In this article you can find description of parameters in rancid.conf. By changing parameters in this file you can impact the way RANCID will behave, collect and process collected information. You can also define type of version control repository and email notifications as well as many other option.


Information in this article are from rancid.conf(5) man pages included with RANCID.

RCSSYS - Revision Control System

Identifies which version control system is used by RANCID to store config collections.

Allowed values are:

  • cvs – Concurrent Versions System
  • svn – Subversion
# Select which RCS system to use, "cvs" (default) or "svn".  Do not change
# this after CVSROOT has been created with rancid-cvs.  Changing between these
# requires manual conversions.
RCSSYS=cvs; export RCSSYS

NOTE: Make sure that repository type is set to correct versioning system which will be used.

FILTER_PWDS - Password Filtering

This parameter determines which password will be filtered from configs collected by RANCID. Values can be set are:

  • NO – does not filter any password. All passwords are included in configs in RANCID repository
  • YES – passwords which are stored in plain-text or using reversible enryption method will be removed from configs.
  • ALL – all password will be removed from configs
# FILTER_PWDS determines which passwords are filtered from configs by the
# value set (NO | YES | ALL).  see rancid.conf(5).

NOTE: When setting password filtering be aware that RANCID is sending configuration and changes via email, so including any passwords is not recommended

ACLSORT - Sorting ACLs

# if ACLSORT is NO, access-lists will NOT be sorted.

NOTE: Make sure that ACL sort is set the way you want

NOCOMMSTR - SNMP Community String

Filters SNMP community strings from configs. Can have two settings:

  • NO – allows to store SNMP community string in configs collected by RANCID
  • YES – removes SNMP community string from configs collected by RANCID

By default this parameter is set to NO, so community strings will be stored in configs collected by RANCID.

# if NOCOMMSTR is set, snmp community strings will be stripped from the configs

NOTE: Make sure that SNMP community string is set to correct value (depends if you want to have community strings in repository or not)

LIST_OF_GROUPS - Groups of devices

# list of rancid groups

BASEDIR - Main folder for RANCID files

BASEDIR is the directory where rancid-run’s log directory, the revision control system’s repository, and rancid group directories will be placed. Its value is configure’s localstatedir and should be modified if rancid is moved to a new location in the file system without re-installing from the distribution.

Default: /var/lib/rancid

CVSROOT - Location of version repositories

cvs(1) and rancid-cvs(1) use this environment variable to locate the CVS repository.  In some cases, and for Subversion, it is used as an argument to commands.  It  should not be necessary to alter it. Default: $BASEDIR/CVS

LOCKTIME - Time to wait until reportgroup lock error

Defines the number of hours a group’s lock file may age before rancid starts to complain about a hung collection.  The default is 4 hours.

LOGDIR - Directory for RANCID logs

Directory where rancid-run places log files.

Default: $BASEDIR/logs

MAILDOMAIN - Defines email domain

Define  the  domain part of addresses for administrative and diff e-mail.  The value of this variable is simply appended to the normal mail addresses.  For example rancid-usfs@example.com, if MAILDOMAIN had been set to “@example.com”.

MAILHEADERS - Additional mail headers

Define additional mail headers to be added to rancid mail, such as Precedence or X- style headers.  Individual headers must be separated by a n (new line).

Default: Precedence: bulk

Example: Precedence: bulknX-clamation: beef cake

MAX_ROUNDS - Number of retry attempts

Defines how many times rancid should retry collection of devices that fail.  The minimum is 1.

Default: 4

NOPIPE - Temporary files vs. IPC

If set, rancid(1) will use temporary files to save the output from the router and then read these to build the file which will be saved in CVS (or Subversion).  Otherwise, an IPC pipe will be used.  We have found that the buffering mechanisms used in perl and expect are heinous.  Using temporary files may result in a  noticeable  improvement in speed.  By default, this is not set.

OLDTIME - Failure report interval

Specified  as  a  number  of  hours, OLDTIME defines how many hours should pass since a successful collection of a device’s configuration and when control_rancid(1) should start complaining about failures.  The value should be greater than the number of hours between rancid-run cron runs.

Default: 24

PAR_COUNT - Failure report interval

Defines the number of rancid processes that par(1) will start simultaneously as control_rancid(1) attempts to perform collections.  Raising this value  will  decrease  the amount  of time necessary for a complete collection of a (or all) rancid groups at the expense of system load.  The default is relatively cautious.  If collections are not completing quickly enough for users, use trial and error of speed versus system load to find a suitable value.

Default: 5

TERM - Terminal type

Some  Unix  utilities  require  TERM,  the terminal type, to be set to a sane value.  Some clients, such as telnet(1) and ssh(1), communicate this to the server (i.e.: the remote device), thus this can affect the behavior of login sessions on a device.  The default should suffice.

Default: network

TMPDIR - Temporary files directory

TMPDIR Some Unix utilities recognize TMPDIR as a directory where temporary files can be stored.  In some cases, rancid utilizes this directory for lock files and other  temporary files.

Default: /tmp