Ticket #5099 (closed enhancement: fixed)

Opened 6 years ago

Last modified 11 months ago

Should not use ~/.VirtualBox as a config folder for Linux hosts

Reported by: knocte Owned by:
Priority: minor Component: other
Version: VirtualBox 3.0.6 Keywords: xdg
Cc: Guest type: other
Host type: Linux

Description (last modified by frank) (diff)

There's a freedesktop standard that says that you should use a folder underneath ~/.config/, such as ~/.config/VirtualBox.

More and more applications are switching to this methodology to make configuration migrations easier, please do the same.

The exact standard paper is (which tells you to first check the value of the env var $XDG_CONFIG_HOME):

Change History

comment:1 Changed 6 years ago by sandervl73

  • Type changed from defect to enhancement

comment:2 Changed 6 years ago by Technologov

Added myself as CC on this wish.


comment:3 Changed 4 years ago by wolfy

Eh, looks like that this issue will never be fixed

comment:4 Changed 3 years ago by faispasierch

  • ping

comment:6 Changed 3 years ago by eheintzmann

According to XDG Base directory specification: User data should go into $XDG_DATA_HOME (which default to ~/.local/share), user preferences should go into $XDG_CONFIG_HOME (which default to ~/.config) and cached data should go to $XDG_CACHE_HOME (which default to ~/.cache). More details at :

Full specification can be found at:

The XDG base directory specification have good de facto adoption. It has been adopted by:

I think that VirtualBox should use same locations than the vast majority of Desktop environment and applications.

There are real advantages of following this specification :

  • a lot less cluttered $HOME
  • Make backups a lot more safer and easier. Backuping your $XDG_DATA_HOME along with your files is enough (or just excluding $XDG_CACHE_HOME)
  • A lot easier to reset a default configuration if you want/need it (and without any risk to loose informations). Even for the software itself could choose to reset $XDG_CONFIG_HOME if needed.
  • Avoid some strange bugs that happens because you had a old version of some configuration file
  • A lot more of flexibility and portability because no path are hardcoded.

comment:7 Changed 11 months ago by frank

  • Status changed from new to closed
  • Resolution set to fixed
  • Description modified (diff)

As of VBox 4.3, the default config directory is ~/.config/VirtualBox if ~/.VirtualBox does not exist. It can be overwritten by setting the XDG_CONFIG_HOME environment variable.

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