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