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Setting P4V preferences for your users

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How do I set P4V performance preferences for specific users or groups?


P4V allows individual users to set and adjust many different preferences. There are 4 "performance" preferences, all found on the "Connection" tab of the "Preferences" dialog:

  • Check server for updates every NNN of minutes
  • Maximum number of files displayed per changelist
  • Maximum size of files to preview
  • Number of changelists, jobs, branch mappings or labels to fetch at a time

Perforce administrators can set these values for some or all users to maximize P4V performance.

For more information about these settings, and others, see the Maximizing P4V Performance Knowledge Base article.

P4V custom settings

Beginning with P4V 2009.1, Perforce administrators can establish initial settings for the performance (and other) preferences, for all P4V users. But this requires automating the deployment of Perforce client programs, and configuring these initial settings in a (per-user) file named p4vdefaults.xml. For more information, see the Automated Deployment of Perforce Knowledge Base article.

One drawback of configuring initial preference settings in p4vdefaults.xml is that P4V users can subsequently change their own preference values. A second drawback is that users who download P4V themselves bypass the automated install.

Using a central settings file

P4V 2010.2 offers an alternate method for establishing the performance preferences for some or all of your users. This approach involves a central settings file.

The JavaScript API for Visual Tools lets you override P4V performance preferences by pushing P4V performance settings from a central settings file that resides on a Perforce Server. You can impose these settings on users without requiring them to accept P4V applets. These overrides take precedence over any settings in

The overrides only apply to the connection from which they are obtained, not to any other connections in the same P4V instance or a different P4V instance.


P4V users can still choose the menu and dialog options Edit -> Preferences... -> Connection and modify values, but JavaScript API for Visual Tools values take precedence. Help -> System Info shows the values that actually apply and the central settings file that P4V is using.

Administering performance preferences centrally can be helpful for Perforce administrators trying to rein in taxing update commands from P4V such as:

  • p4 fstat
  • p4 dirs
  • p4 fixes


You add performance settings to your central settings file by including a variable named P4CentralSettingsJSON at the top of the file. Then initialize the variable using a specifc JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) format. You can see an example P4JsApi documentation in the Administering P4V Settings Centrally section.

To control P4V refresh commands and unwanted "p4 fixes" commands:

var P4CentralSettingsJSON =
    "P4VOverrides" : {
        "Connection/RefreshRate" : 20,
        "DisableJobsColumn": true
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