This chapter tells you how to configure connection settings.
Helix is an enterprise version management system in which you connect to a shared versioning service; users sync files from the shared repository, called the depot, and edit them on your computer in your client workspace. This chapter assumes that your system administrator has configured your organization’s Helix service. For details about setting up the versioning service, refer to the Helix Versioning Engine Administrator Guide: Fundamentals.
Helix also supports a decentralized (“distributed”) workflow. See Using Helix for Distributed Versioning.
To set up your workspace so you can work with Helix, perform the following steps:
- Configure settings for the protocol, host, and port (so you can connect to the Helix service). See Configuring Helix settings.
- Define your workspace (at a minimum, assign a name and specify a workspace root where you want local copies of depot files stored). See Defining client workspaces.
- Verify the connection. See Verifying connections.
After you configure your workspace, you can populate it by syncing files that
are stored in the depot. For details, see Syncing (retrieving) files and the description of
p4 sync command in the P4 Command Reference.
Before you start to configure Helix, ask your Helix administrator for the proper host and port setting. Also ask whether a workspace has already been configured for your computer.
What is a client workspace?
A Helix client workspace is a set of directories on your computer where you
work on file revisions that are managed by Helix. Each workspace is given a name
that identifies the client workspace to the Helix service. If no workspace name
is specified (by setting the
P4CLIENT environment variable) the default
workspace name is the name of your computer. To specify the effective
workspace name, set the
P4CLIENT environment variable. You can have multiple
workspaces on your machine.
All files within a Helix client workspace share a root directory, called the client workspace root. The workspace root is the highest-level directory of the workspace under which the managed source files reside.
If you configure multiple workspaces on the same machine, keep workspace locations separate to avoid inadvertently overwriting files. Ensure that client roots are located in different folders and that their workspace views do not map depot files to overlapping locations on your computer.
Although Windows-based systems do not have a root directory, Helix supports — via the concept of a null root — workspaces
spread across multiple drives
and/or a disjoint folder with only
c:\ as the root.
After you configure your workspace, you can sync files from the depot and submit changes. For details about these tasks, refer to “Managing Files and Changelists”.
How Helix manages the workspace
Helix manages the files in a client workspace as follows:
- Files in the workspace are created, updated, and deleted as determined by your changes.
- Write permission is enabled when you edit a file, and disabled when you submit your changes.
The state of your workspace is tracked and managed by Helix. To avoid conflicts with the file management performed by Helix applications, do not manually change read-only permission settings on files. Helix has commands that help you determine whether or not the state of your client workspace corresponds to Helix’s record of that state; see Working offline for details.
Files in the workspace that you have not put under Helix control are ignored by Helix. For example, compiled objects, libraries, executables, and developers’ temporary files that are created while developing software but not added to the depot are not affected by Helix commands.
After defining your client workspace, you can fine-tune the workspace definition. Probably most important, you can restrict the portion of the depot that is visible to you, to prevent you from inadvertently syncing the entire depot. For details, refer to Refining workspace views.
Configuring Helix settings
This guide refers to Helix settings using environment variables (for example,
set P4CLIENT), but you can specify Helix settings such as port, user, and
workspace names using the following methods, listed in order of precedence:
- On the command line, using options
- In a config file, if
- User environment variables (on UNIX or Windows)
- System environment variables (on Windows, system-wide environment variables are not necessarily the same thing as user environment variables)
- On Windows or OS X, in the user registry or settings (set by issuing the
- On Windows or OS X, in the system registry or system settings (set by issuing
p4 set -scommand)
To configure your computer to connect to the Helix service, you specify the
name of the host where the service is running, and the port on which it is
listening. The default host is
perforce and default port is 1666. If the
service is running on your own machine, specify
localhost as the host name. If
the service is running on port 1666, you can omit the port specification.
You can specify these settings as described in the sections below. For details about working offline (without a connection to a Helix service), see Working offline.
Using the command line
To specify these settings on the command line, use the
-p option. For example:
$ p4 -p tcp:localhost:1776 sync //depot/dev/main/jam/Jambase
Settings specified on the command line override any settings specified in config files, environment variables, the Windows registry, or OS X system settings. For more details about command-line options, refer to the discussion of global options in the P4 Command Reference.
