XDG user directories

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Revision as of 06:43, 4 December 2012 by Fengchao (Talk | contribs) (Add introduction.)

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User directories are a set of common directories such as downloads directory, music directory, documents directory, and so on. These directories can have special identifying icons and used internally by many applications such as Nautilus and Thunar to determine where to look for files to be passed to the Create Document context menu, whereas the desktop directory is used by Xfdesktop to find .desktop files to be shown on the Desktop.

Installation

install package xdg-user-dirs from Official Repositories.

Configuration

The config file

xdg-user-dirs uses a configuration file located at ~/.config/user-dirs.dir. Its format is as follows:

 XDG_DIRNAME_DIR="$HOME/Dirname"

A complete file might contain multiple entries:

 XDG_DESKTOP_DIR="$HOME/Desktop"
 XDG_DOWNLOAD_DIR="$HOME/Downloads"
 XDG_TEMPLATES_DIR="$HOME/Templates"
 XDG_PUBLICSHARE_DIR="$HOME/Public"
 XDG_DOCUMENTS_DIR="$HOME/Documents"
 XDG_MUSIC_DIR="$HOME/Music"
 XDG_PICTURES_DIR="$HOME/Pictures"
 XDG_VIDEOS_DIR="$HOME/Videos"

xdg-user-dirs-update

xdg-user-dirs-update is a desktop-independent tool for configuring the location of certain user directories.

As an example, command

xdg-user-dirs-update --set TEMPLATES ~/.templates

will set the template directory to the specified directory with respect to the current user's $HOME:

 XDG_TEMPLATES_DIR="$HOME/.templates"

xdg-user-dir

Once set, any user directory can be viewed with xdg-user-dir. For example:

$ xdg-user-dir TEMPLATES

will show the template directory, which of course corresponds to the XDG_TEMPLATES_DIR variable in the config file.

External Resource