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List of "dot files" that may appear in a user's home directory on Debian systems, what they are, and what to do with them. List of "dot files" that may appear in a user's home directory on Debian systems, what they are, and what to do with them. Also see [[XDGBaseDirectorySpecification|XDG Base Directory Specification]]

List of "dot files" that may appear in a user's home directory on Debian systems, what they are, and what to do with them. Also see XDG Base Directory Specification

File name

Program (Package)

Type

Confidential

Documentation

Notes

Location overriding

.abbrev_defs

(emacs*)

config

info emacs

.addressbook/

evolution

data

?

.adobe/Flash_Player/

(flashplugin-nonfree)

cache

.aptitude/cache

aptitude

cache

.aptitude/config

aptitude

config

.autom4te.cfg

autom4te (autoconf)

config

info Autoconf

also used by automake, libtool

.bash_history

bash

history

bash(1)

export HISTFILE=file (DANGEROUS, this environment variable also affects most other shells; at least pdksh and mksh have a different format (binary; bash, ksh93, zsh have plaintext)

.bash_logout

bash

config

bash(1)

optional

.bash_profile

bash

config

bash(1)

.bashrc

bash

config

bash(1)

bash --rcfile file

.bazaar/bazaar.conf

bzr

config

bzr(1)

BZR_HOME

.bzr.log

bzr

log

bzr(1)

BZR_HOME

.cache/

(various)

cache

XDG Base Directory Specification

export XDG_CACHE_HOME=dir

.ccache/

ccache

cache

ccache(1)

export CCACHE_DISABLE CCACHE_DIR=dir CCACHE_TEMPDIR=dir CCACHE_LOGFILE=file

.camel_certs/

evolution

data

Evolution FAQ

.config/

(various)

config

XDG Base Directory Specification

XDG_CONFIG_HOME, XDG_CONFIG_DIRS

.cvspass

cvs

data

yes

cvs(1)

contains passwords if you use non-anonymous pserver

.cvsrc

cvs

config

cvs(1)

almost mandatory for sensible use of cvs

.dbus/

dbus-launch (dbus)

data

dbus-launch(1)

.devscripts

(devscripts)

config

various man pages via devscripts(1)

.devscripts_cache

devscripts

cache

various man pages via devscripts(1)

.d-feet/config

d-feet

config

no

automatically written

.dia/

dia

config

dia(1)

.dmrc

gdm, kdm

config

GDM GNOME help

saves selected display manager session type as default for next login

.dosboxrc

dosbox

config

.dput.cf

dput

config

dput.cf(5)

.dsh/

dsh

config

dsh(1)

.dupload.conf

dupload

config

dupload.conf(5)

.emacs

(emacs*)

config

info emacs

can also be modified from within Emacs

.emacs.d/

(emacs*)

config, data

info emacs

.emacs-desktop

(emacs*)

data

info emacs

.emacs-places

(emacs-el)

history

yes

? (/usr/share/emacs/23.1/lisp/saveplace.el.gz)

.esd_auth

(libesd0, esound-common)

data

?

? (/usr/share/doc/esound-common/html/x302.html)

.evolution/

evolution

data

yes

Evolution FAQ

contains mail, addressbook, etc.

.farsight/*.cache

libfarsight

cache

no

no longer used in squeeze

.fetchmailrc

fetchmail

config

yes

fetchmail(1)

FETCHMAILHOME

.fontconfig/

(fontconfig)

cache

fc-cache(1)

FONTCONFIG_PATH

.fonts.conf

(fontconfig-config)

config

fonts.conf(5)

FONTCONFIG_PATH

.forward

exim, postfix, ...

config

mail forwarding

.gentoo-history

gentoo

history

history of directories visited

.gconf/

(gconf2)

config

http://projects.gnome.org/gconf/

/etc/gconf/2/path

.gconfd/

(gconf2)

data

http://projects.gnome.org/gconf/

.gimp-2.*

gimp

config, cache

gimp(1)

GIMP2_DIRECTORY

.gitconfig

git (git-core)

config

git-config(1)

.gitk

gitk

config

gitk(1)

written automatically by the program

.gksu.lock

gksu

lock?

gksu(1)

see also bug 559632

.gnome2/

(GNOME)

config, data

http://library.gnome.org/devel/libgnome/stable/libgnome-gnome-config.html

.gnome2_private/

(GNOME)

config, data

yes

http://library.gnome.org/devel/libgnome/stable/libgnome-gnome-config.html

.gnupg/

gpg (gnupg), gpgsm, dirmngr

config, data

yes

gpg(1), gpgsm(1), dirmngr(1)

man pages contain details on all the files

GNUPGHOME

.gstreamer-0.10/registry.*.bin

gstreamer

cache

cached plugin registry

.gtk-bookmarks

(GTK?)

data

?

