The Ten-Minute Test Drive for Windows

This version is for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000 using the Perforce Visual Client (P4V). There's also a version for Linux/Unix, for Mac, and for the command line.

This demo supports 20 users and 20 client workspaces, or unlimited users and up to 1,000 files. Request a free 45-day Evaluation License to remove any restrictions.

See this demo as a video tutorial.



This page tells you how to get a simple Perforce installation up and running in ten minutes. You'll set up the Perforce Server and the Perforce Visual Client (P4V) on a single Windows machine. You don't have to be an administrator, but these instructions are geared toward an experienced Windows user.

If you need more guidance setting up a demo, please visit the Technical Support page for contact options.


Installing Perforce

Go to our Downloads page and download both a server executable (perforce.exe) and P4V (p4vinst.exe) for your Windows platform.

Run the server executable (perforce.exe) installer, accept the defaults, and follow the prompts to completion.

Note: If you have administrator privileges, the Perforce Server is installed as a service and started automatically (by default). If you do not have administrator privileges, you'll have to start the Perforce Server manually.

Here's how to start or stop the Perforce service:

  • Windows 7: Choose Control Panel>System and Security>Administrative Tools>Services
  • Windows Server 2008: Choose Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Services
  • Windows Vista: Choose Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Services
  • Windows Server 2003: Choose Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Services
  • Windows XP: Choose Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Services
  • Windows 2000: Choose Control Panel>Services

Run the P4V (p4vinst.exe) installer.


Trying Perforce

You now have everything you need to use Perforce on your machine, and all Perforce features are available to you. We'll assume you'll be using P4V, the cross-platform Perforce Visual Client. Here are some things you can try:

1. Getting Started

Follow these steps to get started with Perforce:

  • Choose Start>Programs>Perforce>P4V.
  • On the P4V Open Connection dialog, click the New button next to User
  • Enter User information and select Save
  • Click the New button next to Open Workspace
  • Name your workspace mywsand click OK
  • Enter c:\p4clients\mywsas Root and click Save
  • Back in the Open Connection dialog, click OK

Now you see P4V's main screen. Notice that there are no files in the depot or workspace yet—that's what the next step is all about.

2. Adding new files to the Perforce depot

Here's how to add files to the depot:

  • In the Windows Explorer, create c:\p4clients\mywsand put some sample files in it
  • In P4V, click the Workspace tab in the lower left pane and press F5 to refresh the display
  • Right-click the workspace folder and choose Mark for Add
  • Click the pending icon toolbar button and see your pending changelist on the right
  • Right-click default pending icon and choose Submit
  • Enter a description and click Submit

The files you added are now in the depot.

3. Working on Files

The files you added are now under Perforce's control. Now you can check them out, modify them, and submit them.

  • In P4V, from the left pane, context-click a file and choose Check Out
  • Double-click the file to edit it. (To pick an editor, context-click the file and choose Open With...)
  • Context-click the file and choose the Submit option
  • Enter a description and click Submit
  • Context-click another file and choose Rename/Move...
  • Pick a new name and location, and submit your change

You've done the basics—feel free to explore more P4V features.


Cleaning Up

After you're done, uninstall your Perforce demo so that you don't confuse it with any working Perforce installation you install later:

  • Exit P4V, delete your workspace folder, and, if you wish, stop the Perforce service
  • Run the Perforce installer (perforce.exe)
  • In the Configuration Choices dialog, choose Uninstall Components
  • Check every box in the component list and follow the installer dialogs to completion
  • Delete your Perforce installation directory (by default, C:\Program Files\Perforce)

For More Information

The Perforce commands shown in this demo are just to get you started. For more information, consult the following sources:

If you have questions about Perforce or comments on this demo, please email