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Using a Desktop Policy to set notes.ini and Location parameters

Technote (FAQ)


The Desktop Policy contains a variety of settings that can be passed down to the user's system. If the available options do not include a desired parameter is there a way to add it to the Desktop policy?


Options include:

  • Assigning notes.ini variables
  • Assigning Location document settings
    Assigning notes.ini variables
You can use a Desktop Policy settings document to add or set notes.ini variables for Notes client users. This is an easy way to assign notes.ini variables to all Notes client users, or to a specific subset of Notes client users, at one time.

Note: The current functionality does not currently provide a method to remove an entry, or to set an entry to a null or a "" value.

How to
To use a policy to assign a notes.ini value to Notes client users, use the Domino Designer to add a new field to the Desktop Policy settings document. The new field must be named $PrefVariableName, where VariableName is the name of the notes.ini variable you want to set.

In the new field on the Desktop Policy settings document, enter the value you want assigned to that notes.ini variable. That is the value that is set in the notes.ini for the assigned Notes users.

For example, assume that you want to use a policy settings document to add a font size setting of 5 to your notes.ini file. To change the font setting, do the following:

  1. From the Domino Designer, open the Desktop Policy settings document form.
  2. Create a new field named $PrefDisplay_font_adjustment.
  3. Assign a value of 5 to the field $PrefDisplay_font_adjustment.
  4. Save and exit.

32 character maximum
The maximum length of a field name is limited to 32 characters so this method can only be used to add INI parameters that are 27 characters or less. Don't_Use_Remembered_address is an example of a notes.ini that cannot use this method to update the INI. Because of this limitation, SPR #RCFE74HMWJ was submitted to Quality Engineering to review limiting the character length of client-specific ini variables.

If this limitation applies to you, you may prefer to review a scripted solution, as in shown in technote #1210786.

If a scripted button is not an option, you can review using script similar to the following within the postopen event of a server database that the users would use, such as their mailfiles:

Dim s As New NotesSession
Call s.SetEnvironmentVar("IM_DCC_NOUPDATE_FROM_PERSONDOC","1")

[Designer Help indicates: If the environment variable noted already exists, it gets the new value, otherwise, a new environment variable is added to the notes.ini (or Notes Preferences) file.]

This script could be removed at a later date once the script has had a chance to be utilized within
your environment.

Assigning Location document settings
You can use Desktop Policy settings documents to set field value in users' current Location documents.

This can be done by adding a new field to the policy settings document using the Domino Designer. The new field must be named LocAllVariableName, where VariableName is the name of the field you are setting in the Location documents.

In the new field on the Policy settings document, enter the value you want assigned to that Location document field. This new value is set on the assigned users' clients the next time they authenticate with their home server.


  • Some settings require that the Notes client be restarted in order for the settings to take affect.
  • For more information about adding the new field to Desktop Policy settings document, see the Domino Designer documentation.
The value will be applied to all of the users' Location documents.

Detailed steps on how to create a custom Desktop Policy to change a Location document setting.

This example will copy a field from the Location document to a Policy Settings document. When you assign a Policy to the user with this setting it will change the time zone setting on their Location document.

To test this, first set the following field on the test user's Location document on their client machine to No:

Use operating system's time zone setting -> No
  1. Using the Domino Designer client, open any Personal Address Book. Select File -> Database -> Open. Set the following:

    Server: Local
    Database: user name's Address Book
    Filename: names.nsf
  2. Click Open. Once in the design, expand the "Forms" folder on the left and double-click the "Location" form to put it in edit mode. The "Location" document should display in the big area on the right.
  3. Open the "Advanced" tab, and copy the first line (text and radio button). Copy this line:

    "Use operating system's time zone settings: UseOSTz"
  4. Next, open the Domino directory in the Domino Designer client. Select File -> Database -> Open. Set the following:

    Server: servername (this should be the Registration / Administration server of the domain:
    Database: domain's Address Book
    Filename: names.nsf
  5. Once in the design, expand the "Forms" folder on the left and double-click the "Policy setting / Desktop Setting" form to put it in edit mode. The "Desktop Setting" document should display in the big area on the right.
  6. Open the "Basics" tab.
  7. Add a row in the "Basics" tab after the row with "Description". Select the row "Description" and select Table -> Append row.
  8. Select the new row and paste. Answer "Yes" at the prompt. This will paste the text and radio button into the row.
  9. Right-click the "UseOSTz" field. Change the field properties name to "LocAllUseOSTz" and at the bottom of the page change the default value to "1". Include the double quotes.
  10. Save and close the "Deskop settings" document.
  11. Create a new Desktop Settings document. You should see the "Use operating system's time zone settings:" field set to Yes.
  12. Create a new Explicit Desktop Policy and select the Desktop Settings document.
  13. Assign the policy to the user.
  14. Replicate the Domino directory to the user's mail server - "replicate mail-servername names.nsf."
  15. Close down all of the Notes and Designer clients and restart the client machine.
  16. Check the user's Location document -> Advanced tab. To open the current Location document, select the Location document area of the status bar (bottom right) and choose "Edit Current." The settings should be "Yes."

Supporting information
The information in this technote can also be found in the Notes Domino 6.5.4 Release Notes and in the Domino Administrator 7.x Help file (Contents -> User and Server Configuration -> Policies -> Using Policies to assign Notes.ini or Location document settings to Notes client users). Note: The Notes Domino 6.5.4 Release Notes incorrectly indicates that the LocAll variables should have a $ prefix.

Additional method to add custom settings
An Administrator could also choose to add desired $Pref and LocAll settings directly to a Desktop Policy Settings document using an agent, rather than modifying the form.

For example, if you wanted to set the Notes.INI value for Display_font_adjustment, you would create a Formula agent (set to a Target of Selected Documents) with the formula:
    FIELD $PrefDisplay_font_adjustment:="5"

You would then apply the agent to the desired Desktop Policy Settings document.

The disadvantage of this method is that if you were to edit the Desktop Policy Settings document using the user interface you would not see, or be able to edit, the added fields/settings. This could lead to support or usability issues in the future. You would then need to use an additional agent to reset or remove the setting fields added via an agent previously.

Document information

More support for: IBM Domino

Software version: 6.5, 7.0, 8.0, 8.5, 9.0

Operating system(s): AIX, IBM i, Linux, Solaris, Windows

Reference #: 1196837

Modified date: 19 February 2010