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Last Comment Bug 735285 - Support for the XDG Base Directory Specification in Thunderbird
: Support for the XDG Base Directory Specification in Thunderbird
Product: Thunderbird
Classification: Client Software
Component: Preferences (show other bugs)
: 10 Branch
: All Linux
: -- enhancement with 8 votes (vote)
: ---
Assigned To: Nobody; OK to take it and work on it
Depends on: 259356
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Reported: 2012-03-13 09:46 PDT by Tristan Miller
Modified: 2016-10-13 03:45 PDT (History)
11 users (show)
See Also:
Crash Signature:
QA Whiteboard:
Iteration: ---
Points: ---


Description Tristan Miller 2012-03-13 09:46:12 PDT
Currently Thunderbird stores its user application data (preferences, cache, etc.) in ~/.thunderbird, thus cluttering the user's home directory with yet another arbitrarily chosen hidden directory.  Thunderbird should instead support the XDG Base Directory Specification <> under GNU/Linux.

The same problem is the subject of Bug 247973, though the proposed resolution is less preferable.

Similar requests have already been made for Firefox (Bug 259356) and SeaMonkey (Bug 726939).
Comment 1 faipasierch 2012-11-21 04:19:56 PST
* ping
Comment 2 Eric Heintzmann 2013-01-05 05:26:30 PST
According to XDG Base directory specification, Thunderbird@ should not have its own folder anymore:
User data should go into $XDG_DATA_HOME (which default to ~/.local/share),
user preferences should go into $XDG_CONFIG_HOME (which default to ~/.config)
and cached data should go to $XDG_CACHE_HOME (which default to ~/.cache).
More details at :

Full specification can be found at:

The XDG base directory specification have good de facto adoption.
It has been adopted by:
- GNOME ( )
- GTK+ ( )
- KDE ( )
- QT ( )
- XFCE ( in Files and Environment Variables )
- Razor-qt
- VLC ( )
- GStreamer ( )
- Chrome ( )
- many more upstream applications
- Ubuntu ( & )
- Debian ( )
- Red Hat
- Fedora
- Suse
- many more distributions

I think that Thunderbird should use same locations than the vast majority of Desktop environment and applications.

There are real advantages of following this specification :
- a lot less cluttered $HOME
- Make backups a lot more safer and easier.
  Backuping your $XDG_DATA_HOME along with your files is enough 
  (or just excluding $XDG_CACHE_HOME)
- A lot easier to reset a default configuration if you want/need it (and 
  without any risk to loose informations). Even for the software itself 
  could choose to reset $XDG_CONFIG_HOME if needed.
- Avoid some strange bugs that happens because you had a old version of 
  some configuration file
- A lot more of flexibility and portability because no path are hardcoded.
Comment 3 andres.rodriguez 2016-10-13 03:45:48 PDT
Pinging. Over 4 years later, this bug should be confirmed.

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