Using config files
Config files are text files containing Helix settings that are in effect for files in and below the directory where the config file resides. Config files are useful if you have multiple client workspaces on the same machine. By specifying the settings in config files, you avoid the inconvenience of changing system settings every time you want to work with a different workspace.
To use config files, you define the
P4CONFIG environment variable, specifying
a file name (for example,
.p4config). When you issue a command, Helix searches
the current working directory and its parent directories for the specified file
and uses the settings it contains (unless the settings are overridden by
Each setting in the file must be specified on its own line, using the following format:
The following settings can be specified in a config file:
Character set used for translation of Unicode files.
Non-UTF-16 or UTF-32 character set used by Command-Line Client when
Name of the current client workspace.
The name and location of the diff program used by
The editor invoked by those Helix commands that use forms.
Hostname of the client computer. Only useful if the
A list of files to ignore when using the
This environment variable is reserved for system integrators.
The name and location of the third-party merge program to be used by p4 resolve’s merge option.
Supplies the current Helix user’s password for any Helix command.
The protocol, host and port number of the Helix service (including proxies or brokers) with which to communicate.
The location of a file of known (trusted) Helix servers. You manage the
contents of this file with the
Current Helix user name.
For details about these settings, refer to the P4 Command Reference.
Example 1. Using config files to handle switching between two workspaces.
Ona switches between two workspaces on the same machine. The first workspace is
ona-ash. It has a client root of
/tmp/user/ona and connects to the
Helix service using SSL at
ssl:ida:1818. The second workspace is called
ona-agave. Its client root is
/home/ona/p4-ona, and it uses a plaintext
connection to a Helix service at
Ona sets the
P4CONFIG environment variable to
.p4settings. She creates
a file called
/tmp/user/ona containing the following
She creates a second
.p4settings file in
/home/ona/p4-ona. It contains
the following text:
Any work she does on files under
/tmp/user/ona is managed by the Helix
ssl:ida:1818 and work she does on files under
is managed by the Helix service at
Using environment variables
To configure connection settings using environment variables, set
as in the following examples:
|If the service runs on||and listens to port||supports encryption protocol||set
If you do not specify a protocol in your
communication over TCP/IP) is assumed. If the Helix service has been configured
to support SSL, you can encrypt your connection to Helix by using
ssl: as the
Other protocols (for example,
tcp4: to require a plaintext IPv4 connection, or
ssl64: to require an encrypted connection, but to prefer the use of the IPv6
transport instead of IPv4) are available for use in mixed networking
See Connecting over IPv6 networks, and the Helix Versioning Engine Administrator Guide: Fundamentals, for details.
Using the Windows registry or OS X system settings
On Windows and OS X machines, you can store connection settings in the registry
(or system settings) by using the
p4 set command. For example:
$ p4 set P4PORT=ssl:tea.example.com:1667
There are two ways you can configure Helix settings in the registry:
p4 set setting=value: for the current local user.
p4 set -s setting=value: for all users on the local machine. Can be overridden by any registry settings made for the local user. Requires administrative privileges.
To see which settings are in effect, use the
p4 set command without
arguments. For details about the
p4 set command, see the P4 Command Reference.
Defining client workspaces
To define a client workspace:
Specify the workspace name by setting
P4CLIENT; for example, on a UNIX system:
$ P4CLIENT=bruno_ws ; export P4CLIENT
Helix displays the client specification form in your text editor. (For details about Helix forms, refer to Using Helix forms.)
- Specify (at least the minimum) settings and save the specification.
No files are synced when you create a client specification. To find out how to sync files from the depot to your workspace, refer to Syncing (retrieving) files. For details about relocating files on your machine, see Changing the location and/or layout of your workspace.
The minimum settings you must specify to configure a client workspace are:
The workspace name defaults to your machine’s hostname, but a your computer can contain multiple workspaces. To specify the effective workspace, set
The client workspace root is the top directory of your client workspace, where Helix stores your working copies of depot files. Be sure to set the workspace root, or you might inadvertently sync files to your computer’s root directory.
For Windows users: when specifying a workspace root, you must include the drive
letter. In addition, root is null on Windows when the client workspace is either
on a disjoint drive with only
c:\ as the root and/or is spread over multiple drives.
If the workspace root directory does not exist, you must create it before the Helix application can make use of it.
% characters have specific
meaning to Helix; if you have file or folder names that use these characters,
see Restrictions on filenames and identifiers for details.
