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There are multiple different kinds of configuration that go into getting a working registry system up and running. Broadly speaking, configuration works in two ways -- globally, for the entire sytem, and per-TLD. Global configuration is managed by editing code and deploying a new version, whereas per-TLD configuration is data that lives in Datastore in Registry entities, and is updated by running nomulus commands without having to deploy a new version.

Initial configuration

Here's a checklist of things that need to be configured upon initial installation of the project:

  • Create Google Cloud Storage buckets (see the Architecture documentation for more information).
  • Modify and set project-specific settings such as product name (see below).
  • Copy and edit with your project-specific settings (see below).


Before getting into the details of configuration, it's important to note that a lot of configuration is environment-dependent. It is common to see switch statements that operate on the current RegistryEnvironment, and return different values for different environments. This is especially pronounced in the UNITTEST and LOCAL environments, which don't run on App Engine at all. As an example, some timeouts may be long in production and short in unit tests.

See the Architecture documentation for more details on environments as used by Nomulus.

App Engine configuration

App Engine configuration isn't covered in depth in this document as it is thoroughly documented in the App Engine configuration docs. The main files of note that come pre-configured in Nomulus are:

  • cron.xml -- Configuration of cronjobs
  • web.xml -- Configuration of URL paths on the webserver
  • appengine-web.xml -- Overall App Engine settings including number and type of instances
  • datastore-indexes.xml -- Configuration of entity indexes in Datastore
  • queue.xml -- Configuration of App Engine task queues
  • application.xml -- Configuration of the application name and its services

Cron, web, and queue are covered in more detail in the "App Engine architecture" doc, and the rest are covered in the general App Engine documentation.

If you are not writing new code to implement custom features, is unlikely that you will need to make any modifications beyond simple changes to application.xml and appengine-web.xml. If you are writing new features, it's likely you'll need to add cronjobs, URL paths, Datastore indexes, and task queues, and thus edit those associated XML files.

Global configuration

Global configuration is managed through YAML files that are built with and deployed in the app. The full list of config options and their default values can be found in the default-config.yaml file. If you wish to change any of these values, do not edit this file. Instead, edit the environment configuration file named google/registry/config/files/nomulus-config-ENVIRONMENT.yaml, overriding only the options you wish to change. Nomulus ships with blank placeholders for all standard environments.

You will not need to change most of the default settings. Here is the subset of settings that you will need to change for all deployed environments, including development environments. See default-config.yaml for a full description of each option:

  projectId: # Your App Engine project ID
    hostName:  # Insert your project ID
    port: 443

  domainName: # Your G Suite domain name
  adminAccountEmailAddress: # An admin login for your G Suite account

For fully-featured production environments that need the full range of features (e.g. RDE, correct contact information on the registrar console, etc.) you will need to specify more settings. The nomulus-config-production-sample.yaml file contains an exhaustive list of all settings to override.

From a code perspective, all configuration settings ultimately come through the RegistryConfig class. This includes a Dagger module called ConfigModule that provides injectable configuration options. Some legacy configuration options that can be changed in this class include timeout lengths and buffer sizes for various tasks, email addresses and URLs to use for various services, more Cloud Storage bucket names, and WHOIS disclaimer text. Currently, in order to configure custom configuration, you need to copy ConfigModule, make changes to it, and include your new version instead of the default one in all Dagger components. All of these options will be replaced with YAML configuration settings in the near future.

OAuth 2 client id configuration

The open source Nomulus release uses OAuth 2 to authenticate and authorize users. This includes the nomulus tool when it connects to the system to execute commands. OAuth must be configured before you can use the nomulus tool to set up the system.

OAuth defines the concept of a client id, which identifies the application which the user wants to authorize. This is so that, when a user clicks in an OAuth permission dialog and grants access to data, they are not granting access to every application on their computer (including potentially malicious ones), but only to the application which they agree needs access. Each installation of the Nomulus system should have its own client id. The same client id can be used for all environments.

There are three steps to configuration.

  • Create the client id in App Engine: Go to your project's "Credentials" page in the Developer's Console. Click "Create credentials" and select "OAuth client ID" from the dropdown. In the create credentials window, select an application type of "Other". After creating the client id, return to the main Credentials page and click the download icon to the right of the client id that you just created. This will download a json file called the client secret file.

  • Copy the client secret file to the proper location: The client secret file is used by the nomulus tool to authenticate itself to the system. The file should be placed in the location specified by the registryTool.clientSecretFilename configuration parameter. By default, this is /google/registry/tools/resources/client_secret.json. Don't overwrite the file named client_secret_UNITTEST.json in that same directory; otherwise, the unit tests will break. If you want to use a different client id for each environment, copy all the client secret files to this directory, with a different name, and specify the file path separately in each environment's configuration file.

  • Add the new client id to the configured list of allowed client ids: The configuration files include an oAuth section, which defines a parameter called allowedOauthClientIds, specifying a list of client ids which are permitted to connect. Get the appropriate client id string from each client secret json file (which is just a json text file) and add it to the list. You will need to rebuild and redeploy the project so that the configuration changes take effect.

Once these steps are taken, the nomulus tool will use a client id which the server is configured to accept, and authentication should succeed. Note that many Nomulus commands also require that the user have App Engine admin privileges, meaning that the user needs to be added as an owner or viewer of the App Engine project.

Sensitive global configuration

Some configuration values, such as PGP private keys, are so sensitive that they should not be written in code as per the configuration methods above, as that would pose too high a risk of them accidentally being leaked, e.g. in a source control mishap. We use a secret store to persist these values in a secure manner, and abstract access to them using the Keyring interface.

The Keyring interface contains methods for all sensitive configuration values, which are primarily credentials used to access various ICANN and ICANN- affiliated services (such as RDE). These values are only needed for real production registries and PDT environments. If you are just playing around with the platform at first, it is OK to put off defining these values until necessary. To that end, a DummyKeyringModule is included that simply provides an InMemoryKeyring populated with dummy values for all secret keys. This allows the codebase to compile and run, but of course any actions that attempt to connect to external services will fail because none of the keys are real.

To configure a production registry system, you will need to write a replacement module for DummyKeyringModule that loads the credentials in a secure way, and provides them using either an instance of InMemoryKeyring or your own custom implementation of Keyring. You then need to replace all usages of DummyKeyringModule with your own module in all of the per-service components in which it is referenced. The functions in PgpHelper will likely prove useful for loading keys stored in PGP format into the PGP key classes that you'll need to provide from Keyring, and you can see examples of them in action in DummyKeyringModule.

Per-TLD configuration

Registry entities, which are persisted to Datastore, are used for per-TLD configuration. They contain any kind of configuration that is specific to a TLD, such as the create/renew price of a domain name, the pricing engine implementation, the DNS writer implementation, whether escrow exports are enabled, the default currency, the reserved label lists, and more. The nomulus update_tld command is used to set all of these options. See the admin tool documentation for more information, as well as the command-line help for the update_tld command. Unlike global configuration above, per-TLD configuration options are stored as data in the running system, and thus do not require code pushes to update.