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The Gateway Control Utility, simply called the “GCU”, is a lightweight standalone application that provides information about the Gateway. You can use the GCU to monitor the Gateway and perform high-level tasks that aren't available inside of the web application. It provides basic administrative controls, such as stopping and restarting the server and setting the ports used between the Gateway and clients.

Note: The Gateway Control Utility must run on the same machine as the Ignition Gateway and requires administrative privileges.

To launch GCU in Windows

Fom the Start menu, go to All Programs > Inductive Automation > Ignition > Launch Gateway Control Utility.

You can also launch GCU from the command-line or from the Start > Run dialog by typing

launch -gcu

To launch GCU in Linux

Open a command shell and type


If you receive an error saying “gcu can't be found”, add the Ignition installation directory to your system path.

If you are running in a headless Linux environment or you have logged into the Linux machine through an SSH shell, the GCU functions are still available in command-line form. See Command-line Utility below.

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Gateway Control Utility






GCU Window

When GCU is launched, the following window is displayed:


On the upper-left of the window, Status shows the state of the Tomcat web server and the Ignition Gateway web application. It is possible for the web server to be running while Gateway has failed. For example, this can occur when the Gateway has faulted on startup. You can also see the Ignition software version that is running.

Go to web page

On the upper-right of the window, Go to web page launches a web browser to the Gateway home page.


On the upper-right of the window, Restart restarts the Tomcat web server.

Reset Password

On the upper-right of the window, Reset Password lets you reset the root password of the system. Normally, this is not considered a security risk, because the GCU can only be used from the machine the software is installed on, which should be secure. However, it is important to know about this feature here so that the GCU can be removed if the machine can't be properly secured, for example when the server is also used as a client.

Thread Dump

On the upper-right of the window, Thread Dump downloads a file with the current states of all threads in the server. Inductive Automation uses this file for troubleshooting problems. 

Gateway Backup

On the upper-right of the window, Gateway Backup downloads a Gateway backup .gwbk file to the local file system. A Save dialog opens to let you specify where you want to save the .gwbk file.


On the lower-left of the window, Port lets the primary, non-encrypted port, used by clients to communicate with the server. You can see the ports that you are using and you can change the ports and click the Save button to save the ports to the Gateway. Note that Gateway must be restarted for the changes to take effect.



Command-line Utility

All the functions in the GCU are also available as a command-line utility for both Windows and Linux.

To run the utility, open a command shell and type:

gwcmd <option>

Options are as follows:



a,-–activate <CDk-key> Offline activationCreates an activation_request.txt file that can be used to request a license.ipl file from the Inductive Automation website. You must specify the CD-key to use for activation. The activation_request.txt file is saved in the current directory.
-b,--backup <new filepath> 

Downloads a Gateway backup.gwbk file and saves the file to the specified path. The path can be either an absolute path or a relative path. If a new file name is not specified at the end of the path, the file name becomes the current date and time along with the .gwbk extension.

You will be prompted whether it is OK to overwrite the file if another .gwbk file with the same name already exists. You can override with the -y option to force the file to always be overwritten.

-h,--help Shows the usage for this command.
-i,--infoRetrieves server status and port information from the Gateway if it is running.
-k,--port <new port>Changes the Gateway http port.
-l,--sslport <new port>Changes the Gateway https port.
-p,--passwdResets the Gateway login password.
-r,--restartRestarts the Gateway.

Restores a gateway backup (.gwbk) file.

-t,--tdumpPerforms a thread dump in the Gateway and prints the dump to the command-line.
-u,--unactivate Offline unactivationCreates an unactivation_message.txt file that you can use to unactivate a license via the Inductive Automation website. The unactivation_message.txt file is saved in the current directory.
-w,--uselicense <license.ipl path> Applies a license.ipl file that was downloaded from the Inductive Automation website. You must supply the location of the license.ipl file. If it is in the current directory, use license.ipl for the location.
-y,--promptyesAutomatically answers yes to any prompt that may appear in the above commands, such as permission to overwrite an existing file.










  1. Anonymous

    In Ubuntu Linux, I had to change the file /usr/local/bin/ignition/ on line 112 from RUN_AS_USER=ubuntu to RUN_AS_USER=root to use ports 80 and 443, as you must be root to bind to a port below 1024.

  2. Anonymous

    how do you find gcu on a mac?



    1. You have to open a terminal and run within the Ignition installation directory. The default installation location is /usr/local/ignition for OSX.