arc.conf - Man Page

ARC services configuration


ARC has two separate configuration files - one for client tools and another for services. This man page describes the services configuration file. For client configuration please see "ARC Clients User Manual" at

This man page IS NOT the ultimate source of information about arc.conf. The reference documentation containing all configuration option description is  arc.conf.reference file that can be found in /usr/share/arc/doc.

To get inline help about particular configuration option use arcctl (1) tool.

For example to get description of sessiondir option in [arex] block run

# arcctl config describe arex sessiondir

Basic Structure

A block configures an ARC service, a service interface, a utility or a subsystem. Enabling (turning on) a functionality, a service or an interface requires the presence of the appropriate configuration block. To disable a service or an interface, simply delete or comment out the related arc.conf block (you may need to rerun the corresponding startup script).

A block is identified by its block header. A block header may consist of keywords and optionally block identifiers. Keywords may be separated by "/"  and used to label subblocks (e.g. [arex/jura]), while block identifiers are separated by ":" from keywords.

For example, in the [queue:short] block header queue is a keyword while short is an  identifier, e.g. the name of the queue. Block headers must be UNIQUE.

A block starts with a unique [keyword:identifier] blockheader and ends where the next block starts, that is at the next [blockheader] directive.

A block may have sub-blocks e.g. the various interfaces of the AREX service are configured via sub-blocks (e.g. [arex/ws]). When a sub-block is enabled then the corresponding parent block MUST also appear in the arc.conf file.

Configuration blocks contain (config option, config value) pairs following the syntax: config_option=value element [optional value element] in single line.

Each of the configuration options have well-defined default that is specified in this reference file. The default can take either a pre-set value, a special substitution or the keyword undefined. Configuration options within an enabled block take their default values in case  they are missing (or commented out). Configuration parameters with undefined defaults takes  no values. Furthermore, configuration options within disabled blocks takes no values either.

Configuration blocks related to authorization are ORDER-DEPENDENT! The authorization blocks  [authgroup:name] MUST be defined before used in the other blocks.  Furthermore, the order of the authorization blocks itself may have influence over  authorization decisions!

Note that quotes around the configuration value(s) must NOT be used any longer.

Note that the arc.conf is CASE-SENSITIVE!


/etc/arc.conf, ${ARC_LOCATION}/etc/arc.conf,

Reporting Bugs

Report bugs to


ARC software is developed by the NorduGrid Collaboration (, please consult the AUTHORS file distributed with ARC. Please report bugs and feature requests to

See Also

arcctl(1), arc-config-check(1)

Referenced By

arc-config-check(1), arcctl(1), nordugridmap(8).

2021-03-12 NorduGrid ARC 6.10.2