im running xdg-user-dirs-update command, which create two files in .config directory, user-dirs.dirs and user-dirs.locale. user-dirs.dirs lookes like this:

# This file is written by xdg-user-dirs-update
# If you want to change or add directories, just edit the line you're
# interested in. All local changes will be retained on the next run
# Format is XDG_xxx_DIR="$HOME/yyy", where yyy is a shell-escaped
# homedir-relative path, or XDG_xxx_DIR="/yyy", where /yyy is an
# absolute path. No other format is supported.

why its empty even after changing XDG_DESKTOP_DIR="$HOME/" to XDG_DESKTOP_DIR="$HOME/Desktop" directories still not creating why? how can i get my full home dirs back?

2 Answers 2


xdg-user-dirs-update is part of the answer, but its default behavior is to reassign missing directories to $HOME, not recreate them.

To recreate the directories, do this:

xdg-user-dirs-update --force

Depending on your desktop environment, You may have to logout/login to get the emblems in your file manager.

  • 1
    That's the answer, it even adresses this comment. Commented Oct 8, 2020 at 12:28
  • 1
    @FelipeS.S.Schneider thank you for your appreciation of my answer. The standard practice in this case is to upvote the answer (in practice, by clicking on the triangle upwards next to the beginning of the answer). Commented Oct 9, 2020 at 18:19

You forgot the Folder.

Example XDG_DOWNLOAD_DIR="$HOME/Downloads" In /etc/xdg/user-dirs.defaults You can show the names of the standart folder. Correct your File and run xdg-user-dirs-update again. The right locale for you will be set automatical.

  • 1
    that's the problem even after i add folder names like $HOME/Dowloads, and when i run xdg-user-dirs-update i'm getting the message: /home/void/Desktop was removed, reassigning DESKTOP to homedir
    – vimbob
    Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 15:48
  • which distrie ? env | grep -i xdg
    – user192526
    Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 18:29

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .