Currently there is a huge mess of files and folders that start with a "." in any users home folder. There is no structure or policy on how applications should choose file and folder names for data that needs to be stored in users home directory. Additionally there is no established consistency between Gnome, KDE and most other applications. Gnome application have part of their configuration information in gconf folder and other part in a gnome subfolder. KDE applications have a complex structure under .kde/. And most other applications either have one file directly in users home folder or have their own dot-folder there.


There are two major problems with current ad-hoc approach:

  1. Namespace pollution of users home space. In any desktop system "ls -al" in the home folder would be a very lengthy affair. Moreeven this namespace is folded - KDE and Gnome apps live in their own subfolders.

  2. Lack of structure in folders makes it much harder to properly understand their purpose. For example, if a user has misconfigured an application and would like to reset it to default settings, it currently could be hard to figure out how to do that. Especially without losing his data in that application.


I propose to implement a policy on where an application can store data and configuration information in users home folder. Such specification would be proposed as an extension for FHS, first implemented in Debian and then promoted for inclusion upstream and in other distributions.


I propose a following structure for a users home folder:


The main benefit for such system for me is twofold:

So, any suggestions on the idea and on where this should be best discussed?