Reorganizing $HOME
Reorganizing $HOME

I’m looking to restructure my home folder. Have for a long time used the standard XDG user directory structure ($HOME/{Desktop,Documents,Downloads...}) and it has become a mess. Also the capitalized directory names are inconvenient for a multitude of reasons.

I’ll have to set the XDG user variables accordingly.

Anyone gone through a process of reorganizing their home directory structure beyond the standard XDG user directory structure. Did you note any oddities refraining from mentioned standards?

Here’s my initial idea:

├── desktop
├── documents
│   ├── public
│   └── templates
├── downloads
├── media
│   ├── audio
│   │   ├── bleeps
│   │   └── music
│   ├── e-books
│   ├── graphics
│   │   ├── 3d
│   │   ├── raster
│   │   │   ├── palettes
│   │   │   └── wallpapers
│   │   ├── screenshots
│   │   └── vector
│   ├── photos
│   └── videos
├── sites
└── software
    ├── bin
    ├── games
    │   └── roms
    └── git

I changed my user-dirs.dirs file to this:


If only every application supported base directories instead of putting a .{name} file in the home dir.


.{name} is best case scenario as far as I’m concerned. Plenty of apps will default to $HOME/{name}.

That kind of crap should be marked as malware or something


Honestly. If it doesn’t support even an env variable to change it’s folder, I usually just uninstall it


You can see my setup here:

Basically I have ~/app, ~/bin and alike and symlink everything (like ~/.appname) to ~/app/dat/appname. This works pretty well since 99% of the apps don’t care if its a symlink or real folder. Sadly, there are a few apps that break, I use mounts as a workaround for them (but I’m still looking for alternatives).


Very nice writeup on your setup! Thanks for sharing, I’ll dive deeper into it tonight.


Thanks! I always planned to do a more in-depth post about it but time is passing by so fast.


I named my downloads folder dl. The rest of my home directory is quite messy.


It’s not a bad idea to do that. Something that urks my lazyness is when I go cd Do [tab] and fish promptly gives me the option to chose either Documents or Downloads.

Maybe in my case where I’d rather not mix abbreviations I’ll remap my muscle memory from Downloads to fetched or something like that in order to avoid the do in downloads and documents.


I basically don’t like apps messing in my folders anyways so I don’t worry about it too much. I leave the defaults but the only XDG defined folder I really use is Downloads but I basically use that folder for any temporary data.

Other than that I will symlink the configs of certain apps that I care about (git, zsh, vim, …) into a good place for me and I keep most of my work in ~/p which is basically a directory of git repos.

So basically I find the XDG stuff mostly useless so I keep the stuff I care about out of those folders.

(Although I do wish more apps respected XDG_CONFIG_DIR rather than dumping crap into my home directory. )

I really like the default structure, the 0nly thing that bothers me is that now that I have a second HDD I can’t share that structure between the tw0 discs, so now I am unsure on how to use my second HDD. I think I’ll use the sec0nd for films that I don’t care ab0ut keeping after seeding.

The 0nly thing I can say about your structure is that I w0uldn’t use it because I need a Picture folder, because I download a lot of them and they aren’t photos.


I do this, using symlinks. So my ~/Videos, Pictures , etc point to syncthing folders on my external HDs.

If you don’t want to treat the second hard drive as separate. You might consider or alternatives to create a virtual union drive.

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