Configuration file

The configuration can be sent to the device as a file that can by imported into the apps. This can be used to initially configure the device or chane detailed settings later.

  • Create a configuration file in JSON with an .otrc suffix (for OwnTracks Configuration)
  • Ensure the JSON is valid with online JSON validator, jq or simply by running python -mjson.tool < your.otrc
  • Send the file to the devices via e-mail, provide it for download on an HTTP server, send via Dropbox, ... you name it.
  • Have the OwnTracks app user open the file on their device with OwnTracks.

Here is a sample configuration file which contains some of the possible settings.

  "_type": "configuration",
  "auth": true,
  "username": "jjolie",
  "password": "s1kr3t",
  "host": "",
  "port": 8883

The _typeentry is mandatory, most other entries are optional. They are replaced by built-in defaults or previously configured values if not specified. A list of all possible settings is described on the JSON page.


The configuration of a connected app can also be changed remotely if Remote Commands is enabled on the device, by publishing a JSON payload which is merged into existing configuration. A _type: configuration as described on the JSON page can be send to the device.


Waypoints can be configured remotely if Remote Commands is enabled on the device, by publishing a JSON payload which is merged into existing waypoints. (Note: the "key" for a waypoint is the tst timestamp, so overwriting an existing tst actually overwrites an existing waypoint.)

  "_type": "cmd",
  "action": "setWaypoints",
  "waypoints": {
    "waypoints": [
        "desc": "Some place",
        "rad": 8867,
        "lon": 10.428771973,
        "lat": 46.935260881,
        "tst": 1437552714,
        "_type": "waypoint"
    "_type": "waypoints"

Publishing the above payload to an OwnTracks iOS device will create/modify said waypoint. This also works for Beacon configurations, which are basically waypoints.

URL config

Since January 2021, both iOS and Android apps can be configured by having the user click on an owntracks:///config?inline= URL containing a base64-encoded version of the content of an .otrc file.

Say we have a file called j.otrc with the JSON _type: configuration shown above. We can use, say, the openssl utility to base64-encode encode the configuration into a single line:

echo "owntracks:///config?inline=$(openssl enc -a -A -in j.otrc)"

which results in this text:


We can then paste that text into the @@ placeholder on an HTML like this:

<a href="@@">Click to configure OwnTracks</a>

This link is then made available to click on after the user has installed the OwnTracks app for configuring it. By omitting, say, deviceID and tid it would be possible to "mass configure" a number of users' apps.