Configuration Settings

Environment settings

While most configuration is handled by configuration files, some options which may be semi-permanent can also be controlled through the environment.


Override the email id used by Bazaar. Typical format:

"John Doe <>"

See also the email configuration value.


Override the progress display. Possible values are “none” or “text”. If the value is “none” then no progress bar is displayed. The value “text” draws the ordinary command line progress bar.


Control whether SIGQUIT behaves normally or invokes a breakin debugger.

  • 0 = Standard SIGQUIT behavior (normally, exit with a core dump)
  • 1 = Invoke breakin debugger (default)


Override the home directory used by Bazaar.


Select a different SSH implementation.


Control whether to launch a debugger on error.

  • 0 = Standard behavior
  • 1 = Launch debugger


Path to the Bazaar executable to use when using the bzr+ssh protocol.

See also the bzr_remote_path configuration value.


Path to the editor Bazaar should use for commit messages, etc.


The path to the plugins directory that Bazaar should use. If not set, Bazaar will search for plugins in:

  • the user specific plugin directory (containing the user plugins),
  • the bzrlib directory (containing the core plugins),
  • the site specific plugin directory if applicable (containing the site plugins).

If BZR_PLUGIN_PATH is set in any fashion, it will change the the way the plugin are searched.

As for the PATH variables, if multiple directories are specified in BZR_PLUGIN_PATH they should be separated by the platform specific appropriate character (‘:’ on Unix/Linux/etc, ‘;’ on windows)

By default if BZR_PLUGIN_PATH is set, it replaces searching in user. However it will continue to search in core and site unless they are explicitly removed.

If you need to change the order or remove one of these directories, you should use special values:

  • -user, -core, -site will remove the corresponding path from the default values,
  • +user, +core, +site will add the corresponding path before the remaining default values (and also remove it from the default values).

Note that the special values ‘user’, ‘core’ and ‘site’ should be used literally, they will be substituted by the corresponding, platform specific, values.


The examples below uses ‘:’ as the separator, windows users should use ‘;’.

Overriding the default user plugin directory: BZR_PLUGIN_PATH='/path/to/my/other/plugins'

Disabling the site directory while retaining the user directory: BZR_PLUGIN_PATH='-site:+user'

Disabling all plugins (better achieved with –no-plugins): BZR_PLUGIN_PATH='-user:-core:-site'

Overriding the default site plugin directory: BZR_PLUGIN_PATH='/path/to/my/site/plugins:-site':+user


The path where Bazaar should look for shell plugin external commands.

Configuration files


Configuration files are located in $HOME/.bazaar on Linux/Unix and C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Bazaar\2.0 on Windows. (You can check the location for your system by using bzr version.)

There are three primary configuration files in this location:

  • bazaar.conf describes default configuration options,
  • locations.conf describes configuration information for specific branch locations,
  • authentication.conf describes credential information for remote servers.

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 headers for bazaar.conf currently are [DEFAULT] and [ALIASES]. Section headers are 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

bazaar.conf allows two sections: [DEFAULT] and [ALIASES]. The 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

The branch location configuration file, locations.conf

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

The authentication configuration file, authentication.conf

authentication.conf allows one to specify credentials for remote servers. This can be used for all the supported transports and any part of bzr that requires authentication (smtp for example).

The syntax of the file obeys the same rules as the others except for the variable policies which don’t apply.

For more information on the possible uses of the authentication configuration file see Authentication Settings.

Common variable options


A comma-separated list of debugging options to turn on. The same values can be used as with the -D command-line option (see help global-options). For example:

debug_flags = hpss


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 the VISUAL and EDITOR environment variables.


The default log format to use. Standard log formats are long, short and line. Additional formats may be provided by plugins. The default value is long.


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: “bzr”). The path to the command that should be used to run the smart server for bzr. This value may only be specified in locations.conf, because:

  • it’s needed before branch.conf is accessible
  • allowing remote branch.conf files to specify commands would be a security risk

It is overridden by the BZR_REMOTE_PATH environment variable.


(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 for specific clients:

claws:Use Claws. This skips a dialog for attaching files.
evolution:Use Evolution.
kmail:Use KMail.
mutt:Use Mutt.
thunderbird:Use Mozilla Thunderbird or Icedove. For Thunderbird/Icedove 1.5, this works around some bugs that xdg-email doesn’t handle.

Supported generic values are:

default:See above.
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.
mapi:Use your preferred e-mail client on Windows.
xdg-email:Use xdg-email to run your preferred mail program


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.


A list of strings, each string represent a warning that can be emitted by bzr. Mentioning a warning in this list tells bzr to not emit it.

Valid values:

  • format_deprecation:

    whether the format deprecation warning is shown on repositories that are using deprecated formats.

Branch type specific options

These options apply only to branches that use the dirstate-tags or later 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.


If present, defines the --strict option default value for checking uncommitted changes before pushing.


If present, defines the --strict option default value for checking uncommitted changes before pushing into a different VCS without any custom bzr metadata.


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.


If present, defines the --strict option default value for checking uncommitted changes before sending a merge directive.