Your workspace view determines which files in the depot are mapped to
your workspace and enables Helix to construct a one-to-one mapping between
individual depot and workspace files. You can map files to have different names
and locations in your workspace than they have in the depot. You cannot map
files to multiple locations in the workspace unless you are using
classic Helix — that is, branches rather than streams; in this case you can prepend
& to the mapping line to enable the mapping of a single depot path to multiple
locations in a client. This feature is described in
Mapping a single depot path to multiple locations in a workspace.
By default, the entire depot is mapped to your workspace. You can define a workspace view to map only files and directories of interest, so that you do not inadvertently sync the entire depot into your workspace. For details, see Refining workspace views.
Example 2. Setting the workspace view.
Bruno issues the
p4 client command and sees a form containing this default
workspace view definition:
Client: bruno_ws Update: 2014/05/12 09:46:53 Access: 2014/05/12 10:28:40 Owner: bruno Host: dhcp_24-n102.dhcp.perforce.com Description: Created by jbruges. Root: c:\bruno_ws Options: noallwrite noclobber nocompress unlocked nomodtime normdir SubmitOptions: submitunchanged LineEnd: local View: //depot/... //bruno_ws/...
He modifies the view to map only the development portion of the depot.
View: //depot/dev/... //bruno_ws/dev/...
He further modifies the view to map files from multiple depots into his workspace.
View: //depot/dev/... //bruno_ws/depot/dev/... //testing/... //bruno_ws/testing/... //archive/... //bruno_ws/archive/...
To verify a connection, issue the
p4 info command. If
P4PORT is set
correctly, information like the following is displayed:
User name: bruno Client name: bruno_ws Client host: computer_12 Client root: c:\bruno_ws Current directory: c:\bruno_ws Peer address; 10.0.102.24:61122 Client address: 10.0.0.196 Server address: ssl:example.com:1818 Server root: /usr/depot/p4d Server date: 2012/03/28 15:03:05 -0700 PDT Server uptime: 752:41:33 Server version: P4D/FREEBSD/2012.1/406375 (2012/01/25) ServerID: Master Server license: P4Admin <p4adm> 20 users (expires 2015/01/01) Server license-ip: 10.0.0.2 Case handling: sensitive
Server address: field shows the host to which
p4 connected and also
displays the host and port number on which the Helix service is listening. If
P4PORT is set incorrectly, you receive a message like the following:
Perforce client error: Connect to server failed; check $P4PORT. TCP connect to perforce:1666 failed. perforce: host unknown.
If the value you see in the third line of the error message is
P4PORT has not been set. Set
P4PORT and try to connect again.
If your installation requires SSL, make sure your
P4PORT is of the form
You will be asked to verify the server’s fingerprint the first time you attempt
to connect to the service. If the fingerprint is accurate, use the
command to install the fingerprint into a file (pointed to by the
environment variable) that holds a list of known/trusted Helix servers and their
respective fingerprints. If
P4TRUST is unset, this file is
.p4trust in the
user’s home directory. For more information, see SSL-encrypted connections.
If your installation requires plaintext (in order to support older Helix
Connecting over IPv6 networks
As of Release 2013.1, Helix supports connectivity over IPv6 networks as well as over IPv4 networks.
Depending on the configuration of your LAN or WAN, your system administrator may
recommend different port settings. Your administrator may also recommend that
you set the
net.rfc3484 configurable to
1, either from the command line or
$ p4 configure set net.rfc3484=1
Doing so ensures RFC3484-compliant behavior if the protocol value is not
explicitly specified; that is, if the client-side configurable
P4PORT is set to
ssl:example.com:1666, the user’s operating system
automatically determines, for any given connection, whether to use IPv4 or IPv6
when communicating with the versioning service.
Further information is available in the Helix Versioning Engine Administrator Guide: Fundamentals.
Refining workspace views
By default, when you create a client workspace, the entire depot is mapped to your workspace. You can refine this mapping to view only a portion of the depot and to change the correspondence between depot and workspace locations.
To display or modify a workspace view, issue the
p4 client command.
Helix displays the client specification form, which lists
mappings in the
Client: bruno_ws Owner: bruno Description: Created by bruno. Root: C:\bruno_ws Options: noallwrite noclobber nocompress unlocked nomodtime normdir SubmitOptions: submitunchanged View: //depot/... //bruno_ws/...
