Recommendation for $HOME

Kent Schumacher kent at
Tue Dec 5 18:58:01 EET 2006

I would *love* to overload $HOME with other more exacting environment 
variable.  Something like $USERDATA, $USERCONFIG, etc...  They could 
fall back to $HOME if they weren't defined.

I have no idea what can and can't be deleted in my home folder - I 
shudder to think what will happen when hard drive space stops growing...

On 12/05/2006 10:30 AM, Brian J. Tarricone wrote:
> 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
> $HOME.
> 	-brian
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