In this article, we will explain what are the configuration descriptor files that Artifactory uses and how it uses them.
Artifactory saves its configuration in the file called "artifactory.config.latest.xml". When running, Artifactory saves the configuration changes to this file and to the DataBase.
When Artifactory starts, it searches for a file named "artifactory.config.import.xml" and if it does not find one, it loads the configuration from the DataBase. This mechanism was introduced in order to gain the ability to edit the configuration of Artifactory and import it, or if the config descriptor is corrupted or missing somehow.
If you create a file and name it "artifactory.config.import.xml", on startup Artifactory will backup the "artifactory.config.latest.xml" by renaming it "artifactory.config.<timestamp>.xml" and then load the configuration found in the file "artifactory.config.import.xml", and rename it to "artifactory.config.bootstrap.xml". This "artifactory.config.bootstrap.xml" only serves as a backup for the imported configuration, and from now on, the new configuration will be saved to the "artifactory.config.latest.xml" and the DataBase as per the usual mechanism of the configuration files in Artifactory.
If you would like to change the configuration you will need to make a copy of the "artifactory.config.latest.xml" file and name it "artifactory.config.import.xml" where you would make your changes. Then, on next restart, Artifactory will load the configuration changes you made.
Please note that we do not recommend making manual changes to the configuration file often since to import these changes you will need to restart Artifactory and also in order to avoid corruption issues.
To make configuration changes without using Artifactory's UI you may use the Artifactory REST API to make changes without the need to edit these files.