Gnome (The Linux Window Manager) is so highly configurable (all Linux apps are) that at times you tend to reach such a position by tweaking your Gnome so heavily that there is no coming back. You end up breaking your window manager, Gnome in this case. In this article we will tell you how to reset all Gnome settings to default in Ubuntu or Fedora Linux.
Most of the local system settings for GNOME are stored in configuration files inside the following hidden directories in your home directory - gnome, gnome2, gconf, gconfd, metacity. In order to restore your original GNOME settings and to reset them to default, you just need to delete the above mentioned directories, using this command:
rm -rf ~/.gnome ~/.gnome2 ~/.gconf ~/.gconfd ~/.metacity
This command will work on almost all standard Linux distributions in addition to Fedora and Ubuntu. In case you are unable to log into your GNOME desktop in order to access a shell, you can drop down to temporary command line.
In Ubuntu, you can drop to a command line by pressing the CTRL + ALT + F1 keys together. After logging into your account from this terminal you can execute the command as shown above. After this you can return to your normal GUI by pressing CTRL + ALT + F7 from the keyboard.
Tip: However, in Fedora you can drop into a command line by pressing CTRL + ALT + F3 and return to the GUI by pressing CTRL + ALT + F1 .