Feature Request: Separate documents and config in HOME

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Feature Request: Separate documents and config in HOME

Postby JPT on Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:51 am


I found Mint a few months ago and I like it very much.
(well ubuntu got worse and worse over the years)
but there are a few things about linux I don't like and I want to share the ideas.

One is this one: in the HOME dir are too many files.
I have to change between show and hide hidden files permanently because of this.

What about separating all those hidden config files from my data? ie creating something like

containing all those tons of config files
containing "Documents", "Videos", "Downloads" etc

The data dir might become the new deskop, containing my data folders and some shortcuts I need.
With the filemanager open in $HOME/data not $HOME any more.

I know this might be a huge task to touch any usage of $HOME in any piece of source.
maybe you could start with only the second part, adding a data dir?

I believe it would have great advantages.
- you may backup your data easily without touching the config which is more OS-specific.
- easier to browse, you could even remove the hidden attribute from the config files.
- I move my data to a separate partition, not by mounting /home, but by using links to the other partition. would be easier this way.
- You could keep different versions of config from different OSes but sharing the same data easily.

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Re: Feature Request: Separate documents and config in HOME

Postby viking777 on Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:45 am

What you are saying is about 100% correct, and some variation of that method is how any sensible user will run their computer in my opinion. The fact that the vast majority of people don't do it that way must say that they either don't know about it (and believe me this is not a new idea, it has been around for years) or they don't want to do it that way, I am not sure which it is.

The fact that it has been known about for years and yet nobody has ever adopted it as standard means that it will probably never be adopted as standard. I don't know why. People seem to think that just having a separate /home partition solves all their problems (and even that isn't the default for most installers). In point of fact it probably causes just as many problems as it solves, as you and I know only too well. I'm afraid it is all down to the individual to sort out the mess though.

If it is of any interest to you my solution is to install every distro with a different user name (which sorts the config files for each distro into different folders automatically) then (the radical part - probably too radical for most people) I move all my documents folders from /home/user into /home. You need to make /home owned by user instead of root and you have to persuade your file manager to look in the right place when you press the HOME button. Fine if you use a decent file manager, but if you are stuck with something as hopeless as Nautilus it is probably impossible :lol: This gives me all the advantages that you speak of and I don't even have to use symlinks any more (although I used to do it that way).

Anyway as far as I am concerned you have the right ideas - though nobody is ever going to adopt them as the default, sorry.
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