The sections below provide details about specifying the client workspace
view. For more information, see the
p4 client command description and the
description of views in the P4 Command Reference.
Views consist of multiple mappings. Each mapping has two parts.
- The left-hand side specifies one or more files in the depot and has the form:
- The right-hand side specifies one or more files in the client workspace and
has the form:
The left-hand side of a workspace view mapping is called the depot side, and the right-hand side is the client side.
To determine the location of any workspace file on your computer, substitute
the client workspace root for the workspace name on the client side of the
mapping. For example, if the workspace root is
C:\bruno_ws, the file
//depot/dev/main/jam/Jamfile resides in
Later mappings override earlier ones. In the example below, the second line
overrides the first line, mapping the files in
//depot/dev/main/docs/manuals/ up two levels. When files in
//depot/dev/main/docs/manuals/ are synced, they reside in
View: //depot/dev/... //bruno_ws/dev/... //depot/dev/main/docs/... //bruno_ws/docs/...
Using wildcards in workspace views
To map groups of files in workspace views, you use Helix wildcards. Any wildcard used on the depot side of a mapping must be matched with an identical wildcard in the mapping’s client side. You can use the following wildcards to specify mappings in your client workspace:
Matches anything except slashes. Matches only within a single directory. Case sensitivity depends on your platform.
Matches anything including slashes. Matches recursively (everything in and below the specified directory).
Positional specifiers for substring rearrangement in filenames.
In this simple workspace view:
all files in the depot’s
dev branch are mapped to the corresponding locations
in the client workspace. For example, the file
is mapped to the workspace file
To avoid mapping unwanted files, always precede the
... wildcard with a
The mappings in workspace views always refer to the locations of files and directories in the depot; you cannot refer to specific revisions of a file in a workspace view.
Mapping part of the depot
If you are interested only in a subset of the depot files, map that portion.
Reducing the scope of the workspace view also ensures that your commands do not
inadvertently affect the entire depot. To restrict the workspace view, change
the left-hand side of the
View: field to specify the relevant portion of the
Example 3. Mapping part of the depot to the client workspace.
Dai is working on the Jam project and maintaining the web site, so she sets the
View: field as follows:
View: //depot/dev/main/jam/... //dai-beos-locust/jam/... //depot/www/live/... //dai-beos-locust/www/live/...
Mapping files to different locations in the workspace
Views can consist of multiple mappings, which are used to map portions of the depot file tree to different parts of the workspace file tree. If there is a conflict in the mappings, later mappings have precedence over the earlier ones.
Example 4. Multiple mappings in a single workspace view.
The following view ensures that Microsoft Word files in the manuals folder
reside in the workspace in a top-level folder called
View: //depot/... //bruno_ws/... //depot/dev/main/docs/manuals/*.doc //bruno_ws/wordfiles/*.doc
Mapping files to different filenames
Mappings can be used to make the filenames in the workspace differ from those in the depot.
Example 5. Files with different names in the depot and the workspace
The following view maps the depot file
RELNOTES to the workspace file
View: //depot/... //bruno_ws/... //depot/dev/main/jam/RELNOTES //bruno_ws/dev/main/jam/rnotes.txt
Rearranging parts of filenames
%%9 can be used to rearrange portions of
filenames and directories.
Example 6. Using positional specifiers to rearrange filenames and directories.
The following view maps the depot file
//depot/allfiles/readme.txt to the
View: //depot/allfiles/%%1.%%2 //bruno_ws/filesbytype/%%2/%%1
Excluding files and directories
Exclusionary mappings enable you to explicitly exclude files and directories
from a workspace. To exclude a file or directory, precede the mapping with a
minus sign (
-). White space is not allowed between the minus sign and the
Example 7. Using views to exclude files from a client workspace.
Earl, who is working on the Jam project, does not want any HTML files synced to his workspace. His workspace view looks like this:
View: //depot/dev/main/jam/... //earl-dev-beech/jam/... -//depot/dev/main/jam/....html //earl-dev-beech/jam/....html
Mapping a single depot path to multiple locations in a workspace
Helix includes a "one-to-many" mapping feature, with which you can map a single depot path to multiple locations in a client workspace.
This feature is currently only available for users of classic Helix branches; one-to-many mapping is not available for streams.
Consider the following scenario: A company has a website whose content is divided into categories such as products, documentation, and technical support. The content for each of these categories is managed in its own location in the workspace.
