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Can I export custom general settings from my QGIS installation to a file so that I can transfer the settings to QGIS on a different computer? Does QGIS have them already saved to a file located somewhere on hard disk?


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The only thing you can transfer theoretically without problem is qgis.db (in .qgis/) as long as there are the same version of QGIS.

As this is a SQLite database, you can open it to see what's inside


and it is possible to observe that there are only informations about the projections systems used by a particular version of QGIS (one for QGIS 1.8 and another for the QGIS master version in my case), with also the custom CRS you have defined.

enter image description here

If you know SQLite, it it not difficult to export your custom CRS and import them in another SQLite database.

For the rest, it depends on the operating system (see QGIS Configuration)

  • Linux: settings are saved in a text file: $HOME/.config/QuantumGIS/qgis.conf
  • Mac OS X: settings are saved in a plist file: $HOME/Library/Preferences/org.qgis.qgis.plist
  • Windows: settings are stored in the registry, as already mentioned

For example, details of the plist file of QGIS 1.8 on Mac OS X with some of the wms services I use :


Now, how to export this settings ?

  • you can use a project file which stores all the elements (layers, styles,etc.) in an XML file (.qgs). Here, one of the wms services saved in my settings

qgs file

  • you can use style files (.qml, also XML) but if you use SVG symbols, you also need to copy them
  • and if you know Python, you can also extract what you want from an XML file (plist file), a text file (.conf file) and even from the registry database.
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This isn't correct. You can move all the settings that QGIS has to another machine without any major issues. Of course if you have paths that are different that isn't going to work, but you can just export the settings in registry in windows and import it on another machine. – Nathan W Jul 6 '13 at 4:48
I don't work on Windows (too complicated with the registry) and I have no problems with plist or conf files – gene Jul 7 '13 at 11:35
I was mainly referring to this The only thing you can transfer theoretically without problem is qgis.db. – Nathan W Jul 7 '13 at 11:41
On Mac OS X, I can parse the plist file (XML structure) and transfer the desired keys (wms for example) to the org.qgis.QGIS2.plist file of another Mac. – gene Jul 7 '13 at 11:56

Good Question! If i am not heavily mistaken, the QGIS settings are stored inside a SQLite3 database named "qgis.db".
You can find this file inside the QGIS profile folder (which is by default inside /home/username/.qgis on Linux and in C:/Documents and Properties/username/.qgis in Windows ). If you just copy this file to a different computer within the same folder structure than QGIS should recognize the settings (given that you use the same QGIS version)

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Quantum GIS also writes a lot of things into the registry under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\QuantumGIS. – AndreJ Apr 9 '13 at 12:36
The settings are stored under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\QuantumGIS like @AndreJoost said. – Nathan W Apr 9 '13 at 12:47
Where are those setting stored on non-Windows systems? In /etc/ ? – Curlew Apr 9 '13 at 13:01
In Ubuntu, the qgis.db is located in /usr/share/qgis/resources – AndreJ Apr 9 '13 at 15:10
On Debian it is located in the profile-folder by default ".qgis/qgis.db". Strange... – Curlew Apr 9 '13 at 16:11

What general settings from QGIS do you want to transfer?

In settings->customization you can customize QGIS framework, save it to a file and then on another computer load it again.

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in windows, stored in the registry, so export as .reg file; then on another PC or on the same after a crash just double-clic on the .reg file

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Many people use custom keyboard shortcuts for some features (Settings -> Configure Shortcuts).

If you need to transfer QGIS to another computer, don't forget to save and restore them, also!

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So the answers on this thread are outdated, which is fine as it is an old thread, but is the first one to appear for me on Google.

So the latest posted by Nathan Woodrow can be found at:

"QGIS provides --optionspath and --configpath command line options in order to move the .qgis2 and settings files. Using these two options, or just the one depending on what you need, will allow you to store the QGIS settings in a different location. Rather then storing the settings in the registry, or .config and .plist files, it will create a .ini file and save everything there."

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