Is it possible to rename default directories like ~/Documents, ~/Music, ~/Videos?

Especially I want to rename Videos to Movies.


Yes, the default home folders are defined in .config/user-dirs.dirs, which is a hidden configuration file, and you can open it with gedit .config/user-dirs.dirs. It looks like this, which is, hopefully, self-explanitory:

# This file is written by xdg-user-dirs-update
# If you want to change or add directories, just edit the line you're
# interested in. All local changes will be retained on the next run
# Format is XDG_xxx_DIR="$HOME/yyy", where yyy is a shell-escaped
# homedir-relative path, or XDG_xxx_DIR="/yyy", where /yyy is an
# absolute path. No other format is supported.

Logout/login for the changed to take effect.

  • And how can I rename these folders? I can change path here only. – madox2 Jan 15 '13 at 19:32
  • Just type a different name, for example "$HOME/Movies" instead of "$HOME/Videos". – mikewhatever Jan 15 '13 at 19:35
  • I want to add that it took a restart for me to make the changes take effect. Wasn't obvious for me. – CharlyDelta Aug 23 '15 at 12:05
  • Works on Ubuntu MATE 16.04 LTS and Ubuntu MATE 18.04 LTS, but BlueMan does not respect name change of Downloads directory - it is bug 1778423. – N0rbert Jun 24 '18 at 19:17

As I remember, Nautilus updates user directories if you simply rename them via the file manager. So I think right-clicking on the directory and choosing "Rename" from the menu should do the trick - just rename Videos to Movies in the file manager, it will remember the change.

  • That's right, I just did it this way - much more user-friendly. – metakermit Nov 8 '13 at 16:04
  • Did not work for me on Ubuntu 15.04 – CharlyDelta Aug 23 '15 at 12:05

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