Helix Core Server Control (p4dctl)

The Helix Core Server Control (p4dctl) utility enables the management of Perforce services running on the local host.

The root user:

  • is the Linux owner of the /etc/perforce/ directory, and can start and stop all services
  • can configure the /etc/perforce/p4dctl.conf file to allow one or more non-root users, such as the perforce user, to start and stop certain services

p4dctl can only be obtained as part of a Linux package installation.

You use the p4dctl utility to configure the environment in which services run and to manage the services themselves. The basic workflow for an administrator using the p4dctl utility is as follows:

  1. Edit a configuration file that defines the environment for the services you want to control.
  2. Execute p4dctl commands to start and stop services, to get information about services, and to checkpoint services.

You can use a single p4dctl command to manage all services or an arbitrary group of services by assigning them a common name in the p4dctl configuration file.

p4dctl introduces no new environment variables. It enforces strict control of the environment of any service it starts according to the directives in the p4dctl configuration file, p4dctl.conf. This prevents failures that stem from the differences between the user’s environment and that of root.


Helix environment variables:

  • must be defined in the P4DCTL configuration file
  • will NOT take effect if they are defined from the perforce user's shell environment, such as the .bashrc file