VanDyke Software



Using VShellConfig To Import and Export VShell® for Windows® Server Configuration Settings

If you're a network administrator, you might need to import or export VShell configuration settings for a couple of reasons, such as to move VShell from one Windows machine to another, or to build a backup server. To do this, you will be using a command-line utility called VShellConfig.

VShell configuration settings are stored in the Windows registry. There are additional files associated with VShell that also need to be exported. If you simply need a backup of your VShell settings, follow the instructions in step one below.

This tip includes instructions for VShell 3.0 and newer. If you need assistance with an earlier version of VShell, please contact .

Instructions for VShell 3.0 and newer

1. Export the configuration settings from the old machine.

  • On the old machine, stop the VShell service. Then, open a command prompt and run the VShellConfig executable using the export command. This will create a file called myfilename.xml in the current directory. A log file with the extension .log will be generated in the same location, containing any warnings or errors. The general format for VShellConfig command-line operations is: vshellconfig [operation]. Here is an example of the simplest command, which exports all settings and related files:

       vshellconfig export myfilename.xml

    Note: The VShell Installer installs VShellConfig into your VShell installation directory, and adds this directory to your path.

  • By default, the license registration along with the following additional files are included in the export: host keys, deny hosts list, message of the day, the authentication banner, and sub-configurations.

    Note: There are numerous VShellConfig options for including or excluding settings and files during import or export. For example, if you are installing VShell on multiple servers and want to avoid installing the same host key on all machines, you can exclude the host keys during export by using the following command:

            vshellconfig export --exclude host-keys myfilename.xml

    See the VShell Help file for additional import and export options that can be used to include or exclude settings or files.

    See the migration notes below for additional files that may need to be backed up or copied manually.

2. Install VShell on the new machine.

  • If the LSA Module was installed on the old machine, make sure that you also install the module to the new machine. You will need to reboot the machine in order for Windows to load the LSA Module.
  • Once VShell has been installed and has started, close the VShell Control Panel (if it is open) and stop the VShell service.

3. On the new machine, use VShellConfig to import the configuration settings.

  • Copy the XML file created by the export to the new machine or to a location where it can be read by the new machine.
  • Open a command prompt and run the VShellConfig executable using the import command:

         vshellconfig import myfilename.xml

    A log file containing any warnings or errors will be generated in the same location as the XML file.

4. Restart VShell on the new machine.

Subject to the migration notes below, your new copy of the VShell server should be ready to use.

Migration notes:

  • Access control for connections and certain VShell features will automatically be migrated for users and groups on remote domains as long as both the old machine and new machine have access to the remote domain. If a user or group in the local account domain is used for access control, you should re-create that user or group on the new machine before performing the import. During import, these users and groups will be reconciled to the new accounts on the new machine.
  • Any trigger scripts will need to be copied from the old machine to the configured location on the new machine. Trigger scripts may need to be reconfigured on the new machine to properly reference any different file locations.
  • If VShell is configured to use X.509 certificates, the new machine will need to have the root CA certificate installed as per instructions in the VShell Help under the "Use X.509 Certificates" topic. Also, any existing certificate map files will need to be copied from the old machine to the new machine.
  • The public keys uploaded by users are not included and should be copied manually.
  • By using the include and exclude options with VShellConfig, you can customize your import and export files. For example, you can create an export file that only contains the specific settings that you want to import to target machines. Alternatively, you could export all or most settings and then limit which settings are imported by using include or exclude options during the import operation.
  • The license agreement for VShell server allows you to create a backup server. If you have any questions about VShell licensing, please contact .