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This document describes the RetroShare configuration panel, which can be reached by clicking on the options icon in the toolbar on the left, or by right clicking on the systray icon.

Note: This is work in progress. Several items may not have been documented yet, or contain incorrect information.




Start minimized If checked, RetroShare will start minimized. Its main window will not appear, only the tray icon will be visible and can be used to access the running program.

For Advanced Users

Enable Advanced Mode this hides the "Getting Started" Tab in the main window


When RetroShare is closed using the Quit button or menu choice it will ask for confirmation before terminating. If Do not show the `Quit RetroShare` MessageBox is checked, RetroShare will terminate without asking for confirmation.

Do not minimize to Tray Icon Shutdown RetroShare when closing the main window, the systray icon is still shown.

Auto-login If checked, RetroShare will remember the location ID and password upon termination and use these to automatically login when RetroShare is restarted.


Idle Time The amount of time after which RetroShare considers the user not active (idle). This is shown to friends in private chats.


Network Configuration

Connectivity How the system running RetroShare is connected to the internet.

To be able to answer requests from outside, RetroShare must listen to connection requests. For this purpose the program opens a so called port/ Ports are identified by a number, the port number that RetroShare uses is random.

PCs are usually connected to the internet via a modem and/or firewall/router.

Choices are:

  • Automatic (Upnp) It is connected directly to the internet, or via a firewall/router that supports the UPnP protocol. RetroShare can work out everything that is required to connect it to the internet.
  • Firewalled You are connected via a firewall/router, where you don't have permission to forward a port.
  • Manual Forwarded Port You are connected via a firewall/router and have set up port forwarding in the router.

Discoverability This controls how you can be found by other RetroShare users.

  • Public: DHT & Discover
  • Private: Discovery Only discovery is a RetroShare service that exchanges your friends' certificates and locations with all your friends. This is useful, when a friend creates a new location or has a dynamic IP (that's normally the case).
  • Inverted: DHT Only DHT helps connect to friends who's IP has changed since the last connection. It also helps connections between two firewalled peers.
  • Dark Net: None

Dynamic DNS as most internet connections have dynamically changing IPs, your friend's RetroShare has to find out your new IP. This is also done by DHT, but a more robust way is to create a DNS name for you IP (e.g. at DynDNS)

IP Service

Allow RetroShare to ask my ip to these websites: is needed so RetroShare knows which IP your router has. If you chose Firewalled above, you can deactivate this.


Maximum simultaneous downloads and Slots reserved for non-cache transfers

RetroShare has a limit of how many file can be downloaded simultaneously. If more files are downloaded they are queued and started when another download finishes. Currently there are also cache files (used to distribute forums and channels) that might fill up the download queue. Therefore there's a number of slots reserved for non-cache transfers.

Example: Queue size: 10, slots reserved for non-cache: 3 At least 3 non-cache files are downloaded, if the are less then 7 cache downloads, the free slots are also used for non-cache files

Default Chunk Strategy: Download files in order from beginning to end or randomly. Random is default and better if many people download the same file. This can also be changed individually for each download in the Transfers Tab in the main window.

see also: Filesharing documentation

Safety disk space limit RetroShare warns and stops writing data when the available disk space is lower than this limit.


see Frequently_Asked_Questions#What_is_a_relay_and_do_I_need_one.3F


Shared Directories

Automatically share incoming directory if checked the Downloads directory is added to the shared directories. To add more directories to the share and setup share flags, click Edit Share

Remember hashed files for XXX days if a share directory becomes empty (e.g. if it's on a usb drive), the already calculated file hashes are not thrown away but kept and reused if the files are available again. Hashes of files that still exist in a shared directory, are never thrown away.

Incoming Directory

All finished downloads will be moved to this directory.

Partials Directory

While a file is being downloaded it is stored in this Partials directory, when it is finished it is moved to the Downloads directory.


Plugins are still experimental (2012).


News Feed

Systray Icon

The systray icon (located in the taskbar) allows you to access several features of RetroShare without having to open it. For example: changing your user status (online, busy, away) viewable by your friends.

By letting the mouse onto the icon, a popup windows shows the bandwith used by RetroShare, and the number of friends online.


Private Chat

Group Chat


This panel shows your public key that you can exchange with other friends to become connected through RetroShare. The public key is binary information, but it is shown here ascii armored, which means that it is shows as simple text that you can cut and paste into an email message or something similar.

The "Copy Key" button copies your public key to the clipboard so you can paste it elsewhere.

"Save Key" opens a file dialog where you can specify a location to store the public key on disk. You can attach this disk file to an email message when sending an invitation to a friend.

"copy RetroShare link to clipboard" can be used to easily exchange your certificate inside RetroShare (e.g. in Chat lobbies)







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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