I have multiple computers with QGIS installed on them. I regularly use the same WMS / WFS services. Now I have to connect to these services for each QGIS installation separately.

It would be great if there was a way to place the configuration for connections in the QGIS browser on a centralised locations (such as a NAS). That way I could access the same connections from every QGIS installation without having to add them manually every time.

Is this possible and, if so, how?

  • What platform are you on? – Nathan W Feb 23 '14 at 9:48
  • Good point: OSx, ubuntu and sometimes Windows (to keep things simple). However, if I can arrange it for OSx and Ubuntu, I'm a happy camper. I have a NAS where I could store the configuration (if possible). – Mark Verschuur Feb 23 '14 at 9:54

Normally on each OS QGIS will install the settings in a different location, however there is a switch you can start QGIS with to redirect these settings.

When you start QGIS you can start it with the --optionspath and --configpath switches which you can point to a different location.

QGIS will now create all the settings in a ini format and move the .qgis2 folder. You can just move the settings if you like but if you want to have a sycned QGIS over all your install just move both then everything is always there, plugins and all.

So an example would be:

qgis --optionspath "X:\mynat\qgis" --configpath "X:\mynat\qgis"

Now on each machine you start QGIS with these args and they will all point to the same place keeping each one in sync.


  • and this will make a good blog post. Added to the todo list. – Nathan W Feb 23 '14 at 11:40
  • Sounds good! I will try that! – Mark Verschuur Feb 24 '14 at 8:00
  • 1
    I just tried --settingspath and --optionspath with QGIS 2.0 (osgeo4w) on Win 7, but I think I'm doing something wrong here. Just adding --optionspath "C:\new\user\folder" kind of works, but QGIS will create a new default profile at the designated folder instead of migrating mine. Adding --settingspath "C:\new\user\folder" won't do anything and causes these error messages: "The layer Z:\OSGeo\bin\--settingspath is not a valid layer and can not be added to the map" and "The layer C:\new\user\folder\ is not a valid layer and can not be added to the map". – SAnderka Feb 27 '14 at 10:29
  • Sorry it was --configpath – Nathan W Feb 27 '14 at 10:37
  • Yes it wont migrate them for you but let me look into that there should be a way. – Nathan W Feb 27 '14 at 10:46

One slightly different way to approach this is Mapproxy.


This enables you take WMS feeds from different sources and add them to your own WMS service. You then just need to add this one wms to QGIS.

There is also the possibility of setting up a cache as well so that should help speed things up too.

  • Will that also work for WFS? – Mark Verschuur Feb 23 '14 at 10:14
  • Unfortunately it is only for wms I believe – James S Feb 23 '14 at 18:07

Things have changed quite a bit in the newer QGIS versions.

In the current LTR (3.10) you can

  • have a look at the globalsettingsfile flag. You can specify the path for a Global Settings file (.ini), also known as the Default Settings. The settings in the specified file replace the original inline default ones, but the user profiles’ settings will be set on top of those

  • use an organisation deployment customized file and set the environment variable QGIS_GLOBAL_SETTINGS_FILE to the path of your customized file.

and from 3.14 you'll be able to put a global settings file also in the default location managed by the user or system administrator which is not touched by the installer and does not require any additional setup like passing command-line parameters or settings environment variable. Only the first found file will be used. On Linux AppData location usually is $HOME/.local/share/QGIS/QGIS3, on Windows %AppData%\Roaming\QGIS\QGIS3

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