Bazaar configuration

Information on how to configure Bazaar.

Location of configuration files

Each user gets a pair of configurations files in $HOME/.bazaar. The first one, named bazaar.conf, includes default configuration options. The other file, locations.conf, contains configuration information for specific branch locations. These files are sometimes referred to as ini files.

Each branch can also contain a configuration file that sets values specific to that branch. This file is found at .bzr/branch/branch.conf within the branch. This file is visible to all users of a branch, if you wish to override one of the values for a branch with a setting that is specific to you then you can do so in locations.conf.

General Format

An ini file has three types of contructs: section headers, section variables and comments.


A comment is any line that starts with a "#" (sometimes called a "hash mark", "pound sign" or "number sign"). Comment lines are ignored by Bazaar when parsing ini files.

Section Headers

A section header is a word enclosed in brackets that starts at the begining of a line. A typical section header looks like this:


The only valid section header for bazaar.conf is [DEFAULT], which is case sensitive. The default section provides for setting variables which can be overridden with the branch config file.

For locations.conf, the variables from the section with the longest matching section header are used to the exclusion of other potentially valid section headers. A section header uses the path for the branch as the section header. Some examples include:


Section Variables

A section variable resides within a section. A section variable contains a variable name, an equals sign and a value. For example:

email            = John Doe <>
check_signatures = require

Variable Policies

Variables defined in a section affect the named directory or URL plus any locations they contain. Policies can be used to change how a variable value is interpreted for contained locations. Currently there are three policies available:

the value is interpreted the same for contained locations. This is the default behaviour.
the value is only used for the exact location specified by the section name.
for contained locations, any additional path components are appended to the value.

Policies are specified by keys with names of the form "$var:policy". For example, to define the push location for a tree of branches, the following could be used:

push_location = s
push_location:policy = appendpath

With this configuration, the push location for /top/location/branch1 would be s

The main configuration file, bazaar.conf

The main configuration file, $HOME/.bazaar/bazaar.conf, only allows one section called [DEFAULT]. This default section contains the default configuration options for all branches. The default section can be overriden by providing a branch-specific section in locations.conf.

A typical bazaar.conf section often looks like the following:

email             = John Doe <>
editor            = /usr/bin/vim
check_signatures  = check-available
create_signatures = when-required

$HOME/.bazaar/locations.conf allows one to specify overriding settings for a specific branch. The format is almost identical to the default section in bazaar.conf with one significant change: The section header, instead of saying default, will be the path to a branch that you wish to override a value for. The '?' and '*' wildcards are supported:

email = Nethack Admin <>

create_signatures = always
check_signatures  = always

check_signatures  = require

Common Variable Options


The email address to use when committing a branch. Typically takes the form of:

email = Full Name <account@hostname.tld>


The path of the editor that you wish to use if bzr commit is run without a commit message. This setting is trumped by the environment variable $BZR_EDITOR, and overrides $VISUAL and $EDITOR.


Defines the behavior for signatures.

The gnupg signature for revisions must be present and must be valid.
Do not check gnupg signatures of revisions.
(default) If gnupg signatures for revisions are present, check them. Bazaar will fail if it finds a bad signature, but will not fail if no signature is present.


Defines the behaviour of signing revisions.

Sign every new revision that is committed.
(default) Sign newly committed revisions only when the branch requires signed revisions.
Refuse to sign newly committed revisions, even if the branch requires signatures.


Only useful in locations.conf. Defines whether or not the configuration for this section applies to subdirectories:

(default) This section applies to subdirectories as well.
This section only applies to the branch at this directory and not branches below it.


(Default: "gpg"). Which program should be used to sign and check revisions. For example:

gpg_signing_command = /usr/bin/gnpg


(Default: "localhost"). SMTP server to use when Bazaar needs to send email, eg. with merge-directive --mail-to, or the bzr-email plugin.

smtp_username, smtp_password

User and password to authenticate to the SMTP server. If smtp_username is set, and smtp_password is not, Bazaar will prompt for a password. These settings are only needed if the SMTP server requires authentication to send mail.


A mail client to use for sending merge requests. By default, bzr will try to use mapi on Windows. On other platforms, it will try xdg-email. If either of these fails, it will fall back to editor.

Supported values are:

xdg-email:Use xdg-email to run your preferred mail program
mapi:Use your preferred e-mail client on Windows.
thunderbird:Use Mozilla Thunderbird or Icedove. For Thunderbird/Icedove 1.5, this works around some bugs that xdg-email doesn't handle.
evolution:Use Evolution.
kmail:Use KMail.
editor:Use your editor to compose the merge request. This also uses your commit id, (see bzr whoami), smtp_server and (optionally) smtp_username and smtp_password.
default:See above.


The branch you intend to submit your current work to. This is automatically set by bzr send, and is also used by the submit: revision spec. This should usually be set on a per-branch or per-location basis.


A publically-accessible version of this branch (implying that this version is not publically-accessible). Used (and set) by bzr send.

Branch 6 Options

These options apply only to branches that use the "experimental-branch6" format. They are usually set in .bzr/branch/branch.conf automatically, but may be manually set in locations.conf or bazaar.conf.


If set to "True" then revisions can only be appended to the log, not removed. A branch with this setting enabled can only pull from another branch if the other branch's log is a longer version of its own. This is normally set by bzr init --append-revisions-only.


If present, the location of the default branch for pull or merge. This option is normally set by pull --remember or merge --remember.


If present, the location of the default branch for push. This option is normally set by push --remember.


The location that commits should go to when acting as a checkout. This option is normally set by bind.


If set to "True", the branch should act as a checkout, and push each commit to the bound_location. This option is normally set by bind/unbind.