Porter’s configuration system has a precedence order:

  • Flags (highest)
  • Environment Variables
  • Config File (lowest)

You may set a default value for a configuration value in the config file, override it in a shell session with an environment variable and then override both in a particular command with a flag.



--debug is a flag that is understood not only by the porter client but also the runtime and most mixins. They may use it to print additional information that may be useful when you think you may have found a bug, when you want to know what commands they are executing, or when you need really verbose output to send to the developers.

Debug Plugins

--debug-plugins controls if logs related to communication between porter and its plugins should be printed when debugging. This can be very verbose, so it is not turned on by default when debug is true.


--output controls the format of the output printed by porter. Each command supports a different set of allowed outputs though usually there is some combination of: table, json and yaml.

Allow Docker Host Access

--allow-docker-host-access controls whether or not the local Docker daemon should be made available to executing bundles. This flag is available for the following commands: install, upgrade, invoke and uninstall. When this value is set to true, bundles are executed in a privileged container with the docker socket mounted. This allows you to use Docker from within your bundle, such as docker push, docker-compose, or docker-in-docker.

🚨 There are security implications to enabling access! You should trust any bundles that you execute with this setting enabled as it gives them elevated access to the host machine.

⚠️️ This configuration setting is only available when you are in an environment that provides access to the local docker daemon. Therefore it does not work with the Azure Cloud Shell driver.

Environment Variables

Flags have corresponding environment variables that you can use so that you don’t need to manually set the flag every time. The flag will default to the value of the environment variable, when defined.

--flag has a corresponding environment variable of PORTER_FLAG

For example, you can set PORTER_DEBUG=true and then all subsequent porter commands will act as though the --debug flag was passed.

Config File

Common settings can be defaulted in the config file. The config file is located in the PORTER_HOME directory (~/.porter), is named config and can be in any of the following file types: JSON, TOML, YAML, HCL, envfile and Java Properties files.

Below is an example configuration file in TOML


debug = true
debug-plugins = true
output = "json"
allow-docker-host-access = true