4.2. Configuration file

4.2.1. Introduction

The server is distributed with a configuration file located by default inside the server installation folder at configuration/server.ini.

The configuration file is generated during the initial installation process.

During the upgrade process, the configuration file is preserved. Obsolete configuration values are automatically migrated.

This documentation page describes in detail how to configure the server via the configuration file.

4.2.2. Manual configuration

It is recommended to use the Web Manager web console to manage the server's configuration. The web console provides guidance and always generates valid configuration files.

For various scenarios, such as automatic deployments, managing the setup via manual changes to the configuration file might be necessary.

To manually change the server configuration, you need to edit the configuration file using a text editor.

For opening and editing the configuration file on Windows, we recommend avoiding Notepad and using WordPad or another advanced text editor instead.

Changes made by editing the configuration file are not applied to already started server processes. To apply your changes, restart the SFTPPlus service.

4.2.3. Overriding configuration

It's possible to extend the options from the main configuration file, located by default at configuration/server.ini, through an overriding configuration file at configuration/server.override.ini.

The options defined in the main configuration/server.ini file are referred to as configuration options.

The options defined in the optional configuration/server.override.ini file are referred to as instance variables.

This setup makes it easier to share a common configuration between multiple SFTPPlus installations, while allowing setting specific configuration options for each installation instance.

For example, you might have two SFTPPlus instances in a load balancer cluster. You need a very similar configuration for both instances, but each node should have their own unique ID to be used as part of an audit process.

Another example is running SFTPPlus in separate testing and production environments, where the testing and production environments have similar configurations, but each environment has a specific log file.

Let's exemplify this second scenario with snippets from the common main configuration file and the overriding configuration files for both testing and production instances.

The testing environment keeps logs for 30 days, storing them at log/server-testing.log. The production environment keeps logs for 120 days, storing them at log/server-production.log.

The content of the common configuration/server.ini file used in both instances:

enabled = Yes
name = Log File
type = local-file

path = log/server-TO-BE-OVERRIDEN.log

# Rotate every day and keep logs for 120 days.
rotate_on = 00:00 time-of-day
rotate_count = 120

The content of the configuration/server.override.ini file used on the testing environment:

path = log/server-testing.log
# For testing, it's enough to keep logs for 30 days.
rotate_count = 30

The content of the configuration/server.override.ini file used on the production environment:

path = log/server-production.log

4.2.4. INI file format

The configuration file uses the standard INI file format.


With manual editing, you have full control of the file's content, which may result in an invalid INI file. The SFTPPlus server needs a valid INI configuration file to start.

Each new server configuration option needs a new line, and the name of the option should be at the beginning of that line. There should be no space or tab characters before its name.

The new line should look as follows:

>option = value

and shouldn't have any space at the beginning, such as:

>   option = value

We use > here as the graphical marker for a new line, it must not be included in the configuration file.

4.2.5. Configuration file reset

You can force the generation of a new configuration file together with new SSH keys and self-signed certificates. Remove the existing configuration file, then create a fresh configuration using one of the following commands.

On Windows:

CMD> move configuration\server.ini configuration\server.ini.old
CMD> ./bin/admin-commands.bat initialize

On Unix-like systems:

# mv configuration/server.ini configuration/server.ini.old
# ./bin/ initialize