Recognizing $XDG_GAMES_DIR

Ingo Ruhnke grumbel at
Fri Dec 20 09:07:35 PST 2013

On Fri, Dec 20, 2013 at 4:10 PM, Rex Dieter <rdieter at> wrote:

> Why should games be treated differently that other applications?  Ie, why
> not just put stuff under $XDG_DATA_HOME ?

While I have seen a few games using $XDG_DATA_HOME for savegames it feels
like the wrong place for them. As far as I understand XDG_DATA_HOME (the
standard really isn't all that clear on what it's actually meant to be used
for), it's basically just the user's version of /usr/share/, meaning it
might contain themes, add-ons, mods, icons and other third party program
data. Savegames on the other side are your personal data, so you really
don't want to get it mixed together with third-party stuff.

So at the moment I would store them together with the config data, as
that's the kind of data you want to backup. It's also matches best what
games do under Windows where you have a singe directory for the games
itself and then a ~/MyGames/ directory for config, savegames and
screenshots. The problem with this is that savegames aren't exactly like
config, config tends to be small, while gamesaves can go into the Gigabytes
depending on the game, with screenshots or video recording the situation
might even get more bloaty. But as games save all those files automatically
without a file dialog they need a default location of where to store them.

I am not sure that a XDG_GAME_HOME is needed, as the damage done by
spreading things out further could be more harmful then just stuffing
everything into XDG_CONFIG_HOME, but there is plenty of precedence for
games specific location, namely /var/games/, /usr/share/games, /usr/games
and so on.

JabberID: xmpp:grumbel at
ICQ:      59461927
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the xdg mailing list