However, all of these websites display the same logo. Consequently, all three of the locations in the workspace must contain the same image file for the logo.
You might try to map the depot path like this:
View: //depot/images/logo.png //bruno_ws/products/images/logo.png //depot/images/logo.png //bruno_ws/documentation/images/logo.png //depot/images/logo.png //bruno_ws/support/images/logo.png
When you sync the client, the depot file will only be mapped to the
location in the workspace. By default, in a situation in which a workspace view
maps a depot path to multiple locations in a client, only the last
location in the list is the one to which the depot files are actually mapped.
To enable Helix’s one-to-many mapping feature, prepend
& to the mapping line
for each additional client location you want to map to, as in the following example:
View: //depot/images/logo.png //bruno_ws/products/images/logo.png &//depot/images/logo.png //bruno_ws/documentation/images/logo.png &//depot/images/logo.png //bruno_ws/support/images/logo.png
This time when you sync the client, the depot file will be mapped to all three
locations. However, note that
are read only-because all mapping lines prepended with
& are read-only.
Restricting access by changelist
You can restrict access to depot paths to a particular point in time by
providing the depot path names and changelist numbers in the
of the client specification. Files specified for the
field are read-only: they can be opened but not submitted. For example:
In this example, revisions of the files in
//depot/path/... are not visible
if they were submitted after changelist 1000. Files submitted up to and
including changelist 1000 are visible but read-only. You can specify multiple
You may specify
ChangeView entries in either depot syntax or client syntax.
Avoiding mapping conflicts
When you use multiple mappings in a single view, a single file can inadvertently be mapped to two different places in the depot or workspace. When two mappings conflict in this way, the later mapping overrides the earlier mapping.
Example 8. Erroneous mappings that conflict.
Joe has constructed a view as follows:
View: //depot/proj1/... //joe/project/... //depot/proj2/... //joe/project/...
The second mapping
//depot/proj2/... maps to
//joe/project and conflicts
with the first mapping. Because these mappings conflict, the first mapping is
ignored; no files in
//depot/proj1 are mapped into the workspace:
//depot/proj1/file.c is not mapped, even if
Mapping different depot locations to the same workspace location
Overlay mappings enable you to map files from more than one depot directory to
the same place in a workspace. To overlay the contents of a second directory in
your workspace, use a plus sign (
+) in front of the mapping.
Example 9. Overlaying multiple directories in the same workspace.
Joe wants to combine the files from his projects when they are synced to his workspace, so he has constructed a view as follows:
View: //depot/proj1/... //joe/project/... +//depot/proj2/... //joe/project/...
The overlay mapping
//depot/proj2/... maps to
//joe/project, and overlays
the first mapping. Overlay mappings do not conflict. Files (even deleted files)
//depot/proj2 take precedence over files in
//depot/proj2/file.c is missing (as opposed to being present, but deleted),
//depot/proj1/file.c is mapped into the workspace instead.
Overlay mappings are useful for applying sparse patches in build environments.
Dealing with spaces in filenames and directories
Use quotation marks to enclose files or directories that contain spaces.
Example 10. Dealing with spaces in filenames and directories.
Joe wants to map files in the depot into his workspace, but some of the paths contain spaces:
View: "//depot/Release 2.0/..." //joe/current/... "//depot/Release 1.1/..." "//joe/Patch Release/..." //depot/webstats/2011/... "//joe/2011 Web Stats/..."
By placing quotation marks around the path components on the server side, client side, or both sides of the mappings, Joe can specify file names and/or directory components that contain spaces.
For more information, see Spaces in filenames, pathnames, and identifiers.
Mapping Windows workspaces across multiple drives
To specify a workspace that spans multiple Windows drives, use a
null and specify the drive letters (in lowercase) in the workspace view. For
Client: bruno_ws Update: 2011/11/29 09:46:53 Access: 2011/03/02 10:28:40 Owner: bruno Root: null Options: noallwrite noclobber nocompress unlocked nomodtime normdir SubmitOptions: submitunchanged LineEnd: local View: //depot/dev/... "//bruno_ws/c:/Current Release/..." //depot/release/... "//bruno_ws/d:/Prior Releases/..." //depot/www/... //bruno_ws/d:/website/...
