XDG user directories

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Tip: This program will be especially helpful for those who wish to use a file manager to manage their desktop for a Window Manager such as Openbox, as it will also automatically create a ~/Desktop directory.

User directories are a set of common user directories located within a the Home directory, including Documents, Downloads, Music, and Desktop. Identified by unique icons within a file manager, they will commonly be automatically sourced by numerous programs and applications. xdg-user-dirs is a program that will automatically generate these directories (see the freedesktop.org website for further information). When executed, it will also automatically:

  • Match the Locale language settings when naming the directories, and
  • Create a local ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs configuration file (i.e. for applications to find and use the directories)
  • Create a global /etc/xdg/user-dirs.defaults configuration file


install package xdg-user-dirs from Official Repositories.

Creating Home directories

Warning: As these directories are intended to be used for a local user account, do not execute the command provided as root.

To create a full suite of user directories within the Home directory, enter the following command:

$ xdg-user-dirs-update