strong>gsettings-data-convert</strong></span> has been
invoked (for example, to deal with the case where the user is
logged in during a distribution upgrade or for non-XDG desktop
environments which do not run the command as an autostart) you
may invoke it manually during your program initialisation. This
is not recommended for all application authors -- it is your
choice if this use case concerns you enough.
Internally, <span class="command"><strong>gsettings-data-convert</strong></span> uses a
keyfile to track which settings have been migrated. The
following code fragment will check that keyfile to see if your
data conversion script has been run yet and, if not, will
attempt to invoke the tool to run it. You should adapt it to
your application as you see fit.
<pre class="programlisting">
static void
ensure_migrated (const gchar *name)
gboolean needed = TRUE;
GKeyFile *kf;
gchar **list;
gsize i, n;
kf = g_key_file_new ();
g_key_file_load_from_data_dirs (kf, "gsettings-data-convert",
list = g_key_file_get_string_list (kf, "State", "converted", &amp;n, NULL);
if (list)
for (i = 0; i &lt; n; i++)
if (strcmp (list[i], name) == 0)
needed = FALSE;
g_strfreev (list);
g_key_file_free (kf);
if (needed)
g_spawn_command_line_sync ("gsettings-data-convert",
Although there is the possibility that the
<span class="command"><strong>gsettings-data-convert</strong></span> script will end up
running multiple times concurrently with this approach, it is
believed that this is safe.
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