Well, I remember well the days of regedit horrors, but it was sure better than .ini files anywhere. Linux has followed much the same evolution going from .conf files to XML files to a binary registry.
Of course with Unix, you get now one but four major ways to edit settings:
- dconf-editor. A graphical tool for editing from Gnome
gsettings. Yet another graphical editing tool.
dconf-cli. This is the command line scriptable version of cont-editor from Gnome
gconf. The older XML file based editor
While dconf-editor is included with Xubuntu, you have to install dconf-cli.