Configuring Directories

There are three different directories Blender may use, their exact locations are operating system dependent.

LOCAL
Location of configuration and runtime data (for self-contained bundle).
USER
Location of configuration files (normally in the user’s home directory).
SYSTEM
Location of runtime data for system wide installation (may be read-only).

For system installations both SYSTEM and USER directories are needed.

For locally extracted Blender distributions, the user configuration and runtime data are kept in the same sub-directory, allowing multiple Blender versions to run without conflict, ignoring the USER and SYSTEM files.

Platform Dependent Paths

Here are the default locations for each system:

Note

The path ./|BLENDER_VERSION|/ is relative to the Blender executable & used for self-contained bundles distributed by official blender.org builds.

MS-Windows

LOCAL
.\2.79\
USER
%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Blender Foundation\Blender\2.79\
SYSTEM
%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Blender Foundation\Blender\2.79\

macOS

LOCAL
./2.79/
USER
/Users/$USER/Library/Application Support/Blender/2.79/
SYSTEM
/Library/Application Support/Blender/2.79/

Note

macOS stores the Blender binary in ./blender.app/Contents/MacOS/blender, so the local path to data & config is:

./blender.app/Contents/MacOS/2.79/

Linux

LOCAL
./2.79/
USER
$HOME/.config/blender/2.79/
SYSTEM
/usr/share/blender/2.79/

Note

The USER path will use $XDG_CONFIG_HOME if its set:

$XDG_CONFIG_HOME/blender/2.79/

Path Layout

This is the path layout which is used within the directories described above.

Where ./config/startup.blend could be ~/.blender/|BLENDER_VERSION|/config/startup.blend for example.

./autosave/ ...

Autosave blend-file location. (Windows only, temp directory used for other systems).

Search order: LOCAL, USER.

./config/ ...

Defaults & session info.

Search order: LOCAL, USER.

./config/startup.blend
Default file to load on startup.
./config/userpref.blend
Default preferences to load on startup.
./config/bookmarks.txt
File Browser bookmarks.
./config/recent-files.txt
Recent file menu list.
./datafiles/ ...

Runtime files.

Search order: LOCAL, USER, SYSTEM.

./datafiles/locale/{language}/
Static precompiled language files for UI translation.
./scripts/ ...

Python scripts for the user interface and tools.

Search order: LOCAL, USER, SYSTEM.

./scripts/addons/*.py
Python add-ons which may be enabled in the User Preferences include import/export format support, render engine integration and many handy utilities.
./scripts/addons/modules/*.py
Modules for add-ons to use (added to Python’s sys.path).
./scripts/addons_contrib/*.py
Another add-ons directory which is used for community maintained add-ons (must be manually created).
./scripts/addons_contrib/modules/*.py
Modules for addons_contrib to use (added to Python’s sys.path).
./scripts/modules/*.py
Python modules containing our core API and utility functions for other scripts to import (added to Python’s sys.path).
./scripts/startup/*.py
Scripts which are automatically imported on startup.
./scripts/presets/{preset}/*.py
Presets used for storing user defined settings for cloth, render formats, etc.
./scripts/templates_py/*.py
Example scripts which can be accessed from Text Editor ‣ Templates ‣ Python.
./scripts/templates_osl/*.py
Example OSL shaders which can be accessed from Text Editor ‣ Templates ‣ Open Shading Language.
./python/ ...

Bundled Python distribution.

Search order: LOCAL, SYSTEM.

Temporary Directory

The temporary directory is used to store various files at runtime (including render layers, physics cache, copy-paste buffer and crash logs).

The temporary directory is selected based on the following priority:

  • User Preference (see File Paths).
  • Environment variables (TEMP on MS-Windows, TMP & TMP_DIR on other platforms).
  • The /tmp/ directory.