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System Settings Schema Specification

Cassidy James Blaede edited this page Dec 4, 2018 · 11 revisions


This is a proposal for inclusion at It is currently implemented by elementary OS and the Pantheon desktop environment.


Version 1.0 (Draft)

Dec 4, 2018


There are multiple settings centers with different panels and configurations, but there is no way to open a specific preference panel from any app that would be available in any Desktop Environment.

The settings application then needs to define x-scheme-handler/settings as a MIMEType in its .desktop file.

Standard links

These are proposed standard links to be used by developers. Having a nice fallback scheme should mean that your settings app doesn’t necessarily have to implement all of these or in this particular hierarchy and it should still send users to a useful location. This is very much open to discussion and debate so please email with any feedback or comments!

Link Description Fallback(s)
settings:// Main Application
settings://accounts Manage local user accounts settings
settings://accounts/online Manage connected online accounts accounts, settings
settings://applications/defaults Define apps used by xdg-open applications, settings
settings://applications/startup Manage applications at startup applications, settings
settings://date Manage date preferences settings
settings://desktop Change global desktop settings settings
settings://desktop/appearance Change desktop appearance desktop, settings
settings://desktop/appearance/wallpaper Change wallpaper(s) appearance, desktop, settings
settings://desktop/dock Change dock settings desktop, settings
settings://display Change screen resolution/orientation settings
settings://display/color Manage color preferences display, settings
settings://input Manage all input settings settings
settings://input/keyboard Manage keyboard preferences input, settings
settings://input/pointing Manage shared pointer-type input settings input, settings
settings://input/pointing/mouse Manage mouse input preferences pointing, input, settings
settings://input/pointing/stylus Manage stylus-type pointers and tablets pointing, input, settings
settings://input/pointing/touch Manage touch input preferences pointing, input, settings
settings://language Change user/system language settings
settings://network Manage network enablement settings
settings://network/bluetooth Manage Bluetooth settings network, settings
settings://network/share Manage shared content network, settings
settings://notifications Manage notification preferences settings
settings://power Manage power preferences settings
settings://printer Manage printers and tasks settings
settings://privacy Manage system privacy settings
settings://privacy/location Manage location services privacy privacy, settings
settings://privacy/trash Manage automatic deletion of temp and trash files privacy, settings
settings://security Manage overall security settings
settings://security/firewall Manage firewall settings in particular security, settings
settings://security/locking Manage system locking behavior security, settings
settings://sound Change sound input/output settings settings
settings://sound/input Change sound input settings specifically sound, settings
settings://sound/output Change sound output settings specifically sound, settings
settings://time Manage time/timezone preferences settings
settings://universal-access Manage accessibility settings


These schemas were proposed and/or previously used, but should be replaced with their respective recommendations.

Link Recommendation
settings://desktop/wallpaper Use settings://desktop/appearance/wallpaper
settings://input/mouse Use settings://input/pointing/mouse
settings://input/touch Use settings://input/pointing/touch
settings://input/wacom Use settings://input/pointing/stylus
settings://security/housekeeping Use settings://privacy/trash
settings://security/screensaver Use settings://security/locking
settings://security/privacy Use settings://privacy
settings://security/privacy/location Use settings://privacy/location

Original version: Preferences Opening Specification version 0.1 (1st July 2014)

See also: Making System Settings Access a Cross-Desktop Feature

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