ParaView Settings Files

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ParaView stores settings in two files. Most settings are stored in a file called ParaView-UserSettings.json (default view type, remote render threshold, transfer function reset mode). These settings are available in pvpython and pvbatch as well as the ParaView application. Different versions of ParaView installed on the same system will share this settings file, thus these settings will be sticky between versions.

Other settings (window position, lock panels, recent files, etc.) are stored using the Qt QSettings system, which stores the settings in a .ini file called ParaViewX.Y.ini where X.Y is the current version of ParaView. The settings stored in the .ini file are not shared among different versions of ParaView.

User Settings Directory

The location of the ParaView-UserSettings.json and ParaViewX.Y.ini settings files depends on what operating system you are using. It will look for the file in one of the following locations.

Windows
 %APPDATA%\ParaView
Unix
$HOME/.config/ParaView
Mac OS X
$HOME/.config/ParaView

So, for example, on Unix or Mac you will find your configuration settings files in ~/.config/ParaView/. On Windows you will find it someplace like C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\ParaView\.

Although rarely used, it is possible to override these locations by setting the XDG_CONFIG_HOME environment variable.

Other files in the settings directory

ParaView uses this same directory to store other user-specific files that are automatically loaded.

The configuration for server connections (the information that is displayed in choose server dialog box) is stored in a file called servers.pvsc. See Server Configuration for more information on this file.

If you create a subdirectory ParaViewX.Y/Plugins in the user settings directory (for example ~/.config/ParaView/ParaViewX.Y/Plugins on Unix or Mac), then ParaView will automatically load any plugins located in that subdirectory. See the Plugin HowTo for more information on creating and using plugins.

System Settings Directory

If ParaView does not find ParaViewX.Y.ini in the location specified above, it will look for a system-wide settings file of the same name. Again, the location varies depending on the operating system.

Windows
 %COMMON_APPDATA%\ParaView\ParaViewX.Y.ini
Unix
/etc/xdg/ParaView/ParaViewX.Y.ini
Mac OS X
/Library/Preferences/Qt/ParaView/ParaViewX.Y.ini

If the system settings file cannot be found, ParaView uses the defaults for all of the settings. In either case, a ParaViewX.Y.ini file will be created in the user's settings directory to save the settings for the next time ParaView is run.

Administrators that want to provide a site-specific set of defaults that differ from the ones provided with ParaView can add a ParaView-SiteSettings.json file in one of a few possible locations. The contents of this file have the same format as contents in the ParaView-UserSettings.json file. Assuming ParaView was installed in directory INSTALL, the ParaView-SiteSettings.json file can be placed in INSTALL/, INSTALL/.., INSTALL/lib, and INSTALL/share/paraview-X.Y where X and Y are ParaView's major and minor version numbers, respectively.

Although rarely used, it is possible to change the location of the default system-level settings through Qt build options.