And, in theory, this should apply to other software as well, but don’t get mad at me if something goes terribly wrong….
As we have discussed before, in Linux, everything is a file. Your monitor, your scanner, your dog, whatever. Some, perhaps most, of those “files” are actual files, which means you can delete them.
Settings for software that you use in your account tends to be hidden in dot files (files that start with “.”) in your home directory. Or folders . For Gnome, many of these settings are stored in .gconf or similar folders that contain files that are accessed by the gconfig utility. Also, a lot of what Gnome seems to be is actually “metacity,” which is a windows manager.
So, to reset back to the default values, you just find the hidden configuration files and delete them. Then, when you restart your session, they will be magically re-generated using default values. Probably.
A piece in Linux Journal gives this suggested line of code:
rm -rf .gnome .gnome2 .gconf .gconfd .metacity
and that should work nicely. But, your mialage may vary (I hate that term almost as much as I hate “just type in something like this…” followed by some esoteric code.)
Playing around with stuff like this is why you should always have a second computer on hand that has no important function. You can play around deleting dot files and see what happens, and the worst case scenario is that you are installing a new distro. And that’s always fun!