I know that accordingly XDG Base Directory specification there is an effort to make apps to store their data into ~/.local, ~/.config, ~/.cache directories. But unfortunately, there are many apps that do thing in their own way. So there is huge amount of dotfiles in my home folder.

How to get rid of them? I would prefer to have the only .app special folder where apps store their data. Also three special folders (see above) are acceptable, but hundreds of .folders and .files is really annoying thing.

What if I change the $HOME var to $HOME/.apps? Is there any way to solve this?

  • 3
    Either hide them or file a bug report against the offending apps or download the source code, modify, and recompile. I don't believe there are other options
    – Panther
    Nov 4, 2017 at 16:24
  • What is the common way for app to find out the home folder location?
    – 4xy
    Nov 4, 2017 at 16:31
  • 3
    Well, they are hidden by default after all, so does it really matter that much? Changing $HOME to point somewhere else will only break other things. There is no general solution though, beyond just not using certain apps.
    – dobey
    Nov 4, 2017 at 16:36
  • I would like to stay them visible due to sometimes I need to access them. I also use ll in terminal which anyway gives me this stuff.
    – 4xy
    Nov 4, 2017 at 16:47

1 Answer 1


In Nautilus File Manager, you can show/hide the .dot files by hitting Control-h.

Otherwise, leave the .dot files alone. Some of them are system related. Also don't change your $HOME. Both actions will break your system.

  • I don't use Nautilus. To make application to be known by the system it's necessary to put app.desktop file into ~/.local/share/applications. Sometimes when something goes wrong it's necessary to delete or edit those files when app behaves wrong like crashes and etc. Why such design negligence? Eventually it's my only folder in entire system and I am limited to do such a things. It might be possible to make a filter like fs driver to filter ~/.* paths got from application level to ~/.app/.*?
    – 4xy
    Nov 4, 2017 at 22:43
  • What file manager are you using if not Nautilus? Are you running Ubuntu? Your interaction with ~/.local/share/applications should be very minimal, and certainly not to fix crashing apps. No design negligence there, unless you're doing something wrong.
    – heynnema
    Nov 4, 2017 at 23:46
  • Krusader, mc, ll. Yes Ubuntu. E.g. recently I had this issue askubuntu.com/questions/914190/…. I just want all the stuff that relates to me indirectly like apps' and system's settings to be in one folder.
    – 4xy
    Nov 5, 2017 at 0:00
  • Stop trying to redesign the system configuration into something else. You'll really break something.
    – heynnema
    Nov 5, 2017 at 0:23

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