.gvfs/

(gvfs-*)

mounts

(http://grumbel.blogspot.com/2008/05/playing-around-with-gvfs.html)

.hgrc

mercurial

config

hgrc(5)

HGRCPATH

.hushlogin

login

config

login(1), sshd(8)

should have length zero

.ICEauthority

(X)

config

iceauth(1)

.inputrc

(libreadline*)

config

readline(3) and info page

.java/

(openjdk*)

cache,config,data

?

.jnewsrc

slrn

data

slrn(1)

SLRNHOME

.jnewsrc.dsc

slrn

data

slrn(1)

SLRNHOME

.k5login

ksu

config

ksu(1), pam_krb5(5)

.kde/

(KDE)

config,data

(yes)

http://techbase.kde.org/KDE_System_Administration/KDE_Filesystem_Hierarchy

KDEHOME, KDEROOTHOME, KDEDIRS

.kernel-pkg.conf

make-kpkg (kernel-package)

config

kernel-pkg.conf(5)

.keychain

keychain

data

keychain(1)

ssh, gpg agent socket addresses

keychain --dir dir

.lessfilter

lesspipe (less)

config

lesspipe(1)

should be executable

.lesshst

less

history

yes

less(1)

history of searches in less

export LESSHISTFILE=file

.lftp/

lftp

config, log, history

lftp(1)

LFTP_HOME

.local/

(various)

data

XDG Base Directory Specification

XDG_DATA_HOME, XDG_DATA_DIRS

.macromedia/

(flashplugin-nonfree)

cache, config, history

yes

?

effectively tracks visited web sites (with Flash content), can be controlled using Adobe's Flash Player Settings Manager

.mc/

mc

config, data

mc(1), mcedit(1), mcview(1)

.mpdconf

mpd

config

mpd.conf(5)

mpd file

.mplayer/

mplayer

config

mplayer(1)

MPLAYER_HOME

.minirc.dfl

minicom

config

automatically saved

.mission-control/

telepathy-mission-control-5

data

yes

Empathy/Telepathy accounts: contains passwords if you don't have gnome-keyring

.mkshrc

mksh

config

mksh(1)

via /etc/skel, never created

export ENV=file (nonexistent filename to disable) – this environment variable also affects other shells

.mrconfig

mr

config

mr(1)

mr -c file

.mrtrust

mr

config

mr(1)

.muttrc

mutt

config

[1/mutt|mutt(1)]]

.mutt/

mutt

config

[1/mutt|mutt(1)]]

.mozilla/

iceweasel

cache, config, data, history

yes

?

evidently used by various Mozilla products -- documentation?

.nano_history

nano

history

yes

nano(1)

history of searches in nano

.nanorc

nano

config

nanorc(5)

.netrc

ftp, mc, lftp, python...

config

yes

netrc(5)

.nexuiz

nexuiz

config,data,cache?

.nofinger

finger

config

finger(1)

.octave_hist

octave*

history

.offlineimaprc

offlineimap

config

yes

offlineimap(1)

may contain passwords

.openarena

openarena

config,data,cache

.openoffice.org/

(openoffice.org*)

config,data,cache

yes

?

.opera/

opera

config,data,cache

yes

?

.pbuilderrc

pbuilder, cowbuilder

config

pbuilderrc(5)

.plan

finger

config

finger(1)

.pgpkey

finger

config

finger(1)

.profile

ash, bash, dash, ksh93, mksh, pdksh, posh, zsh

config

sh(1)

via /etc/skel, never created

.project

finger

config

finger(1)

.psql_history

psql (postgresql-client)

history

psql(1)

.psqlrc

psql (postgresql-client)

config

psql(1)

.pulse/

(pulseaudio)

config

pulse-daemon.conf(5)

.pulse-cookie

(pulseaudio)

data

yes

pulse-client.conf(5)

.pylint.d/

pylint

data

pylint(1)

results from previous runs, can usually be deleted

PYLINTHOME

.pylintrc

pylint

config

pylint(1)

--rcfile=, PYLINTRC

.python-eggs/

(python-setuptools)

cache

(http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2192323/what-is-the-python-egg-cache-python-egg-cache)

PYTHON_EGG_CACHE

.qt/

(libqt3-mt)

config

edit with qtconfig-qt3; Qt 4 config is in .config/Trolltech.conf

.quiltrc

quilt

config

quilt(1)

quilt --quiltrc file

.recently-used

(GTK+ <2.10?)

data

yes

?

.recently-usex.xbel

(GTK+ >=2.10?)

data

yes

?

