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A small Python module for determining appropriate platform-specific dirs, e.g. a "user data dir".

Project description

The problem

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When writing desktop application, finding the right location to store user data and configuration varies per platform. Even for single-platform apps, there may by plenty of nuances in figuring out the right location.

For example, if running on macOS, you should use:

~/Library/Application Support/<AppName>

If on Windows (at least English Win XP) that should be:

C:\Documents and Settings\<User>\Application Data\Local Settings\<AppAuthor>\<AppName>

or possibly:

C:\Documents and Settings\<User>\Application Data\<AppAuthor>\<AppName>

for roaming profiles but that is another story.

On Linux (and other Unices), according to the XDG Basedir Spec, it should be:

~/.local/share/<AppName>

platformdirs to the rescue

This kind of thing is what the platformdirs module is for. platformdirs will help you choose an appropriate:

  • user data dir (user_data_dir)
  • user config dir (user_config_dir)
  • user cache dir (user_cache_dir)
  • site data dir (site_data_dir)
  • site config dir (site_config_dir)
  • user log dir (user_log_dir)
  • user documents dir (user_documents_dir)
  • user runtime dir (user_runtime_dir)

And also:

  • Is a single module so other Python packages can vendor their own private copy.
  • Is slightly opinionated on the directory names used. Look for “OPINION” in documentation and code for when an opinion is being applied.

Example output

On macOS:

>>> from platformdirs import *
>>> appname = "SuperApp"
>>> appauthor = "Acme"
>>> user_data_dir(appname, appauthor)
'/Users/trentm/Library/Application Support/SuperApp'
>>> site_data_dir(appname, appauthor)
'/Library/Application Support/SuperApp'
>>> user_cache_dir(appname, appauthor)
'/Users/trentm/Library/Caches/SuperApp'
>>> user_log_dir(appname, appauthor)
'/Users/trentm/Library/Logs/SuperApp'
>>> user_documents_dir()
'/Users/trentm/Documents'
>>> user_runtime_dir(appname, appauthor)
'/Users/trentm/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems/SuperApp'

On Windows 7:

>>> from platformdirs import *
>>> appname = "SuperApp"
>>> appauthor = "Acme"
>>> user_data_dir(appname, appauthor)
'C:\\Users\\trentm\\AppData\\Local\\Acme\\SuperApp'
>>> user_data_dir(appname, appauthor, roaming=True)
'C:\\Users\\trentm\\AppData\\Roaming\\Acme\\SuperApp'
>>> user_cache_dir(appname, appauthor)
'C:\\Users\\trentm\\AppData\\Local\\Acme\\SuperApp\\Cache'
>>> user_log_dir(appname, appauthor)
'C:\\Users\\trentm\\AppData\\Local\\Acme\\SuperApp\\Logs'
>>> user_documents_dir()
'C:\\Users\\trentm\\Documents'
>>> user_runtime_dir(appname, appauthor)
'C:\\Users\\trentm\\AppData\\Local\\Temp\\Acme\\SuperApp'

On Linux:

>>> from platformdirs import *
>>> appname = "SuperApp"
>>> appauthor = "Acme"
>>> user_data_dir(appname, appauthor)
'/home/trentm/.local/share/SuperApp'
>>> site_data_dir(appname, appauthor)
'/usr/local/share/SuperApp'
>>> site_data_dir(appname, appauthor, multipath=True)
'/usr/local/share/SuperApp:/usr/share/SuperApp'
>>> user_cache_dir(appname, appauthor)
'/home/trentm/.cache/SuperApp'
>>> user_log_dir(appname, appauthor)
'/home/trentm/.cache/SuperApp/log'
>>> user_config_dir(appname)
'/home/trentm/.config/SuperApp'
>>> user_documents_dir()
'/home/trentm/Documents'
>>> user_runtime_dir(appname, appauthor)
'/run/user/{os.getuid()}/SuperApp'
>>> site_config_dir(appname)
'/etc/xdg/SuperApp'
>>> os.environ["XDG_CONFIG_DIRS"] = "/etc:/usr/local/etc"
>>> site_config_dir(appname, multipath=True)
'/etc/SuperApp:/usr/local/etc/SuperApp'

On Android:

>>> from platformdirs import *
>>> appname = "SuperApp"
>>> appauthor = "Acme"
>>> user_data_dir(appname, appauthor)
'/data/data/com.myApp/files/SuperApp'
>>> user_cache_dir(appname, appauthor)
'/data/data/com.myApp/cache/SuperApp'
>>> user_log_dir(appname, appauthor)
'/data/data/com.myApp/cache/SuperApp/log'
>>> user_config_dir(appname)
'/data/data/com.myApp/shared_prefs/SuperApp'
>>> user_documents_dir()
'/storage/emulated/0/Documents'
>>> user_runtime_dir(appname, appauthor)
'/data/data/com.myApp/cache/SuperApp/tmp'

Note: Some android apps like Termux and Pydroid are used as shells. These apps are used by the end user to emulate Linux environment. Presence of SHELL environment variable is used by Platformdirs to differentiate between general android apps and android apps used as shells. Shell android apps also support XDG_* environment variables.

PlatformDirs for convenience

>>> from platformdirs import PlatformDirs
>>> dirs = PlatformDirs("SuperApp", "Acme")
>>> dirs.user_data_dir
'/Users/trentm/Library/Application Support/SuperApp'
>>> dirs.site_data_dir
'/Library/Application Support/SuperApp'
>>> dirs.user_cache_dir
'/Users/trentm/Library/Caches/SuperApp'
>>> dirs.user_log_dir
'/Users/trentm/Library/Logs/SuperApp'
>>> dirs.user_documents_dir
'/Users/trentm/Documents'
>>> dirs.user_runtime_dir
'/Users/trentm/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems/SuperApp'

Per-version isolation

If you have multiple versions of your app in use that you want to be able to run side-by-side, then you may want version-isolation for these dirs:

>>> from platformdirs import PlatformDirs
>>> dirs = PlatformDirs("SuperApp", "Acme", version="1.0")
>>> dirs.user_data_dir
'/Users/trentm/Library/Application Support/SuperApp/1.0'
>>> dirs.site_data_dir
'/Library/Application Support/SuperApp/1.0'
>>> dirs.user_cache_dir
'/Users/trentm/Library/Caches/SuperApp/1.0'
>>> dirs.user_log_dir
'/Users/trentm/Library/Logs/SuperApp/1.0'
>>> dirs.user_documents_dir
'/Users/trentm/Documents'
>>> dirs.user_runtime_dir
'/Users/trentm/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems/SuperApp/1.0'

Be wary of using this for configuration files though; you’ll need to handle migrating configuration files manually.

Why this Fork?

This repository is a friendly fork of the wonderful work started by ActiveState who created appdirs, this package’s ancestor.

Maintaining an open source project is no easy task, particularly from within an organization, and the Python community is indebted to appdirs (and to Trent Mick and Jeff Rouse in particular) for creating an incredibly useful simple module, as evidenced by the wide number of users it has attracted over the years.

Nonetheless, given the number of long-standing open issues and pull requests, and no clear path towards ensuring that maintenance of the package would continue or grow, this fork was created.

Contributions are most welcome.

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