Configuration in the Mattermost Database

A new configuration option was added in 5.10 release to use the database as the single source of truth for the active configuration of your Mattermost installation. This changes the Mattermost binary from reading the default config.json file to reading the configuration settings stored within a configuration table in the database.

Mattermost has been running our community server on this option since the feature was released, and recommends its use for those on High Availability deployments.

Benefits to using this option:

  • Conveniently manage configuration changes directly from the System Console, even in High Availability deployments and read-only containerized environments.
  • Ensure all servers in a High Availability deployment have the same configuration, even when new servers are added to the cluster.
  • Automatically deploy SAML certificates and keys to all servers in the cluster.

How to Migrate Configuration to the Database

These instructions cover migrating the Mattermost configuration to the database and updating your systemd configuration to load it from the database.


These instructions assume you have Mattermost server installed at /opt/mattermost. If you’re running Mattermost in a different directory you’ll have to modify the paths to match your environment.

Get your database connection string

The first step is to get your master database connection string. There are several ways to do this, but the easiest is to use the mattermost config get command:

sudo su mattermost
cd /opt/mattermost
bin/mattermost config get SqlSettings.DataSource

Example output:

SqlSettings.DataSource: "mmuser:really_secure_password@tcp(,utf8\u0026readTimeout=30s\u0026writeTimeout=30s"


Be sure to run this command as the mattermost user and not root. Running the Mattermost binary as root will cause permissions errors.

Another way is to view your config.json file and get the value in SqlSettings.DataSource.

If SqlSettings.DataSource does not start with postgres:// then you have to add mysql:// to the beginning. Also, if you see \u0026 replace it with &.

Here are two example connection strings:





Create an environment file


If you’re running Mattermost in a High Availability cluster this step must be done on all servers in the cluster.

Create the file /opt/mattermost/config/mattermost.environment to set the MM_CONFIG environment variable to the database connection string. For example:






Be sure to escape any single quotes in the database connection string by placing a \ in front of them like this \'. For example: MM_CONFIG='mysql://mmuser:it\'s-a-password!@tcp(,utf8&readTimeout=30s&writeTimeout=30s'


Finally, run this command to verify the permissions on your Mattermost directory:

sudo chown -R mattermost:mattermost /opt/mattermost

Modify the Mattermost systemd file

First, find the mattermost.service file using:

sudo systemctl status mattermost.service

The second line of output will have the location of the running mattermost.service.

Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/mattermost.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)

Edit this file as root to add the below text just above the line that begins with ExecStart:


Here’s a complete mattermost.service file with the EnvironmentFile line added:





If you’re using PostgreSQL as your database, the mysql.service must be replaced with postgresql.service. The easiest way to avoid making a mistake is to add only the EnvironmentFile line and not copy the entire example.

Migrate configuration from config.json


If you’re using a High Availability cluster you only need to run this on a single server in the cluster.

The command to migrate the config to the database should always be run as the mattermost user.

sudo su mattermost
cd /opt/mattermost
bin/mattermost config migrate ./config/config.json 'mysql://mmuser:mostest@tcp(,utf8&readTimeout=30s&writeTimeout=30s'

As with the environment file you’ll have to escape any single quotes in the database connection string. Also, any existing SAML certificates will be migrated into the database as well so they are available for all servers in the cluster.

With configuration in the database enabled, any changes to the configuration are recorded to the Configurations and ConfigurationFiles tables. Furthermore, ClusterSettings.ReadOnlyConfig is ignored, enabling full use of the System Console.

If you have configuration settings that must be set on a per-server basis you should add them as environment variables to the mm.environment file. These must be on their own line, and you must escape them properly.

Verify that the configuration was migrated correctly

Configurations are stored in the Configurations table in the database. To verify that you’ve migrated the configuration successfully run this query:

SELECT * FROM Configurations WHERE Active = 1;

There should be exactly one line returned, and the Value field for that line should match your config.json file.

Reload systemd files and restart Mattermost


If you’re running Mattermost in High Availability this step must be run on all servers in the cluster.

Finally, run these commands to reload the daemon and restart Mattermost using the new MM_CONFIG environment variable.

sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl restart mattermost

Rolling back

If you run into issues with your configuration in the database you can roll back to the config.json file by commenting out the MM_CONFIG line in /opt/mattermost/config/mm.environment and restarting Mattermost with systemctl restart mattermost.


Providing the --disableconfigwatch flag while not actually pointing at a file will fail to start the server with an appropriate error message.