File::ConfigDir(3) Get directories of configuration files


use File::ConfigDir ':ALL';
my @cfgdirs = config_dirs();
my @appcfgdirs = config_dirs('app');
# install support
my $site_cfg_dir = (site_cfg_dir())[0];
my $vendor_cfg_dir = (site_cfg_dir()))[0];


This module is a helper for installing, reading and finding configuration file locations. It's intended to work in every supported Perl5 environment and will always try to Do The Right Thing(tm).

"File::ConfigDir" is a module to help out when perl modules (especially applications) need to read and store configuration files from more than one location. Writing user configuration is easy thanks to File::HomeDir, but what when the system administrator needs to place some global configuration or there will be system related configuration (in "/etc" on UNIX(tm) or $ENV{windir} on Windows(tm)) and some network configuration in nfs mapped "/etc/p5-app" or "$ENV{ALLUSERSPROFILE} . "\\Application Data\\p5-app"", respectively.

"File::ConfigDir" has no ``do what I mean'' mode - it's entirely up to the user to pick the right directory for each particular application.


Every function listed below can be exported, either by name or using the tag ":ALL".


All functions can take one optional argument as application specific configuration directory. If given, it will be embedded at the right (tm) place of the resulting path.


Returns the configuration directory where configuration files of the operating system resides. For Unices this is "/etc", for MSWin32 it's the value of the environment variable "%windir%".


Alias for desktop_cfg_dir - deprecated.


Alias for desktop_cfg_dir


Returns the configuration directory where configuration files of the desktop applications resides. For Unices this is "/etc/xdg", for MSWin32 it's the value of the environment variable "%ALLUSERSPROFILE%" concatenated with the basename of the environment variable "%APPDATA%".


Returns the "etc" directory below $Config{prefix}.


Returns the "etc" directory below $Config{sitelib_stem} or the common base directory of $Config{sitelib} and $Config{sitebin}.


Returns the "etc" directory below $Config{vendorlib_stem} or the common base directory of $Config{vendorlib} and $Config{vendorbin}.


Returns the configuration file for standalone installed applications. In Unix speak, installing JRE to "/usr/local/jre-<version>" means there is a "/usr/local/jre-<version>/bin/java" and going from it's directory name one above and into "etc" there is the singleapp_cfg_dir. For a Perl module it means, we're assuming that $FindBin::Bin is installed as a standalone package somewhere, eg. into "/usr/pkg" - as recommended for pkgsrc ;)


Returns the configuration directory for distribution independent, 3rd party applications. While this directory doesn't exists for MSWin32, there will be only the path "/usr/local/etc" for Unices.


Extracts the "INSTALL_BASE" from $ENV{PERL_MM_OPT} and returns the "etc" directory below it.


Returns the path for the "etc" directory below the current working directory.


Returns the users home folder using File::HomeDir. Without File::HomeDir, nothing is returned.


Returns the user configuration directory for desktop applications. If $ENV{XDG_CONFIG_HOME} is not set, for MSWin32 the value of $ENV{APPDATA} is return and on Unices the ".config" directory in the users home folder. Without File::HomeDir, on Unices the returned list might be empty.


    @cfgdirs = config_dirs();
    @cfgdirs = config_dirs( 'appname' );

Tries to get all available configuration directories as described above. Returns those who exists and are readable.


    my $dir_src = sub { return _better_config_dir(@_); }
    my $pure_src = sub { return _better_config_plain_dir(@_); }
    File::ConfigDir::_plug_dir_source($pure_src, 1); # see 2nd arg is true

Registers more sources to ask for suitable directories to check or search for config files. Each ``config_dirs'' will traverse them in subsequent invocations, too.

Returns the number of directory sources in case of succes. Returns nothing when $dir_src is not a code ref.


Jens Rehsack, "<rehsack at>"


Please report any bugs or feature requests to "bug-File-ConfigDir at", or through the web interface at <>. I will be notified, and then you'll automatically be notified of progress on your bug as I make changes.


You can find documentation for this module with the perldoc command.

    perldoc File::ConfigDir

You can also look for information at:


Thanks are sent out to Lars Dieckow (daxim) for his suggestion to add support for the Base Directory Specification of the Free Desktop Group. Matthew S. Trout (mst) earns the credit to suggest "singleapp_cfg_dir" and remind about "/usr/local/etc".


Copyright 2010-2015 Jens Rehsack.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of either: the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; or the Artistic License.

See for more information.