Configuring Bazaar

Telling Bazaar about yourself

One function of a version control system is to keep track of who changed what. In a decentralized system, that requires an identifier for each author that is globally unique. Most people already have one of these: an email address. Bazaar is smart enough to automatically generate an email address by looking up your username and hostname. If you don’t like the guess that Bazaar makes, then use the whoami command to set the identifier you want:

% bzr whoami "Your Name <>"

If whoami is used without an argument, the current value is displayed.

Using a network proxy

If your network requires that you use an HTTP proxy for outbound connections, you must set the http_proxy variable. If the proxy is also required for https connections, you need to set https_proxy too. If you need these and don’t have them set, you may find that connections to Launchpad or other external servers fail or time out.

On Unix you typically want to set these in /etc/environment or ~/.bash_profile and on Windows in the user profile.


The no_proxy variable can be set to a comma-separated list of hosts which shouldn’t be reached by the proxy. (See <> for more details.)

Various ways to configure

As shown in the example above, there are various ways to configure Bazaar, they all share some common properties though. An option has:

  • a name which is generally a valid python identifier,
  • a value which is a string. In some cases, Bazaar will be able to recognize special values like ‘True’, ‘False’ to infer a boolean type, but basically, as a user, you will always specify a value as a string.

Options are grouped in various contexts so the option name uniquely identifies it in this context. When needed, options can be made persistent by recording them in a configuration file.

Configuration files

Configuration files are located in $HOME/.bazaar on Unix and C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Bazaar\2.0 on Windows. 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.

Here is sample content of bazaar.conf after setting an email address using the whoami command:

email = Your Name <>

For further details on the syntax and configuration settings supported, see Configuration Settings in the Bazaar User Reference.

Looking at the active configuration

To look at all the currently defined options, you can use the following command:

bzr config

bzr implements some rules to decide where to get the value of a configuration option.

The current policy is to examine the existing configurations files in a given order for matching definitions.

  • locations.conf is searched first for a section whose name matches the location considered (working tree, branch or remote branch),
  • the current branch.conf is searched next,
  • bazaar.conf is searched next,
  • finally, some options can have default values generally defined in the code itself and not displayed by bzr config (see Configuration Settings).

This is better understood by using `bzr config with no arguments, which will display some output of the form:

  post_commit_to =
  news_merge_files = NEWS
  parent_location = bzr+ssh://
  nickname = config-modify
  push_location = bzr+ssh://
  debug_flags = hpss,

Each configuration file is associated with a given scope whose name is displayed before each set of defined options.

If you need to look at a specific option, you can use:

bzr config <option>

This will display only the option value and is intended to be used in scripts.

Modifying the active configuration

To set an option to a given value use:

bzr config opt=value

An option value can reference another option by enclosing it in curly braces:

bzr config opt={other_opt}/subdir

If other_opt is set to 'root, bzr config opt will display:


Note that when --all is used, the references are left as-is to better reflect the content of the config files and make it easier to organize them:

bzr config --all .*opt

  opt = {other_opt}/subdir
  other_opt = root

To remove an option use:

bzr config --remove opt

Rule-based preferences

Some commands and plugins provide custom processing on files matching certain patterns. Per-user rule-based preferences are defined in BZR_HOME/rules.

For further information on how rules are searched and the detailed syntax of the relevant files, see Rules in the Bazaar User Reference.

Escaping command lines

When you give a program name or command line in configuration, you can quote to include special characters or whitespace. The same rules are used across all platforms.

The rules are: strings surrounded by double-quotes are interpreted as single “words” even if they contain whitespace, and backslash may be used to quote quotation marks. For example:

BZR_EDITOR="C:\Program Files\My Editor\myeditor.exe"