Manually change default configuration settings

If the console attached to your UNIX or Linux® operating system computer does not support a Java-based graphical user interface, you must edit the cogstartup.xml to configure IBM® Cognos® Analytics to work in your environment.

Important: Some configuration settings are not saved in the cogstartup.xml file unless you use the graphical user interface. For example, the server time zone is not set for your IBM Cognos components when you modify the cogstartup.xml file directly and then run IBM Cognos Configuration in silent mode. In this case, other user settings that rely on the server time zone may not operate as expected.

If you want IBM Cognos Analytics to use a resource, such as an authentication provider that already exists in your environment, you can add a component to your configuration. You do this by copying the required XML code from the sample files into the cogstartup.xml file and then edit the values to suit your environment.

By default, the cogstartup.xml file is encoded using UTF-8. When you save the cogstartup.xml file, ensure that you change the encoding of your user locale to match the encoding used. The encoding of your user locale is set by your environment variables.

When you edit the cogstartup.xml file, remember that XML is case-sensitive. Case is important in all uses of text, including element and attribute labels, elements and values.

Before you edit the cogstartup.xml file, ensure that you

  • make a backup copy
  • create the content store on an available computer in your network
  • review the configuration requirements for your installation type


  1. Go to the install_location/configuration directory.
  2. Open the cogstartup.xml file in an editor.
  3. Find the configuration setting you want to change by looking at the help and description comments that appear before the start tag of the <crn:parameter> elements.
  4. Change the value of the <crn:value> element to suit your environment.
    Tip: Use the type attribute to help you determine the data type for the configuration property.
  5. Repeat steps 3 to 4 until the configuration values are appropriate your environment.
  6. Save and close the file.


You should now use a validating XML editor to validate your changes against the rules in the cogstartup.xsd file, located in the install_location/configuration.