Recommendation for $HOME

Vulpes Velox v.velox at
Mon Dec 11 22:02:33 EET 2006

On Tue, 5 Dec 2006 16:58:16 +0100
Thomas Güttler <hv at> wrote:

> Hi,
> the file system hierarchy standard defines nothing
> about $HOME. 
> I think a little standard (recommendation) would be good.
> Here are some ideas:
> If email is stored under $HOME the path to the
> inbox directory should be $HOME/Maildir/Inbox/.
> 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."

Actually that would be wrong. The inbox should be
~/Maildir/{new|cur|tmp}. Then myfolder should be
~/Maildir/.myfolder/{new|cur|tmp}. Then you should go and through the
cache in the maildir in question. Look up Maildir++. Using Maildir++
you have the added advantage of easily being able to run a IMAP
server on that box to read your mail.

What you are describing is what is called IMAPdir. Effectively it is
useless as the only thing I know that actually supports it is

> 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.

Sounds like a issue that should be fixed on the MUA side there.

> 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.

I think worry about dot files is silly, but I do find something
really appealing about the basedir spec.

> The above idea could be done with more directories: ~/.tmp
> ~/.var ...
> In my HOME directory there are 191 dotfiles/dotdirectories. That's
> too much.

I all ways thought worrying about dot files is silly.

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