These are the docs for the Metabase master branch. Some features documented here may not yet be available in the latest release. Check out the docs for the latest version, Metabase v0.50.

Configuration file

Loading from a configuration file is only available on Pro and Enterprise plans (only on self-hosted plans).

On self-hosted Pro and Enterprise plans, Metabase supports initialization on launch from a config file named config.yml. The config file should be located at:

  • The current directory (the directory where the running Metabase JAR is located).
  • The path specified by the MB_CONFIG_FILE_PATH environment variable.

The settings as defined in the config file work the same as if you set these settings in the Admin Settings in your Metabase. Settings defined in this configuration file will update any existing settings. If, for example, a database already exists (that is, you’d already added it via the initial set up or Admin settings > Databases, Metabase will update the database entry based on the data in the config file).

The config file settings are not treated as a hardcoded source of truth (like environment variables are). Settings set by environment variables cannot be changed, even in the Admin settings in the application itself.

Config setup

The config file is split up into sections: version and config. Under config, you can specify:

Like so:

version: 1
config:
  settings:
    - ...
  users:
    - ...
  databases:
    - ...

The config file must also include a version key, which is just a convenience field for you to help you keep track of your config file versions.

Users

The first user created in a Metabase instance is an Admin. The first user listed in the config file may be designated an admin, but not necessarily. If someone has already spun up and logged into that Metabase for the first time, Metabase will make that first user an admin. Additionally, you can specify a user account as an admin by using the is_superuser: true key.

In the following example, assuming that the Metabase hasn’t already been set up (which creates the first user) both users first@example.com and admin@example.com will be admins: first@example.com because it’s the first user account on the list, and admin@example.com because that user has the is_superuser flag set to true.

version: 1
config:
  users:
    - first_name: First
      last_name: Person
      password: metabot1
      email: first@example.com
    - first_name: Normal
      last_name: Person
      password: metabot1
      email: normal@example.com
    - first_name: Admin
      last_name: Person
      password: metabot1
      is_superuser: true
      email: admin@example.com

If the Metabase has already been set up, then first @example.com will be loaded as a normal user.

Databases

On a new Metabase, the example below sets up an admin user account and one database connection.


version: 1
config:
  users:
    - first_name: Cam
      last_name: Era
      password: 2cans3cans4cans
      email: cam@example.com
  databases:
    - name: test-data (Postgres)
      engine: postgres
      details:
        host: localhost
        port: 5432
        user: dbuser
        password: "{{ env POSTGRES_TEST_DATA_PASSWORD }}"
        dbname: test-data

To determine which keys you can specify for a database, check out the fields available in Metabase itself for the database that you want to add.

Setting up uploads on a database

You can also configure uploads in the config file with the following settings:

  • uploads_enabled: Boolean
  • uploads_schema_name: String
  • uploads_table_prefix: String

Here’s an example:


version: 1
config:
  users:
    - first_name: Cam
      last_name: Era
      password: 2cans3cans4cans
      email: cam@example.com
  databases:
    - name: test-data (Postgres)
      engine: postgres
      details:
        host: localhost
        port: 5432
        user: dbuser
        password: "{{ env POSTGRES_TEST_DATA_PASSWORD }}"
        dbname: test-data
      uploads_enabled: true
      uploads_schema_name: uploads
      uploads_table_prefix: uploads_

See Uploads.

Referring to environment variables in the config.yml

As shown in the Databases examples above, environment variables can be specified with {{ template-tags }} like {{ env POSTGRES_TEST_DATA_PASSWORD }} or [[options {{template-tags}}]].

Metabase doesn’t support recursive expansion, so if one of your environment variables references another environment variable, you’re going to have a bad time.

Disable initial database sync

When loading a data model from a serialized export, you want to disable the scheduler so that the Metabase doesn’t try to sync.

To disable the initial database sync, you can add config-from-file-sync-database to the settings list and set the value to false. The setting config-from-file-sync-database must come before the databases list, like so:

version: 1
config:
  settings:
    config-from-file-sync-databases: false
  databases:
    - name: my-database
      engine: postgres
      details: ...

Settings

In this config file, you can specify any Admin setting.

In general, the settings you can set in the settings section of this config file map to the environment variables, so check them out to see which settings you can use in your config file. The actual key that you include in the config file differs slightly from the format used for environment variables. For environment variables, the form is in screaming snake case, prefixed by an MB:

MB_NAME_OF_VARIABLE

Whereas in the config file, you’d translate that to:

name-of-variable

So for example, if you wanted to specify the MB_EMAIL_FROM_NAME in the config.yml file:

version: 1
config:
  settings:
    config-from-file-sync-databases: false
    email-from-name: Stampy von Mails-a-lot
  databases:
    - name: my-database
      engine: h2
      details: ...

Just to give you an idea for some settings, here’s an incomplete list of settings you can set via the config file:

application-colors
config-from-file-sync-databases
check-for-updates
experimental-enable-actions
persisted-model-refresh-cron-schedule
email-smtp-host
email-smtp-username
start-of-week
email-smtp-password
email-smtp-port
query-caching-min-ttl
email-from-name
email-from-address
email-reply-to
premium-embedding-token
follow-up-email-sent
persisted-models-enabled
site-locale
application-name
settings-last-updated
instance-creation
enable-public-sharing
enable-embedding
embedding-secret-key
jwt-group-sync
anon-tracking-enabled
snowplow-available
jwt-enabled
google-auth-enabled
redirect-all-requests-to-https
site-url
site-name

But you can set any of the Admin settings with the config file. Check out the list of environment variable to see what you can configure (though note that not all environment variables can be set via the config file.)

Loading a new Metabase from a config file

Since loading from a config file is a Pro/Enterprise feature: for new installations, you’ll need to supply Metabase with a token using the MB_PREMIUM_EMBEDDING_TOKEN environment variable.

MB_PREMIUM_EMBEDDING_TOKEN="[your token]" java -jar metabase.jar

Read docs for other versions of Metabase.

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