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Configuration Parameter File Reference
Introduction to the InterSystems Parameter File
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When InterSystems IRIS starts, it reads configuration values from the text file cache.cpf, the configuration parameter file, also called the CPF file. This file is a record of a particular InterSystems IRIS configuration. This chapter describes:
Filename and Location
A configuration parameter file name can be any valid file name with a .cpf extension. A default parameter file called cache.cpf is provided with every new installation of InterSystems IRIS.
A configuration parameter file must reside in the InterSystems IRIS installation directory. This is the directory into which you installed InterSystems IRIS. The exact pathname varies by platform and by choice of directory name during InterSystems IRIS installation. The following table provides some examples.
Typical Location of the Default InterSystems Parameter File
Platform Pathname
Windows C:\install-dir\cache.cpf . By default C:\Intersystems\Cache\cache.cpf.
OpenVMS _$1$dka100:[install-dir]cache.cpf
UNIX® and Linux /bin/install-dir/cache.cpf
Mac /bin/install-dir/cache.cpf
InterSystems IRIS Configurations
You can keep as many parameter files as you like in the InterSystems IRIS installation directory. Each represents a different InterSystems IRIS configuration. You can start InterSystems IRIS with different configurations as needed for developing and testing new features, for troubleshooting problems, and for running a production system. For example, on Windows, if the InterSystems IRIS installation directory is C:\MyIRIS you might have the following CPF files:
C:\MyIRIS\cache_original.cpf
C:\MyIRIS\production.cpf
C:\MyIRIS\development.cpf
C:\MyIRIS\testapps.cpf
C:\MyIRIS\cache_customerbug.cpf
At shutdown, the system automatically saves the last known error-free configuration to a file called _LastGood_.cpf in the installation directory. You can use this file, if you need to, for recovery purposes.
Specifying a CPF File
Each installation of InterSystems IRIS is called an instance. Each instance has a name, which is the name you assigned to InterSystems IRIS when you installed it. The default instance name is CACHE.
You can start InterSystems IRIS using any CPF file contained in the installation directory. To start InterSystems IRIS with a CPF file other than cache.cpf, specify the name on the command line.
The following command starts InterSystems IRIS with a CPF file called mycache.cpf:
ccontrol start SPECIALCONFIG mycache.cpf 
Where:
To use a different configuration for the InterSystems IRIS instance, you must stop InterSystems IRIS and start it again with a different parameter file.
For further details about the InterSystems IRIS command line, including many additional ccontrol command line options, see the Using Multiple Instances of InterSystems IRIS chapter in the System Administration Guide.
Editing the Active CPF File
When you edit and save configuration settings using the Management Portal, the settings are saved to the CPF file that was used when you started that InterSystems IRIS instance. Your changes in the portal overwrite existing values in the file.
You can also edit and save the CPF file using a text editor. We recommend that you save a backup copy of the CPF file before editing it.
Configuration Security
If InterSystems IRIS startup detects that the configuration parameter file has been modified by a text editor since the last time InterSystems IRIS was started, and if Configuration Security is enabled, InterSystems IRIS startup requests a username and password to validate the changes. The username supplied must have %Admin_Manage:Use privileges. If the appropriate username and password cannot be provided, InterSystems IRIS allows the operator to choose as follows:
  1. Re-enter the username and password.
  2. Start using the last known good configuration.
  3. Abort startup.
If the operator chooses option 2, InterSystems IRIS renames the parameter file that was invoked at startup (file.cpf) with the suffix _rejected (file.cpf_rejected). InterSystems IRIS then overwrites the file.cpf with the last known good configuration (_LastGood_.cpf) and starts up using this configuration.
For more information on other systemwide security parameters, see the System Management and Security chapter in theSecurity Administration Guide.
Parameter File Format
A configuration parameter file is a line-oriented, UTF-8 text file. Each line ends with a carriage return and line feed. Long items cannot be continued on a following line. A line in the file may be any of the following:
Comments
You can add a comment by beginning a line with a semi-colon.
Spaces
In general, spaces at the beginning and end of lines are without effect. Spaces within the line are usually considered significant. The best practice is to use no spaces in the line except where they are meaningful components of strings.
Sections
Related settings are collected into sections. The beginning of a section is marked by a line consisting of the name of the section enclosed in square brackets. For example:
[Devices]
All lines after the section name, up to the next section name (or the end of file), are in the current section.
Parameters
Each line that is not a section name is the definition of a parameter. Each parameter line uses the following syntax, where keyword is a parameter name and value is a string:
keyword=value
When there is a set of similar items to configure, the keyword_# is the name of the item and the value is a string. Examples include namespaces, databases, devices, and anything else of which there is a group or set of similar items to configure, one per line. The syntax is usually:
keyword_1=value
keyword_2=value
keyword_3=value
.
.
.
The syntax for the value string varies widely from parameter to parameter. The string may indicate true or false using 1 or 0; it may be a number of bytes, or a number of megabytes; it may be a single value, or it may contain multiple values separated by a delimiter character on the same line. If there is a delimiter within the string, it may be a comma, semicolon, tilde (~), slash (/), colon, or some combination of these, depending on the parameter.
The organization of this document follows the order in which sections and parameters typically appear in the file.
Parameter Descriptions
Each parameter description in this book includes the following information:
List of Sections and Parameters
To see a list of all parameters and sections in the configuration parameter file, in the order in which they usually appear in the file, see the Table of Contents at the beginning of this book.