XDG directory support

I’m sorry if this have been requested before, but as I could not find a post on it, here you go.

I wish Audacity could conform to XDG directories standard, or at least have setting for that. For more info about this and which other apps are already in, please take a look at https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Xdg_support

For now on my Arch Linux System, Audacity is the only app that still creates its data dir right onto my home folder (ex: ~/.audacity-data) instead of the XDG ones.

Thank for the suggestion.
I’m rather surprised that Audacity is the only app on your system that does not follow the new XDG directories specification. I see more than a dozen apps on my Ubuntu 18.04 system that still use hidden directories in $HOME.

I think that if Audacity does update to the XDG specification, then it will be done at some time when there is a significant update to Audacity’s configuration / data files.

One of the problems for Audacity changing these locations, is that most Linux distributions are significantly behind Audacity’s current release version. In addition to migration issues, it would mean that we would have two different systems in the wild, possibly for several years. This would also cause issues for documentation as our official documentation has to be up to date for the current release version.

An example of the kind of problem, if someone asks here on the forum how to reset Audacity back to default settings, we can say with certainty that they need to delete:

If we update to the new XDG specification, then we would have files in directories in $XDG_DATA_DIRS and $XDG_CACHE_HOME and $XDG_CONFIG_HOME, and during migration, there could still be fallback files in $HOME. Also, in the current LTS Ubuntu, none of those three $XDG environmental variables are set by default.

I’ll raise this issue on the QA mailing list, but I doubt that migration will happen very soon, because for Audacity it would be a non-trivial change for very little real benefit.

I’ve logged this on Audacity’s bug tracker: https://bugzilla.audacityteam.org/show_bug.cgi?id=2201

Alright, thank you.

Also looking forward to this - could simply look for the files in the XDG dirs and if not found fall back to ~/.audacity-data. The default creation location could still be ~/.audacity-data, but it would allow those who want a cleaner $HOME to move the files without substantially increasing support costs.

As far as distribution support - the XDG directories have some very sane defaults for cases where the environment variables are not defined.

Skimming the files in my ~/.audacity-data indicates they would probably be changed to:


As such, once the change to creating the config files in $XDG_CONFIG_HOME happens, to reset Audacity back to default settings, you would only need to delete the $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/audacity directory, instead of 3 individual files. I acknowledge that this might be some time in the future - but I believe it is well worth doing.