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List and description

In this page we describe the configuration files of RetroShare.

Files (RetroShare v0.5)

In the Peer ID subfolder you should find the following configuration files:

  • bdboot.txt: needed for the DHT. If this file is empty or doesn't exist, copy it here from the portable zip or DHT won't work.
  • chat*.xml: old unencrypted chat history files, no longer used, this is now saved in chat.cfg
  • *.cfg: specific data for a subpart of RS, all .cfg files are encrypted and signed (.cfg.sgn)
    • bitdht.cfg
    • cache.cfg
    • channels.cfg
    • chat.cfg: contains the chat history of private and group chat
    • forums.cfg
    • ft_extra.cfg
    • ft_shared.cfg: contains your shared directories list
    • ft_transfers.cfg: contains the list of current downloads
    • general.cfg
    • gpg_prefs.cfg
    • msgs.cfg: contains Messages sent and received in RetroShare
    • p3disc.cfg
    • p3History.cfg
    • p3Status.cfg
    • peers.cfg: contains the list of your friends
    • plugins.cfg
    • turtle.cfg
  • file_cache.lst: cache for file hashes. This is needed, e.g. when you have a USB drive that's not always connected, so RetroShare only hashes the drive once.
  • lock: ensures only one instance of RetroShare is using this profile
  • retro.log: debug log (add this to your bugreport, when it crashes to help debug it)
  • RetroShare.conf: contains GUI settings (not signed)
  • RSPeers.conf: contains Chat GUI settings (not signed)

Files located in the subfolders

RetroShare v0.5
cache: cache files, contains copies of your friends' file lists and forum/channel posts.
Downloads: default location for your downloads, can be changed.
 keys: very important, it contains your peer (SSL location) certificate and private key.
Partials: contains partially downloaded files (the file's names correspond to the file's hashes).
RetroShare v0.6
cache: cache files, contains copies of your friends' file lists and forum/channel posts.
Downloads: default location for your downloads, can be changed.
gxs : contain files for channels, circles, GXS ID's (of the users), forums, posted, wikis.
keys: very important, it contains your peer (SSL location) certificate and private key.
Partials: contains partially downloaded files (the file's names correspond to the file's hashes).


There are probably lots of other files floating about in there, most of these from older versions of retroshare.

All .cfg configuration files are SIGNED, and will be rejected if the signature doesn't match, so you cannot mix configuration files. For each .cfg file there's also a .cfg.tmp file. This is a backup of the previous version of the file, in case the current version is unreadable, e.g. after a system crash.

Settings path

Every location you create in RetroShare will save its settings in a seperate subfolder in the RetroShare settings path. This subfolder has a cryptic name, which is the Peer ID of your location (you can find it in the Profile tab in the program). In order to delete a location, it suffices to remove the corresponding folder and the location is completely gone.

Settings path on various OS

OS Path
Linux $HOME/.retroshare/
Mac OS X same as Linux
Windows XP C:\Documents and Settings\<Username>\Application Data\Retroshare\
Windows Vista, 7, 8 C:\Users\<Username>\AppData\Roaming\RetroShare\
Windows 10  ?
Windows (any) with RetroShare portable <path to portable version>\Data\

Hint for Mac OS X

Go to: HD -> user -> .retroshare
In order to see this folder you need to type the following command in the Terminal:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE;killall Finder

You can undo this with:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles FALSE;killall Finder

How to backup your data

This describe how to backup the data of your RetroShare.

This is something to do from time to time (for example every 3 months) because in case of crash, RetroShare might loose for example the keys of your friends, and (more annoying) your own identity key !.

The following instructions are certified for v0.6.0 (2015).

Files and folders to backup (all OS)

Before to copy the files : close RetroShare.

Go to the RetroShare data folder (the paths are described in the section "Settings path" above).

Make a copy of :

  • the folder : pgp\ (it contain the list of your friends and their keys)
  • the folder with a long name. Example: "LOC06_g5gce2JhijZ59pufi299592ufzajf". Note: before v0.6, the name of this folder did not have the string "LOC06_".
  • the file "default_cert_06.txt" (since v0.6) or "default_cert.txt" (up to v0.5)

It is not essential to backup the other folders (channels, cache, partials, ...) because RetroShare will be able to re-download them from your friends. However if your objective is to move RetroShare to a other computer (or hard disk) you should (of course) backup the whole RetroShare folder, in order to not waste later download time nor bandwidth.

How to restore a backup (all OS)

  • From your old RetroShare folder, you should move the files that you have downloaded successfully to somewhere else. Those files are located into the folder "Downloads", this folder is located inside the RetroShare folder then in the folder with a long name, example: "LOC06_g5gce2JhijZ59pufi299592ufzajf\Downloads\".
  • Rename the old folder of RetroShare (example: "Retroshare_old"). Later you may delete it when you will be sure that the new installation work.
  • Suggestion: install a recent version of RetroShare (but do not run it).
  • Copy your backed up RetroShare's files into the matching folders.
  • You can run RetroShare.

RetroShare portable user : how to move your data when upgrading

When upgrading RetroShare portable to a new version, you have to move your data files to the folder of the new RetroShare version.

Steps :

  1. Download the new portable version
  2. If RetroShare portable is installed in "C:\RetroShare_portable\", rename it to "C:\RetroShare_portable_old\"
  3. Unzip the new retroshare portable version to "C:\RetroShare_portable\"
  4. The files and folders to move are described in the section above "Files and folders to backup (all OS)".
  5. Copy those files to "C:\RetroShare_portable\Data\"
  6. Run the new RetroShare, confirm the validity of the new plugins
  7. If all work, you may delete the folder of the old RetroShare portable
This page is part of RetroShare Documentation
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
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