Many of the operating parameters of VODesktop are controlled by configuration settings. Each setting has a name, and a value.

The available configuration settings are listed in the file config.txt. An equivalent file that contains the current setting values can be generated from VODesktop by using the -list commandline flag (see Commandline).

Changing Configuration

The configuration of VODesktop can be altered in a number of ways.

Preferences Dialogue

A subset of the most useful configuration settings can be edited using the VODesktop Preferences Dialogue. Configuration changes made using this dialogue persist between invocations of VODesktop.

Preferences Webform

This is a web-form that provides equivalent functionality to the preferences dialogue - it lists the same set of configuration settings, and any changes made persist between invocations. It's convenient to use in a headless setting where the preference dialogue cannot be displayed. The web-form can be accessed at the preferences page relative to the context url given in the file ~/.astrogrid-desktop. Alternatively, navigate to the context url given in ~/.astrogrid-desktop, from where there's a link to the preferences webform.


The configuration can also be altered using the commandline. See Commandline for details of the flags. Any configuration changes made via the commandline apply only for that invocation of VODesktop: they override any configuration provided using the preferences dialogue, but these overrides do not persist between invocations.

Note: the output of the -list commandline flag can be saved to file, edited, and then used to configure VODesktop by passing it in using the -propertyFile or -propertyURL commandline arguments


Disabling parts of the application

Many of the components of VODesktop and Astro Runtime can be disabled by setting commandline properties. For example, to disable RMI access to Astro Runtime, set the configuration property system.rmi.disabled to true. Some of the other keys that can be used in the same way are.

astrogrid.myspace.disabledremove support for myspace
astrogrid.loginDialogue.disableddisable the login dialogue - all logins must be programmatic
plastic.hub.disableddisable the internal PLASTIC hub
system.preference.servlet.disableddisable the preferences web-form
system.webservice.disableddisable the internal webserver (which in turn will disable HTTP and XML-RPC access, PLASTIC, and preferences web-form)
system.xmlrpc.disableddisable XML-RPC access to AstroRuntime
system.rmi.disableddisable RMI access to Astro Runtime
system.html.disableddisable the HTML (HTTP) access to AstroRuntime
system.systray.disableddisable support for the system tray
util.selftest.disableddisable selftesting
Inspect the Hivedoc for other components that can be disabled in the same way.

Contribution to Configuration Points

More extensive configuration - such as providing new plugins and extensions to the application - can be achieved by using commandline parameters to add additional Hivemind descriptors. See Extending VODesktop.


Within the code, individual configuration settings are modelled by org.astrogrid.desktop.modules.system.pref.Preference objects. These are produced and managed by org.astrogrid.desktop.modules.system.pref.PreferenceManagerImpl. Individual preferences are declared and documented in the hivemind configuration framework.preferences, and are available to be passed into other components using the preference: prefix.