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mcell.conf is the configuration file for the cell and is installed with the cell. For details about the parameters in the mcell.conf file, see Configuring the cell.

You can change the configuration parameters in the mcell.conf file to customize the cell for your particular IT infrastructure and environment. You can override some parameters using command line arguments when you start the cell. For more information, see mcell.

To configure the mcell.conf file

  1. Open the mcell.conf file in a text editor.
    The default location is installationDirectory\pw\server\etc.
  2. Create line entries using the format Parameter=Value based on the syntax rules described in Rules for cell configuration parameter syntax.
  3. Save the changes.
  4. Either reload the cell configuration or restart the cell for the changes to go into effect. For more information, see Reloading cell configuration.

Rules for cell configuration parameter syntax

  • One parameter per line, in the form: Parameter=Value, where the Value extends to the end of the line 
  • Typically, the value for a parameter is a Boolean value, a string, or a path. The supported Boolean values are Yes/No and On/Off. 
  • The Boolean values are not case-sensitive, so, for example, On, ON, on, and even oN are equally valid. 
  • Do not enclose the value in quotation marks unless you want the quotation marks to be part of the value. 
  • Times are stated in seconds unless otherwise specified. 
  • To change a parameter setting, remove the comment (#) sign at the beginning of the line of code and enter the new value.

For more information about cell configuration parameters, see Configuring the cell

Specification of path values

Parameters that have path values contain the string FileName or DirName, for example TraceConfigFileName or SystemLogDirName.

Path values can be stated as:

  • Absolute path—starts with slash (/) or backslash (), or on Windows, with a drive designator (for example, D: ) 
  • Run time relative path—starts with ./ or ../. The path is relative from the cell's working directory. The working directory is the root directory (/) when it runs as a daemon or a service. When running in foreground, it is the directory where mcell is started. 
  • Configuration relative path-all other path values are relative from the cell's log file directory, or, for program paths, from the kb\bin directory.

Path values can contain the substitution parameters $VAR or %X. Any $VAR parameter is substituted by the value of the environment variable VAR. The following table lists the possible %X substitution parameters.

Substitution parameters for %X in path value parameters




Cell home directory (installationDirectory/pw/server)


Cell configuration directory (etc/CellName)


Variable data directory (var/CellName)


Log file directory (log/CellName)


Temporary file directory (tmp/CellName)


Knowledge Base binary directory (kb\bin)


Program name


Cell name


Unique number for the process

Modifying SystemLogDirName, SystemTmpDirName, SystemVarDirName, and KBDirName

With the cell configuration parameters SystemLogDirName and SystemTmpDirName, users can specify alternative path locations for the system defined log and tmp directories. Their default values are %H/log and %H/tmp. To enable file name specifications that refer to these alternative locations, use the substitution parameters %L for the log and %T for the tmp directory. They are substituted by the specified path to the log and tmp directory. 

If you change the default value for the SystemVarDirName parameter or the KBDirName parameter in the mcell.conf file, you must also change the value in the statbld.conf file. If you fail to do this, the cell loses persistency and the mcdb file is not created, because the StateBuilder is configured from statbld.conf file and has no input from the mcell.conf file. As a result, StateBuilder does not know where to find the log files or the KB directory it requires.

ConnectionPortRange syntax

The following figure shows the syntax of ConnectionPortRange.

ConnectionPortRange syntax

<PortRange> = <PortSequence>{, <PortSequence>}
<PortSequence> = <Port>[-<Port>]

A range is a number of sequences, each of which is a consecutive range of ports. The cell attempts to access all ports in the specified order. The default is to use any of the ephemeral ports.

For example,

  • 1828-1840 specifies a range of ports 1828 through 1840 
  • 1828, 1829, 1840 specifies the sequence of ports 1828, 1829, and 1840

Scale factors for enhancing configuration parameters

You can add scale factors to numerical configuration parameters in the mcell.conf file. The following table lists the scale factors that are available in Infrastructure Management. Scale factors are case-sensitive.

Scale factors that can be used for configuration parameters in the mcell.conf file



















k, K









If you add a scale factor to a numerical configuration parameter value, then that value is mulitpled by the scale factor that you use.

For example, if you add the minutes scale factor to the following parameter


so that it becomes


then the value for that parameter is equal to 120 (2 times the scale factor for minutes, which is 60). Without the scale factor, the parameter specific unit of measure is used, which is seconds for most time related parameters. So in this example, without the scale factor, the value for the #MessageBufferReconnectInterval is 2 seconds. With the scale factor, the value changes to 2 minutes (120 seconds).