storage location for common user directories

Sébastien GRIPON sebastien.gripon at
Thu Mar 8 13:29:51 PST 2007

I am working on the Ubuntu Media Center distribution
( and I think it would be a good idea
to standardize some common user directories, especially for multimedia
desktop applications.

I initiated a specification here : that I am going to update with ideas found in the original thread here

It just needs to have a deeper discussion in order to solve some
unresolved issues.

The first suggestion is :

In the user home directory, add a .directories file that contain the
path to standard folders. 

Example for english countries:


and in France :


Applications that needs the path to standard directories can look in
this file. This solves the problem of localization, because I don't
think these directories names must change if the user logs with a
different locale. These directories can be created by the distribution
when the user is created or when he logs for first time and must not be
changed after. However, distributions can offer tools to migrate to
another locale.

The other big problem is to know what happen if a user deletes or rename
one of this directories. I think it should be the responsability of the
desktop application (gnome, KDE...) to maintain the consistency between
the hidden file and user directories. But I hope you will have a better
idea for this...

More information about the xdg mailing list