RFC: Use ~/.etc/kde4 instead of ~/.kde4 for personal configs

Kevin Krammer kevin.krammer at gmx.at
Tue Sep 18 12:04:56 BST 2007

Hi Richard,

On Tuesday 18 September 2007, Richard Hartmann wrote:
> Hi,
> I am well aware that with the API freeze, my idea might be too late
> anyway, on the other hand, a major version number change would
> be the perfect opportunity to implement a plan like this.
> My proposal is simple:
> Use ~/.etc/kde4/ for configuration and data instead of ~/.kde4/ for
> KDE4.
> Rationale:
> 1) Reduces clutter of the user's home directory.
> 2) Puts everything into one place (I will be trying to sway some
> other major apps over the next weeks and months)
> 3) Follows the layout of Unix configurations and basic data by
> imitating /etc/
> 4) Makes keeping personal etc files in a version control system
> even easier (does probably not apply to KDE)

The XDG base dir spec [1] uses ~/.config and a couple of projects and even 
companies already use that.
Additionally to the user-local directory it also specifies a global path list 
(similar to $PATH) and environment variables to override them.

> As KDE already uses ~/.kde4 , the basic idea of grouping those
> files in one common location is already implemented. Look at
> ~/.etc as a logical consequence of applying this idea to all of the
> user's etc files.

One of the things is that KDE does not only need a config directory, but 
several other resource directories as well.
While the base dir spec [1] also specifies directories for cache and data, KDE 
additionally has directories for sockets, temporary files, etc.

The rational to have all of them under the same ~/.kde/ directory 
(overrideable by KDEHOME) is basically a bit like yours, i.e. not to clutter 
the home directory with several subdirectories but only one.

However, I agree that we could have a look at using XDG_DATA_HOME/kde4 for 
application data and XDG_CONFIG_HOME/kde4 for configuration.
It's a bit late now for 4.0 and unfortunately any later version will have to 
take care of backwards compatability as well.


[1] http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Specifications/basedir-spec
Kevin Krammer, KDE developer, xdg-utils developer
KDE user support, developer mentoring
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