Per-application GNOME settings

Dear Lazyweb,

how the .... am I supposed to tell GNOME to use or not use an HTTP proxy for specific applications?

Sample scenario:

  • I want to use an HTTP proxy in Galeon (for anonymous browsing via Tor + Privoxy).
  • I do not want to use an HTTP proxy in Epiphany (normal non-torified browsing).
  • I do not want to use an HTTP proxy in Rhythmbox either. No need to tunnel all the Creative Commons podcasts and music I listen to through Tor.

Now guess what happens when I disable the HTTP proxy in Epiphany. It's disabled in Galeon, too. Enable it in Galeon, and Rhythmbox will use the proxy (thus slowing down huge downloads for no reason). Aargh.

Is it really so hard to have per-application settings? I mean, this isn't exactly rocket-science, right?

And yes, I do want to use all those applications at the same time. And no, I do not run a full GNOME desktop environment (I use IceWM, thanks), so I don't care about any GNOME-Desktop-Foo solutions — I just want each of those freaking applications to have their own settings.


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I use torbutton for

I use torbutton for tor+privoxy in FF for the moments I want to browse anonymous. Since KDE has a global on-off setting too, I cannot use konqueror for anonymous browsing without making the podcasts in amarok really slow too, without pulling all my feeds every hour trough the proxy too.

It makes sense to have global settings. but it makes more sense when all the apps take this global setting only as default, yet have the ability to override it.


I totally agree :)

Hm, maybe I should just go an file bugs in a dozen of applications or so...


Try using tsocks

Try using tsocks (

While using tsocks you can change the proxy settings for each application and it even doesn't depend on any desktop environment. You could use it in a console or everywhere else.



I'll have a look at it, thanks!


Think positive.

It's just the same in KDE :-)
That's why I use firefox for non-Tor browsing, konquerer for Tor-browsing and mplayer (command line version) for stream listening. mplayers use of Tor can easily be toggled with tor_aliases and Tor_disable then.


Yes, KDE is similarly crippled :(

I run a torified Akregator which shares the proxy settings with other KDE apps (or at least with Konqueror). I luckily don't use Konqueror itself or I would have the same problem here, too...

Yeah, using even more browsers is an "option", but a really crappy one. The real solution is to fix the applications, IMHO.

mplayer is not enough for me, I need a podcast client not just a video/audio player. Rhythmbox seems to be the best option right now, I've looked at many other podcast clients and most suck...


> I just want each of those

> I just want each of those freaking applications to have their own settings.

Then don't use gnome *desktop* applications.

No solution

That's about as useful as telling someone who complains about a Linux kernel bug "well, then just don't use Linux".

The only good solution is to fix the applications so they have their own settings or can at least override the default GNOME settings.



Try with firefox & [epi | galeon ] instead.

maybe they can use the

maybe they can use the environment variables? then, write a wrapper script around all applications, export'ing the http_proxy/ftp_proxy env variables with the corresponding values..


Ugly hack, but yeah, could work :) I'll try it out...

So basically you want Galeon

So basically you want Galeon to not respect your "desktop-wide" proxy settings.

I'm not sure that can be done easily. You could use Firefox for tor, as it has the "feature" of not respecting global proxy settings.

desktop-wide proxy settings

In this case that might suffice. But I can easily imagine cases where I want to use different proxies for different applications.

Yeah, I do use Firefox, too, but the more browsers I have to use, the more RAM I have to waste. And all of this just because the GNOME apps lack a simple and really basic feature.


great reasoning...

Why can't an application have some section that overrides the default behavior? I can think of one example off the top of my head. In eclipse you have default workbench configurations, and you can override them in each project however you like.

As for a solution, I haven't seen anything particularly useful. I would think it should be possible to create a separate gconf directory for Galeon and when you run it, provide that directory in the command or through the environment. I'm not interested in solving it enough to go digging through to see if that's possible. A cursory google search didn't turn up anything.

A solution that I believe will work is to run Galeon as a different user. Definitely not ideal, but perhaps more convenient than needing to change the proxy each time. If you change your launcher to launch it as the other user, it should be fairly convenient after the initial setup.

Best of luck.


Exactly. Just about any UNIX application usually has overridable defaults. E.g. /etc/foorc can be overridden by ~/.foorc. Why can't the GNOME/KDE stuff provide a similar method to do this?

Sure, there are many hacks to "solve" the problem (different browsers, different users, heck, you could even run different virtualized environments to have separate settings, e.g. using QEMU, XEN, whatever). All of this is an ugly, ugly hack, though...


Multiple logins

You could log in as separate usernames in multiple initiations of X11 through gdm's new login feature.

Still ugly though.


Yes and yes :)

I don't use gdm, though. startx works fine enough for me.