.reportbugrc

reportbug

config

reportbug.conf(5)

.rhosts

sshd

config

sshd(8)

.rnd

openssl (openssl/libssl*)

cache

yes

rand(1)

confidential because it might be used in creating key material

.screenlayout/

arandr

config

.shosts

sshd

config

sshd(8)

.Skype/

skype

config,data

.slocdata/

sloccount

cache

sloccount(1)

.slrnrc

slrn

config

slrn(1)

SLRNHOME

.sqliterc

sqlite3

config

.sqlite_history

sqlite3

history

command history

.ssh/authorized_keys

sshd

config

sshd(8)

.ssh/config

ssh

config

ssh_config(5)

.ssh/environment

sshd

config

sshd(8)

.ssh/id_*

ssh

data

yes

ssh(1)

private keys

.ssh/id_*.pub

ssh

data

ssh(1)

public keys

.ssh/known_hosts

sshd

config

sshd(8)

.ssh/rc

sshd

config

sshd(8)

.subversion/

svn (subversion)

config

~/.subversion/README.txt, Subversion book

.subversion/auth/

svn (subversion)

cache

yes

Subversion book

.svn-buildpackage.conf

svn-buildpackage

config

svn-buildpackage(1)

.synergy.conf

synergy

config

synergys(1)

.thumbnails/

(various (GNOME, KDE, ...))

cache

Thumbnail Managing Standard

.texmf-config/

(texmf-*)

config

http://people.debian.org/~preining/TeX/TeX-on-Debian/ch2.html

.texmf-var/

(texmf-*)

cache

http://people.debian.org/~preining/TeX/TeX-on-Debian/ch2.html

.twidgerc

twidge

config

yes

twidge(1)

.unison/*.prf

unison

config

/usr/share/doc/unison/unison-manual.txt.gz

.unison/*

unison

data

/usr/share/doc/unison/unison-manual.txt.gz

.update-notifier/

update-notifier

data

?

.vidalia/geoip-cache

vidalia

cache

?

.vidalia/vidalia.conf

vidalia

config

?

written automatically by the program

.vimrc

VIM

config

VIMINIT

.vim/

VIM

config

User related extensions like plugins, syntax files, etc.

.vlc

vlc < 0.9.0

config,cache

versions >= 0.9.0 use XDG directories

.wgetrc

wget

config

maybe

wget(1)

might contain passwords

.whohas

whohas

cache

whohas(1)

.wine/

wine

data

?

wine(1)

WINEPREFIX

.Xauthority

(X)

config

yes

Xsecurity(7)

XAUTHORITY

.Xcompose

(X)

config

Compose(5)

.xine/

(libxine1)

cache, config

xine(5) (partially)

.xscreensaver

xscreensaver

config

xscreensaver(1)

typically edited using xscreensaver-demo program

.xsession-errors

(x11-common)

log

Xsession(5)

can be deleted, but will reappear with next X login

.xsessionrc

(x11-common)

config

Xsession(5)

.zcompdump

zsh

cache

zshcompsys(1)

.zlogin

zsh

config

zsh(1)

.zlogout

zsh

config

zsh(1)

.zprofile

zsh

config

zsh(1)

.zshenv

zsh

config

zsh(1)

.zshrc

zsh

config

zsh(1)

Legend

Type

The type of file can most easily be described by saying where the file would belong per FHS if this were not a user-specific file.

  • config: would belong under /etc/

  • cache: would belong under /var/cache/ -- The assumption is that you can delete cache files at any time without losing data.

  • data: would belong under /var/lib/

  • log: would belong under /var/log/

  • history: This is a special mixture of data and log files that records what a program did and lets users retrieve and re-execute previous actions. This usually doesn't exist as a global file.

Confidential

Confidential means that a file should normally not have group or world read access. Most data and history files ought to be confidential; most configuration files are not.

Documentation

The referenced documentation should explicitly mention the file and at least roughly describe what it is for.

dotfile sockets

Some GNOME applications use libunique (or similar) to do single-instance, which creates a socket called ~/.$APP.$USER. If you have D-Bus, libunique will use that instead, and these sockets can safely be deleted:

  • .Devhelp.$USER
  • .gnome-system-monitor.$USER

See also

Shells

To override locations, shell-specific, test $BASH_VERSION (bash), $ZSH_VERSION (zsh), $KSH_VERSION (pdksh, mksh) and (in an eval, since it’s a syntax error in other shells) ${.sh.version} (ksh93). Something like this in ~/.profile will work (some special cases, things not in Debian, etc. omitted from the full shell version detection script, and dash has no case, but then, why’d you want to use it as login shell):

test -z "$ZSH_VERSION" || zsh-specific-command
test -z "$BASH_VERSION" || bash-specific-command
test -z "$POSH_VERSION" || posh-specific-command
case $KSH_VERSION in
*MIRBSD\ KSH*) mksh-specific-command ;;
*PD\ KSH*) pdksh-specific-command ;;
esac
x=.sh.version
(eval x=\$\{$x\}) 2>&- || x=fail
test x"$x" = x"fail" || ksh93-specific-command

You probably should set a shelltype variable and switch on that. Some shells offer “private” initialisation files like ~/.bash_profile (GNU bash), some don’t, some depend on whether it’s an interactive, login or non-interactive shell, some can have their locations changed by setting the ENV, BASH_ENV, etc. variables.