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Is there a possibility to reload the gwc-gs.xml configuration file manually? For example I changed <cacheLayersByDefault>true</cacheLayersByDefault> to false and reloaded the configuration at http://localhost:8082/gwc/demo but it has no effect on the user intreface.

I also tried to reload it via REST post request: enter image description here

The status code returns an OK but still there are no changes (here is a link to the Geowebcache documentation).

The reload works if the whole geoserver is restarted. Is it possible to reload the gwc-gs.xml file without restarting the geoserver or do i somehow have to reload the xml with a geoserver REST request?

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On the GeoServer Status page of the admin console, there are a few options for freeing a reloading things. http://docs.geoserver.org/stable/en/user/webadmin/server/status.html

Specifically I'd suggest the Configuration and catalog reload button should probably do what you want; it reloads all configuration and is similar to a restart without actually doing a restart. Resource Cache clearing can also be useful.

Be aware that while GeoServer is re-reading the config, it won't be responding to requests.

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    I tried this before but unfortunately it does not work. It seems like that the reload funnction (independet if you click in the GUI or reload directly with the REST api) doesn't reload the gwc-gs.xml. At the geoserver startup the line INFO [gwc.config] - Initializing GeoServer specific GWC configuration from gwc-gs.xml appers. While during a reload there is nothing with gwc-gs.xml. Probably the geoserver doesn't reload the file. – Martin Feb 11 '15 at 15:54
  • @Martin - Hmmm. Have you tried all the buttons on that page? (when in doubt; try it all! ;-) ). It's probably worth asking on the GeoServer Users mailing list then. – GIS-Jonathan Feb 11 '15 at 16:11
  • Jup I tried them all. I guess it is a bug. Because neither the reload function of the gwc rest api nor the geoserver rest api reloads this configuration xml. I will ask on the mailing list. But thank you anyway ;) – Martin Feb 11 '15 at 16:38

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