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Type of site
Software development management system
Available inEnglish
Created byHavoc Pennington Edit this at Wikidata
LaunchedMarch 2000; 22 years ago (2000-03)
Current statusOnline (fd.o) is a project to work on interoperability and shared base technology for free-software desktop environments for the X Window System (X11) and Wayland on Linux and other Unix-like operating systems. It was founded by Havoc Pennington, a GNOME developer working for Red Hat in March 2000. The project's servers are hosted by Portland State University, sponsored by Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Google.[1]

Widely used open-source X-based desktop projects, such as GNOME, KDE's Plasma Desktop, and Xfce, are collaborating with the project. In 2006, the project released Portland 1.0 (xdg-utils), a set of common interfaces for desktop environments.[2] However, is a "collaboration zone" for standards and specifications where users can freely discuss ideas, and not a formal standards organization.[3] was formerly known as the X Desktop Group,[4][5] and the abbreviation "XDG" remains common in their work. joined the X.Org Foundation in 2019.[6]

All projects are covered by Coraline Ada Ehmke's Contributor Covenant code of conduct which aims to ensure a harassment-free and inclusive environment for developers by prohibiting offensive language and behavior.[7]

Hosted projects provides hosting for a number of relevant projects.[8][9] These include:

Windowing system and graphics

Software related to windowing systems and graphics in general


Also, Avahi (a free Zeroconf implementation) started as a fd.o project but has since become a separate project.

Base Directory Specification

See also: Filesystem Hierarchy Standard

XDG Base Directory Specification (XDG BDS) introduces a range of variables where user-specific files used by programs should be found.[14] Many tools and applications utilize these variables by default.[15]

User directories

Besides the variables mentioned below, XDG BDS also specifies that users' local binary files may be installed into $HOME/.local/bin. Systems compliant with the spec are expected to make this directory available in their CLI's PATH environment variable.[14]

For user application's own data files
Default to $HOME/.local/share
For user's app configuration files
Default to $HOME/.config
For user-specific app session data, which should be stored for future reuse
Default to $HOME/.local/state
May include logs, recently used files, application-specific information (e.g. window layout, views, opened files, undo history, etc.), akin to session data that should be stored by app by request of system session manager, like X session manager
For user-specific apps cache files
Default to $HOME/.cache
For user-specific app runtime files like sockets which may survive reboot and logout cycles

System directories

Colon-separated list of preference-ordered paths to search for data files in
Default to /usr/local/share/:/usr/share/
The same as above but for config files
Default to /usr/local/share/:/usr/share/

Stated aims

The project aims to catch interoperability issues much earlier in the process. It is not for legislating formal standards. Stated goals include:

See also


  1. ^ "Freedesktop". Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  2. ^ Portland points desktop Linux at $10 billion market Archived October 12, 2006, at the Wayback Machine,, 11 October 2006
  3. ^ "Freedesktop". Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  4. ^ "X desktop group".
  5. ^ ", home of the X Desktop Group". Archived from the original on 2001-02-02. Retrieved 2013-08-26.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  6. ^ "X.Org To Join Forces With While Foundation Elections Hit A Snag". Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  7. ^ "CodeOfConduct". Freedesktop Wiki. Retrieved 4 October 2021.
  8. ^ "FreedesktopProjects". Retrieved 2013-09-22.
  9. ^ "Software". Retrieved 2013-09-22.
  10. ^ "Glamor". 17 May 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  11. ^ "Pixman".
  12. ^ Wallen, Jack (6 December 2011). "DIY: Get top-quality open source security tools in one distro". News, Tips, and Advice for Technology Professionals. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  13. ^ "[ANNOUNCE] libinput 0.4.0". 2014-06-24.
  14. ^ a b XDG Base Directory Specification,, accessed: 2021-05-15.
  15. ^ "XDG Base Directory - ArchWiki". Retrieved 2021-10-08.
  16. ^ " git". Retrieved 2013-09-22.
  17. ^ "ViewVC Repository Listing". Archived from the original on 2013-10-08. Retrieved 2013-09-22.