Recommendation for $HOME

Brian J. Tarricone bjt23 at
Tue Dec 5 18:17:58 EET 2006

Thomas Güttler wrote:

> If email is stored under $HOME the path to the
> inbox directory should be $HOME/Maildir/Inbox/.

This breaks the Maildir standard.  We also can't know if the user is
using mbox or Maildir or MH-Maildir for their mail files, so it'll have
a different on-disk format and a different folder/naming structure.

> Every MUA and MDA uses a different default location. It would
> be good to have a recommendation.
> In the Maildir base directory (~/Maildir) all directories which don't
> contain a maildir directory must start with a dot. This means all
> index files must start with a dot. The index file for "myfolder",
> should be beginn with ".myfolder."
> Background: I tried some MUAs, and now the maildir base directory
> contains a lot of index files. That's annoying if you use e.g. mutt,
> which displays all the index files, too.

Then mutt is broken, or misconfigured.

> To avoid too many dot-files and dot-directories under $HOME,
> applications can use $HOME/.etc/myapp/.  If ~/.etc/ is used, "myapp"
> must be a directory.

Look at the XDG Basedir spec (on  It defines
~/.config/ and ~/.cache/, among other things.  Unfortunately, few apps
actually implement this standard with regard to storing config files in


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