Using the same workspace from different machines
By default, you can only use a workspace on the machine that is specified by the
Host: field. If you want to use the same workspace on multiple machines with
different platforms, delete the
Host: entry and set the
AltRoots: field in
the client specification. You can specify a maximum of two alternate
workspace roots. The locations must be visible from all machines that will be
using them, for example through NFS or Samba mounts.
Helix compares the current working directory against the main
Root: first, and
then against the two
AltRoots: if specified. The first root to match the
current working directory is used. If no roots match, the main root is used.
If you are using a Windows directory in any of your workspace roots, specify the
Windows directory as your main client
Root: and specify your other workspace
root directories in the
In the example below, if user
bruno’s current working directory is
/usr/bruno, Helix uses the UNIX path as his workspace root,
c:\bruno_ws. This approach allows
bruno to use the same
client specification for both UNIX and Windows development.
Client: bruno_ws Owner: bruno Description: Created by bruno. Root: c:\bruno_ws AltRoots: /usr/bruno/
To find out which client workspace root is in effect, issue the
command and check the
Client root: field.
If you edit text files in the same workspace from different platforms, ensure that the editors and settings you use preserve the line endings. For details about line-endings in cross-platform settings, see Configuring line-ending settings.
Automatically pruning empty directories from a workspace
By default, Helix does not remove empty directories from your workspace. To
change this behavior, issue the
p4 client command and in the
field, change the option
For more about changing workspace options, see Configuring workspace options.
Changing the location and/or layout of your workspace
To change the location of files in your workspace, issue the
command and change either or both of the
View: fields. Before
changing these settings, ensure that you have no files checked out (by
submitting or reverting open files).
If you intend to modify both fields, perform the following steps to ensure that your workspace files are located correctly:
- To remove the files from their old location in the workspace, issue the
p4 sync …#nonecommand.
- Change the
Root:field. (The new client workspace root directory must exist on your computer before you can retrieve files into it.)
- To copy the files to their new locations in the workspace, perform a
p4 sync. (If you forget to perform the
p4 sync …#nonebefore you change the workspace view, you can always remove the files from their client workspace locations manually).
- Change the
- Again, perform a
p4 sync. This time, syncing changes the layout of the workspace. The files in the client workspace are synced to their new locations.
Configuring workspace options
The following table describes workspace
Options: in detail:
Specifies whether unopened files are always writable. By default, Helix
makes unopened files read-only. To avoid inadvertently overwriting changes or
causing syncs to fail, specify
A setting of
Specifies whether data is compressed when it is sent between your computer and the Helix service.
Specifies whether other users can use, edit, or delete the client workspace
specification. A Helix administrator can override the lock with the
If you lock your client specification, be sure to set a password for
the workspace’s owner using the
For files without the
For files with the
Ignored for files with the
Configuring submit options
To control what happens to files in a changelist when you submit the changelist
to the depot, set the
SubmitOptions: field. Valid settings are as follows.
All open files (with or without changes) are submitted to the depot.
This is the default behavior of Helix.
All open files (with or without changes) are submitted to the depot, and all files are automatically reopened in the default changelist.
Only those files with content, type, or resolved changes are submitted to the depot. Unchanged files are reverted.
Only those files with content, type, or resolved changes are submitted to the depot and reopened in the default changelist. Unchanged files are reverted and not reopened in the default changelist.
Only those files with content, type, or resolved changes are submitted to the depot. Any unchanged files are moved to the default changelist.
Only those files with content, type, or resolved changes are submitted to the depot. Unchanged files are moved to the default changelist, and changed files are reopened in the default changelist.
This option is similar to
Configuring line-ending settings
To specify how line endings are handled when you sync text files, set the
LineEnd: field. Valid settings are as follows:
Use mode native to the client (default)
UNIX-style (and Mac OS X) line endings:
Mac pre-OS X:
When you sync your client workspace, line endings are set to
The most common use of the
For detailed information about how Helix uses the line-ending settings, see “CR/LF Issues and Text Line-endings” in the Helix knowledge base:
Deleting client specifications
To delete a workspace, issue the
p4 client -d clientname command. Deleting
a client workspace removes Helix’s record of the workspace but does not remove
files from the workspace or the depot.
When you delete a workspace specification:
- Revert (or submit) any pending or shelved changelists associated with the workspace.
- Delete existing files from a client workspace (
p4 sync ...#none). (optional)
- Delete the workspace specification.
