VSS Options, a Brief Architectural Overview


In Visual SourceSafe, the values of options–such as those visible in the
Options dialog box–are stored in one of two initialization files: SRCSAFE.ini
or SS.ini. You can find SRCSAFE.ini in the root VSS installation
directory (e.g., C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio\VSS) and you can
find SS.ini in the ..\users\username folder for each VSS user.
SRCSAFE.ini contains global settings that apply to all users whereas
SS.ini contains user-specific settings.


When you perform a SourceSafe command–via the Explorer, Admin, or command
line interfaces–the program queries SRCSAFE.ini and SS.ini for
command-conditioning options. In the case of a Checkout operation for example,
SRCSAFE.ini is interrogated for the value of the Multiple_Checkouts variable. If
yes, the program does one thing. If no, it does something else.


I plan to explore the history, function, and recommended settings for some of
the more important, intriguing, problematic, and undocumented initialization
variables in subsequent posts, probably starting with Force_Dir: my
favorite.  Stay Tuned.


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Comments (3)

  1. Mark Hurley says:

    I’ve been following your VSS discoveries like an Indiana Jones movie…

    Happen to know these answers (sorry no bonus questions)…off the top of your head? 🙂

    1) I’ve been wanting to know for a while how to default the login window with my name. Even better, how about bypassing the login screen on startup?

    2) Oh wait…I have another, how can I invoke (a C "exports" DLL is fine) and obtain the most recent commits for today, and iterate thru them? I have a method to my madness.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Link to Related Post

  3. Peggy Ochs says:

    I need to know more about Visual SourceSafe – what is the "old db format" and "new db format". It never really says what kind of database (access, sql server, etc) either are.

    I’d like to be able to create the Visual SourceSafe repository as a SQL Server database but I’m not sure how to. More than anything though, I’d like to know the format of the database so it can be managed through some tool.

    Can you provide me any of that information.