The locations of folders used by xpm can be controlled by several environment variables.

Please note that when the variables must be available in GUI applications, setting them in shell init scripts is not effective, since the windows manager usually is not started by a shell, but by other system mechanism, which has its own configuration files.

Environment variables

  • XPACKS_SYSTEM_CACHE_FOLDER (not implemented yet)


Global (home) install:

  • ${HOME}/Library/xPacks
  • ${HOME}/Library/Caches/xPacks
  • ${HOME}/Library/xPacks/.bin (not in PATH)

System install (not implemented yet):

  • /Library/xPacks
  • /Library/Caches/xPacks
  • /Library/xPacks/.bin (not in PATH)


Global (home) install:

  • ${HOME}/.local/xPacks (was ${HOME}/opt/xPacks in earlier versions)
  • ${HOME}/.cache/xPacks
  • ${HOME}/.local/xPacks/.bin (not in PATH)

System install (not implemented yet):

  • /opt/xPacks
  • /opt/xPacks/.cache
  • /opt/xPacks/.bin (not in PATH)


Global (home) install:

  • %APPDATA%\xPacks (like C:\Users\ilg\AppData\Roaming\xPacks)
  • %LOCALAPPDATA%\Caches\xPacks (like C:\Users\ilg\AppData\Local\Caches\xPacks)
  • %APPDATA%\xPacks\.bin (not in Path)

System install (not implemented):

  • %ProgramFiles%\xPacks (like C:\Program Files\xPacks)
  • %ProgramFiles%\xPacks\.cache
  • %ProgramFiles%\xPacks\.bin (not in Path)

Please note that since installing binaries globally is strongly discouraged in favour of installing links in each project, the global or system links are not installed by default, and require the user to explicitly specify the desired folder.

The .bin folders mentioned before are only recommendations and intentionally are not in the PATH. However, in special setups, users can add links to binaries in any folder.

The xPacks folder

Individual packages are stored as separate folders:

  • [@<scope>/]<name>/<version>

The xpm link inside a local package produces a symbolic link from the local package folder to something like:

  • [@<scope>/]<name>/.link

The cache folder

The cache folder is used to store downloaded archives, to avoid downloading them again if referred in other packages.

Further downloads performed by the xPacks should also cache files here (like toolchain binaries).

Setting session wide environment variables

To define session wide environment variables on Windows 10, use the Control Panel and add the variables.

TODO: find out commands to do this in a terminal.

To define session wide environment variables on recent macOS systems, define a User Agent that will issue the launchctl setenv command.

Create a special environment.plist file in the users home directory, for example in ~/Library/LaunchAgents/:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">

<plist version="1.0">
  <string>launchctl setenv XPACKS_STORE_FOLDER /Users/myself/location/xpacks</string>

To activate this, run

launchctl load ~/Library/LaunchAgents/environment.plist
launchctl start ~/Library/LaunchAgents/environment.plist

Logout and login.

The new variable should be in the environment, and available to all applications, all shells, etc.

TODO: check if this definition is limited to a user.


TODO: find out how this can be done on Linux.