If you delete the workspace specification before you delete files in the workspace, you can delete workspace files using your operating system’s file deletion command.
For security purposes, your Helix administrator can configure the Helix service to require SSL-encrypted connections, user passwords, and to limit the length of time for which your login ticket is valid. The following sections provide details:
If your installation requires SSL, make sure your
P4PORT is of the form
If you attempt to communicate in plaintext with an SSL-enabled Helix server, the
following error message is displayed:
Failed client connect, server using SSL. Client must add SSL protocol prefix to P4PORT.
and attempt to reconnect to the server.
The first time you establish an encrypted connection with an SSL-enabled server, you are prompted to verify the server’s fingerprint:
The authenticity of '10.0.0.2:1818' can't be established, this may be your first attempt to connect to this P4PORT. The fingerprint for the key sent to your client is CA:BE:5B:77:14:1B:2E:97:F0:5F:31:6E:33:6F:0E:1A:E9:DA:EF:E2
Your administrator can confirm whether the displayed fingerprint is correct or
not. If (and only if) the fingerprint is correct, use the
p4 trust command
to add it to your
P4TRUST file. If
P4TRUST is unset, this file is assumed to
.p4trust in your home directory:
$ p4 trust The fingerprint of the server of your P4PORT setting 'ssl:example.com:1818' (10.0.0.2:1818) is not known. That fingerprint is CA:BE:5B:77:14:1B:2E:97:F0:5F:31:6E:33:6F:0E:1A:E9:DA:EF:E2 Are you sure you want to establish trust (yes/no)? Added trust for P4PORT 'ssl:example.com:1818' (10.0.0.2:1818)
If the fingerprint is accurate, enter
yes to trust this server. You can also
install a fingerprint directly into your trust file from the command line. Run:
$ p4 trust -p ssl:
corresponds to your
P4PORT setting, and fingerprint corresponds to a
fingerprint that your administrator has verified.
From this point forward, any SSL connection to
trusted, so long as the server at
example.com:1818 continues to report a
fingerprint that matches the one recorded in your
If the Helix server ever reports a different fingerprint than the one that you have trusted, the following error message is displayed:
******* WARNING P4PORT IDENTIFICATION HAS CHANGED! ******* It is possible that someone is intercepting your connection to the Perforce P4PORT '10.0.50.39:1667' If this is not a scheduled key change, then you should contact your Perforce administrator. The fingerprint for the mismatched key sent to your client is 18:FC:4F:C3:2E:FA:7A:AE:BC:74:58:2F:FC:F5:87:7C:BE:C0:2D:B5 To allow connection use the 'p4 trust' command.
This error message indicates that the server’s fingerprint has changed from one
that you stored in your
P4TRUST file and indicates that the server’s SSL
credentials have changed.
Although the change to the fingerprint may be legitimate (for example, your administrator controls the length of time for which your server’s SSL credentials remain valid, and your server’s credentials may have expired), it can also indicate the presence of a security risk.
If you see this error message, and your Helix administrator has not notified you of a change to your server’s key and certificate pair, it is imperative that you independently verify the accuracy of the reported fingerprint.
Unless you can independently confirm the veracity of the new fingerprint (by some out-of-band means ranging from the company’s intranet site, or by personally contacting your administrator), do not trust the changed fingerprint.
Connecting to services that require plaintext connections
If your Helix installation requires plaintext (in order to support older Helix
If you attempt to use SSL to connect to a service that expects plaintext
connections, the following error message is displayed:
Perforce client error: SSL connect to ssl:_host_:_port_ failed (Connection reset by peer). Remove SSL protocol prefix from P4PORT.
(or, if you are using applications at release 2011.1 or earlier, set
and attempt to reconnect to the service.
Depending on the security level at which your Helix installation is running, you
might need to log in to Helix before you can run Helix commands. Without
passwords, any user can assume the identity of any other Helix user by setting
P4USER to a different user name or specifying the
-u option when you issue a
p4 command. To improve security, use passwords.
To create a password for your Helix user, issue the
p4 passwd command.
Passwords may be up to 1,024 characters in length. Your system administrator can configure Helix to require “strong” passwords, the minimum length of a password, and if you have been assigned a default password, your administrator can further require that you change your password before you first use Helix.
