basedir-spec issue

Thomas Leonard tal00r at
Thu May 13 16:05:00 EEST 2004

On Fri, May 14, 2004 at 12:35:29AM +1200, Laszlo Peter wrote:
> On Wed, 2004-05-12 at 01:26, Thomas Leonard wrote: 
> > So, you have to set XDG_DATA_DIRS to get a fully working desktop. And
> > once you've done that, the datadir workaround isn't needed anyway.
> Well, my starting point was that I find it broken that I have to
> set an environment variable to get a fully working desktop.
> I'm looking for a solution for this, not a workaround.

The solution is just to change whatever installer you used so it sets the
value, just as it sets many other values (PATH, etc). What's the problem
with this? It just sounds like a simple bug.

> Let me try another example. Say I have GNOME in /opt/gnome and
> I set XDG_DATA_DIRS to /opt/gnome/share for all users who log in
> through gdm. Then I download ROX-Filer and install it in /opt/rox.
> ROX-Filer will find the GNOME shared data in /opt/gnome/share, but
> won't find its own files. (How broken is that??)

What 'own' files? This is shared data. ROX needs:

- The MIME database.
- The icon themes.

These aren't specific to ROX or GNOME. I think part of the confusion here
is that you've installed non-GNOME-specific stuff in /opt/gnome.

You may find it simpler to think about if you install things as:


(after all, you wouldn't put libc or xfree86 in /opt/gnome just because
GNOME happens to use them)

> Now, what I'm proposing is this: GNOME looks for shared data
> in /opt/gnome/share first, so I don't need to set XDG_DATA_DIRS.
> When I install ROX-Filer, it'll find its own data files in
> /opt/rox/share, but won't find GNOME's. Similarly, GNOME won't
> find ROX-Filer's files. (I find this situation a lot saner.)

I think you're confusing two senses of 'shared'. XDG_DATA_DIRS is for data
that is shared in the sense of "shared between programs" (eg, GNOME and
ROX). This is different to the "share" in "/usr/share", which means
"shared between architectures" (eg, i386 and PowerPC).

Thomas Leonard
tal00r at	tal197 at
GPG: 9242 9807 C985 3C07 44A6  8B9A AE07 8280 59A5 3CC1

More information about the xdg mailing list