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Ask HN: How do you organize your home directory?
16 points by zingplex 11 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 10 comments





All my stuff goes in a homegrown directory hierarchy under $HOME/workspace/

The reason I avoid making use of the OS's default subdirectories of $HOME is that I don't like "my" files becoming intermixed with stuff that applications decide to silently poop out to well-known locations on disk.


That is a brilliant tip! I am doing this from now on. It says something about the state of $HOME pollution that users would choose to "move out".

I generally embrace the standard home directory structure. ~/Downloads, ~/Documents, etc. I always have a ~/Projects directory that I keep my source code for various projects I am working on. (Or non source code projects that are not just a document of some sort).

Applications I install for my user go under ~/.local. So ie, ~/.local/bin for just a binary or ~/.local/appname for something specific with a symlink to ~/.local/bin.

I use a simple user cron job to clear out files older than 3 days from my Downloads folder so that it doesn't become messy.

I keep my bash profile in git and will check it out to ~/.bash and symlink the appropriate files where I want them from there.

Same for Vim.. but ya know... ~/.vim ;).


I have my 'home directory' on a separate drive to the system drive which I simlink to from the home directory in the system drive. It means I can install OS's anytime without touching my files. I symlink to some dot files too. Once I learn bash better I will automate it like I have with reinstalling all my favourite programs.

Pretty broad question. One thing I suggest: Do not keep downloads in your home directory. Keep them in a directory under /tmp. This avoids accumulation of download clutter.

I use Hazel to continuously trim downloads. Every time a file is 14 days old it is moved into a 'review' folder and I get a notification about it. This gives me a steady stream of old files to either delete or move into a proper folder.

Sure I could do it in the download folder directly as well, but in reality I had to go through 100s of files every few months which can be annoying.

I wrote about it a few years ago here and I do it still http://jontelang.com/blog/2015/08/17/hazel-is-great.html


Just for fun, I tried to do something similar with a shell script:

    set -eu
    AGE_LIMIT=$(( `date +%s` - (14 * 86400) ))
    for FILE in ~/Downloads/*
    do
	    if [ -e "$FILE" ]
	    then
		    export `stat -s "$FILE"`
		    if [ $st_birthtime -lt $AGE_LIMIT ]
		    then
			    mv "$FILE" "~/Needing review/"
		    fi
	    fi
    done
Run it from cron. Typical caveats of shell scripts apply!

I imagine you could instead do it like this:

  find ~/Downloads -Btime +14d -exec mv {} ~/Needing\ review \;
Some changes may be necessary as I am not able to test it right now

Hazel is amazing. That said... I'm no longer a Mac user.

There are no good Windows equivalents.

I wish I had enough programming knowledge to write a truly cross-platform equivalent.

This is a serious itch I'd like to scratch.


Very smart use of /tmp



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