Follow Techotopia on Twitter

On-line Guides
All Guides
eBook Store
iOS / Android
Linux for Beginners
Office Productivity
Linux Installation
Linux Security
Linux Utilities
Linux Virtualization
Linux Kernel
System/Network Admin
Scripting Languages
Development Tools
Web Development
GUI Toolkits/Desktop
Mail Systems
Eclipse Documentation

How To Guides
General System Admin
Linux Security
Linux Filesystems
Web Servers
Graphics & Desktop
PC Hardware
Problem Solutions
Privacy Policy




Directory Layout

KDE defines a filesystem hierarchy which is used by the KDE environment itself as well as all KDE applications. In general KDE stores all its files in a directory tree with a fixed structure.

By default KDE uses two directory trees:

  • One at the system level (for example /opt/kde3).

  • One at the user level in the user's home directory (usually ~/.kde)

As a system administrator you can create additional trees. Such additional trees can be used for profiles

SuSE Linux� for example uses:

  • $ HOME /.kde

  • /opt/kde3. (This is SuSE-specific; other distributions may use /usr or /usr/kde3)

  • /etc/opt/kde3. (This was added by SuSE).

If you have the KIOSK Admin tool v0.7 or later installed you can check which directory trees are used with the following command: kiosktool-kdedirs --check

KDE and KDE applications look up files by scanning all the KDE directory trees. The directory trees are checked in order of precedence. When a file is present in multiple directory trees, the file from the last tree takes precedence. Normally, the tree located in the user's home directory has the highest precedence. This is also the directory tree to which changes are written.

For information about the text/plain MIME type the following files are searched:

  • $ HOME /.kde/share/mimelnk/text/plain.desktop

  • /opt/kde3/share/mimelnk/text/plain.desktop

  • /etc/opt/kde3/share/mimelnk/text/plain.desktop

If a user makes a change, the change is written to $ HOME /.kde/share/mimelnk/text/plain.desktop

For configuration files the story is slightly different. If there are multiple configuration files found in the directory trees with the same name, their content is combined. The precedence order of the directory trees plays a role here. When two files define the same configuration key, the file with the highest precedence determines which value is used for the key.

For example, if the following two files exist, with these contents:

$ HOME /.kde/share/config/foobar

The files will be merged to result in:


  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire