RFC: Use ~/.etc/kde4... symlinks are evil

Kevin Krammer kevin.krammer at gmx.at
Sat Oct 6 15:41:05 BST 2007

On Saturday 06 October 2007, Dexter Filmore wrote:
> > > apart from that I love the idea of having ~/.etc in general. This
> > > seriously should be a standard, it's way better than tons of
> > > ~/.<appname> dirs.
> >
> > You probably missed my answer to the thread starter, but there is
> > basically a standard and it is $XDG_CONFIG_HOME, defaulting to
> > $HOME/.config
> Oh, this is systemwide? Thought that was KDE specific.

There are both system wide and user specific variables, each with a default to 
assume if not set or set to empty.

This specification, called xdg-base-dir spec, currently only contains paths 
for config and for data, as well as (user specific only) a cache path.

KDE has a couple of paths more, e.g. path for user specific temp and path for 
user specific sockets. It is currently not using the xdg-base-dir spec for 
its own files, though it is using them for shared ones, e.g. shared menu 

I don't have a list of project which already use the xdg-base-dir spec for 
their own config/data, but if I remember correctly I have seen XFCE and 
Trolltech (for Qt4 config) sub directories in ~/.config of one of my test 

While I agree that it is a good idea to campaign for projects using this 
directories, I'd rather start asking the smaller projects.

The big ones (KDE, GNOME) already have one directory for all the applications 
and because there are many use patterns, it is harder for them to change.
But of course it doesn't hurt to remind them now and then :)

However, cross-desktop technology or software intended to be cross-desktop, 
should really make this a priority. I personally did this for Akonadi, the 
desktop PIM data service, since it is intended to be a cross-desktop 


Kevin Krammer, KDE developer, xdg-utils developer
KDE user support, developer mentoring
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