By default, the Helix service defines a password as strong if it is at least eight characters long and contains at least two of the following:
- Uppercase letters
- Lowercase letters
- Non-alphabetic characters
In an environment with a minimum password length of eight characters, for
aBcDeFgH would be considered strong
To reset or remove a password (without knowing the password), Helix superuser privilege is required. If you need to have your password reset, contact your Helix administrator. See the Helix Versioning Engine Administrator Guide: Fundamentals for details.
Using your password
If your Helix user has a password set, you must use it when you issue
commands. To use the password, you can:
- Log into Helix by issuing the
p4 logincommand, before issuing other commands.
P4PASSWDto your password, either in the environment or in a config file.
- Specify the
-P passwordoption when you issue
p4commands (for instance,
p4 -P mypassword submit).
- Windows or OS X: store your password by using the
p4 set -scommand. Not advised for sites where security is high. Helix administrators can disable this feature.
Connection time limits
Your Helix administrator can configure the Helix service to enforce time limits for users. Helix uses ticket-based authentication to enforce time limits. Because ticket-based authentication does not rely on environment variables or command-line options, it is more secure than password-based authentication.
Tickets are stored in a file in your home directory. After you have logged in, your ticket is valid for a limited period of time (by default, 12 hours).
Logging in and logging out
If time limits are in effect at your site, you must issue the
command to obtain a ticket. Enter your password when prompted. If you log in
successfully, a ticket is created for you in the ticket file in your home
directory, and you are not prompted to log in again until either your ticket
expires or you log out by issuing the
p4 logout command.
To see how much time remains before your login expires, issue the following command:
$ p4 login -s
If your ticket is valid, the length of time remaining is displayed. To extend a
ticket’s lifespan, use
p4 login while already logged in. Your ticket’s
lifespan is extended by 1/3 of its initial timeout setting, subject to a maximum
of your ticket’s initial timeout setting.
To log out of Helix, issue the following command:
$ p4 logout
Working on multiple machines
By default, your ticket is valid only for the IP address of the machine from which you logged in. If you use Helix from multiple machines that share a home directory (typical in many UNIX environments), log in with:
$ p4 login -a
p4 login -a creates a ticket in your home directory that is valid from
all IP addresses, enabling you to remain logged into Helix from more than one
To log out from all machines simultaneously, issue the following command:
$ p4 logout -a
For more information about the
p4 login and
p4 logout commands, see the
P4 Command Reference.
Working with Unicode
The Helix service can be run in Unicode mode to activate support for file names or directory names that contain Unicode characters, and Helix identifiers (for example, user names) and specifications (for example, changelist descriptions or jobs) that contain Unicode characters.
In Unicode mode, the Helix service also translates Unicode files and metadata to the character set configured on the user’s computer, and verifies that the Unicode files and metadata contain valid UTF-8 characters.
If you only need to manage textual files that contain Unicode characters, but do not need the features listed above, you do not need to run Helix in Unicode mode. Your system administrator will tell you if your site is using Unicode mode or not.
For these installations, assign the Helix
utf16 file type to textual files
that contain Unicode characters. You do not have to set the
P4COMMANDCHARSET environment variables. See Assigning File Types for Unicode Files for details.
To correctly inter-operate in Unicode mode, and to ensure that such files are
translated correctly by the Helix service when the files are synced or
submitted, you must set
P4CHARSET to the character set that corresponds to the
format used on your computer by the applications that access them, such as
text editors or IDEs. These formats are typically listed when you save the file
using the Save As… menu option.
P4CHARSET that begin with
utf32 further require that
you also set
P4COMMANDCHARSET to a non
utf32 character set in
which you want server output displayed. “Server output” includes informational
and error messages, diff output, and information returned by reporting commands.
For a complete list of valid
P4CHARSET values, issue the command
For further information, see the Helix Versioning Engine Administrator Guide: Fundamentals.
Setting P4CHARSET on Windows
P4CHARSET for all users on a computer, you need Windows
administrator privileges. Issue the following command:
C:\bruno_ws> p4 set -s P4CHARSET=
P4CHARSET for the user currently logged in:
c:\bruno_ws> p4 set P4CHARSET=
Your computer must have a compatible TrueType or OpenType font installed.
Setting P4CHARSET on UNIX
You can set
P4CHARSET from a command shell or in a startup script such as
.profile. To determine the proper value for
P4CHARSET, examine the setting of the
LOCALE environment variable.
Common settings are as follows
In general, for a Japanese installation, set
for a European installation, set