Update: Introducing xdg specification support for como and pen

If you’ve used your current Linux or Mac computer for a while, you might have encountered a rather cluttered home directory. Every small utility and library claims just another file or folder for themselves. Since these files and folders all start with a dot (e.g. “.ssh”), they shouldn’t usually be shown in your file browser. But, if you enable to show hidden files by default your home directory will become quite messy. It turns out that there is the XDG Base Directory Specification that aims to fix this issue while also separating config files, cache files, and data files. Recently, I took some time to configure most tools to adhere to the XDG standard. The Arch Linux wiki provides some pretty good information on how to achieve this. Unfortunately, I realize that I am also at fault for this. The command line tools I developed were also storing their data files in your home directory by default.

I am happy to say that I finally updated my command line tools, pen and como, to adhere to the XDG standard. The new location for their data files will be in $XDG_DATA_HOME or in $HOME/.local/share, depending on whether the former environment variable is set. You will now find new versions for both tools at PyPi:

You can upgrade with pip install como --upgrade and pip install penpal --upgrade.


The new default location is: $XDG_DATA_HOME/pen/pen

Please be adware that no automatic migration will take place. If you have previously configured the path of your data file with the pen path command, the program will still adhere to this setting. Otherwise, you can either move the data file to the new default location or you can reconfigure your old path.


The new default location is: $XDG_DATA_HOME/como/como

Again, please be adware that no automatic migration will take place. You can either export your data before the upgrade (or download it from como.cwoebker.com) or you can simply move the data file to the new location manually.

In other news I also updated como so that it now supports MacOS Mojave.

Feedback requested!

If you try out this new versions, please let me know if you encounter any issues or problems. I will do my best to fix them as soon as possible.

By Cecil Wöbker

I do science during the day and develop or design at night. If you like my work, hire me.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter or email me with any questions.