Placement of config files for Plasma 5 and KF5-based applications

Martin Gräßlin mgraesslin at
Wed Jan 28 07:43:41 GMT 2015

On Tuesday 27 January 2015 01:01:27 Thomas Pfeiffer wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> first of all, I think it's a great step in the right direction that we're
> now putting our config files in ~/.config instead of ~/.kde(4), we're now
> finally "standard-compliant".
> However, where we still could - and imho should - do better is with where
> exactly we put them. If I look at my .config folder, I see mostly folders
> there, and then a lot of KDE files directly on the top level. If everyone
> would do that, .config would be a huge mess of files and it would be
> difficult to find the one you're looking for.
> We should not be the "bad boy" here.
> The question is: Where should we put the files? Putting them all in a
> .config/kde folder again would be possible and would clear up the top-level
> clutter, but I think we could go further.
> In fact, I don't see a reason why config files from otherwise completely
> unrelated applications that only have in common that they were made by KDE
> should all reside in the same folder, whereas other applications each have
> their own folder.
> What could make sense is having e.g. everything from Calligra in one folder,
> or everything from KDE Edu or KDE Games.
> And I'd put all Plasma stuff into one folder. Actually, there already is a
> plasma-workspace folder on my system, which contains an "env" and a
> "shutdown" folder. Why not put Plasma-related config files in there?
> I also have a "KDE" folder with Marble Virtual Globe.conf and Sonnet.conf in
> there, and a folder with libphonon.conf and marble.conf. This
> doesn't make us look very professional, as it shows that there is currently
> no guideline for where to put our config files.
> I think we should change that!
> So, for me there are three questions:
> 1. Should we come up with guidelines for config file placement?
> 2. Does my suggestion above make sense or if now how should it be done
> instead?
> 3. If we want guidelines, how do we make them known and maybe even "enforce"
> them via code checking or some such?

There was a change to put config files into, but that had to be 
reverted as it broke for setups like KWin where the configuration is not done 
in the same process.

Given that at least for KWin I do not want to do any changes as
a) the risk of breakage is too high
b) it's too much work (all code needs to be hunted down for usage of "kwinrc" 
(git grep shows 46 usages just in kwin, no idea how spread out it is in other 
places to configure kwin) or KSharedConfig::openConfig and similar)
c) I simply don't care whether users have a "problem" with ~/.config 
containing many files, it's a directory for applications, not for the user

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