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On my Ubuntu 12.04, all the gnome applications (such as Nautilus, Evince, gedit, firefox) can access "Recently Used" files and directories, when opening files in them.

  1. I wonder where the information about "Recently Used" files and directories is stored? I would like to access the "Recently Used" files and directories from terminal, by reading such information.
  2. KDE and wine applications can't access "Recently Used" files and directories. I wonder why?


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up vote 5 down vote accepted
  1. The Recently Used information is stored in a file called recently-used.xbel located under the .local/share directory per user, the full path being:


    It contains metadata on the recent files, like what is the application that opened it, or the application that should display it in its history.

    For example, my gedit shows 3 files:

    If I search for gedit in the file, I can surely see 3 "stanzas" because there are 3 files, here's one of them as a sample:

    <bookmark href="file:///path/to/dsasd" added="2014-07-26T19:22:24Z" modified="2014-07-26T21:52:22Z" visited="2014-07-26T19:22:25Z">
      <metadata owner="">
        <mime:mime-type type="text/plain"/>
          <bookmark:application name="gedit" exec="&apos;gedit %u&apos;" modified="2014-07-26T21:52:22Z" count="7"/>

  2. The recently-used.xbel file is part of the GTK+ toolkit. I tried looking for some documentation on it, but this is the closest I can get:

    GNOME uses the GTK+ library, while KDE uses the QT library, I assume that's why it doesn't work with KDE. As for wine, I don't know, maybe it's just not designed to work with it.

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