Configuration Files


This tutorial page relies on completing the previous tutorials:


At the end of this tutorial you'll have set up a configuration file for Cromwell and used it to modify Cromwell's behavior.

Let's get started

Customizing Cromwell with Configuration Files

When Cromwell runs, it contains a large number of default options useful for getting started. For example, by default Cromwell doesn't require an external database while running all workflow jobs on your local machine.

Soon you may want to start storing the results of your Cromwell runs in an external MySQL database. Or, you may want to run jobs on your organizations compute farm, or even run jobs in the cloud via the Pipelines API. All of these changes to the defaults will be done by setting configuration values.

When you have many configuration settings you would like to set, you specify them in a custom configuration file. See the configuration page for more specific information on the configuration file, and for links to the example configuration file.

Configuration file syntax

Cromwell configuration files are written in a syntax called HOCON. See the HOCON documentation for more information on all the ways one can create a valid configuration file.

Creating your first configuration file

To get started customizing Cromwell via a configuration file, create a new empty text file, say your.conf. Then add this include at the top:

include required(classpath("application"))

The default Cromwell configuration values are set via Cromwell's application.conf. To ensure that you always have the defaults from the application.conf, you must include it at the top of your new configuration file.

Running Cromwell with your configuration file

Once you have created a new configuration file, you can pass the path to Cromwell by setting the system property config.file:

java -Dconfig.file=/path/to/your.conf -jar cromwell-[VERSION].jar server

Cromwell should start up as normal. As you haven't actually overridden any values yet, Cromwell should be running with the same settings.

Setting a configuration value

To override a configuration value, you can specify new values in your configuration file. For example, say you want to change the default port that cromwell listens from 8000 to 8080. In your config file you can set:

# below the include line from before
webservice {
  port = 8080

When you then run Cromwell updated config file, cromwell will now be listening on 8080 or 8000.

Finding more configuration properties

In addition to the common configuration properties listed on the configuration page, there are also a large number of example configuration stanzas commented in cromwell.examples.conf, and backend provider examples in cromwell.example.backends.


Next Steps

After completing this tutorial you might find the following pages interesting: