[p4] Spec depots?

Matt Janulewicz matt.janulewicz at lucasfilm.com
Thu Mar 26 10:17:54 PDT 2009

I echo this sentiment. I probably refer to a spec depot on one of our 
servers at least once a week. The most common reason is that someone has 
edited their workspace, found they don't want the edits, and want to 
roll back to the previous version. Also, when someone calls me to say 
their workspace is 'all messed up' I can look to see if there was a 
recent change to figure out if the clientspec is to blame, or some other 
local problem.

It's also come in handy when I typo'ed a trigger definition and wanted 
to go back to where I started.

I can't think of any drawbacks to having a spec depot. We are running 
2008.2 so we don't get the verify problems (any more), the bandwidth 
consumed is very low, and I can guarantee that one day it will save you 
a lot of time and headache.

As for disk space, it doesn't seem that exorbitant to me. The two major 
types of specs that take up room are workspaces and labels. We have 3373 
workspaces with about a year's worth of history and 5593 labels. The 
spec depot on that server takes up less than 200 MB of disk space. Seems 
like a cheap price to pay for what you will eventually get out of it.

Lastly, after you create your spec depot, be sure you populate, 
otherwise it will only save specs 'going forward' from that point in 
time. The docs/help will show you how to use 'p4 admin' to baseline your 


Michael Delaney wrote:
> Philip,
> I live by spec depots; they've saved me on numerous occasions. When I
> set up new Perforce servers it's usually the first thing I do post
> configuration.
> Depending on what version of Perforce you're using there are some
> gotcha's. The version I'm running (P4D/NTX86/2005.2/104598) has problems
> with saving some items to the spec depot that caused 'p4 verify' to
> report bad check sums. While Perforce support has said this isn't an
> issue that will break the server, it's annoying; this problem has been
> fixed in later version of Perforce.
> Philip Panyukov wrote:
> > Hello,
> >
> > We are thinking of creating a spec depot since we had workspaces and
> > other things accidentally deleted in the past and those were very
> > difficult (and at times impossible) to restore.
> >
> > What is the general view on these?  Does anyone use these?  Is it a
> > good idea, bad idea to have a spec depot?  Any gotchas?
> >
> > Thank you,
> > Philip
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