Configuration Parameter File Reference
Introduction to the InterSystems Parameter File
When InterSystems IRIS starts, it reads configuration values from the text file iris.cpf
, the configuration parameter file
, also called the CPF file. This file is a record of a particular InterSystems IRIS configuration. This chapter describes:
The syntax and purpose of each line of text in the CPF file.
How to choose values for parameters in the CPF file.
The system default for every parameter in a CPF file.
How to start InterSystems IRIS using a specific CPF file.
How to change the CPF file using the Management Portal, Config class APIs, or a text editor.
A configuration parameter file name can be any valid file name with a .cpf
extension. A default parameter file called iris.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
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:
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.
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 IRIS
You can start InterSystems IRIS using any CPF file contained in the installation directory. To start InterSystems IRIS with a CPF file other than iris.cpf
, specify the name on the command line.
The following command starts InterSystems IRIS with a CPF file called MyIris.cpf
iris start SPECIALCONFIG MyIris.cpf
starts an InterSystems IRIS instance from the command line
is the parameter file (that is, the configuration) to use
To use a different configuration for the InterSystems IRIS instance, you must stop InterSystems IRIS and start it again with a different parameter 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.
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:
Re-enter the username and password.
Start using the last known good configuration.
If the operator chooses option 2, InterSystems IRIS renames the parameter file that was invoked at startup (file.cpf
) with the suffix _rejected
). InterSystems IRIS then overwrites the file.cpf
with the last known good configuration (_LastGood_.cpf
) and starts up using this configuration.
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:
An empty line made up of zero or more spaces and tabs
The name of a file section enclosed in square brackets 
An InterSystems IRIS configuration parameter and its value(s)
You can add a comment by beginning a line with a semi-colon.
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.
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:
All lines after the section name, up to the next section name (or the end of file), are in the current section.
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:
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:
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.
Each parameter description in this book includes the following information:
The CPF file section in which this parameter is valid, followed by the name of the parameter and a synopsis of its syntax.
A formal description of the parameter and its possible values.
Examples of the parameter line as it might be seen in various CPF files.
How to change the value of this parameter using the browser-based Management Portal. If there is no portal equivalent, the section indicates this.
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.