Right after you install perforce server, it’s in a sort of initialization mode where there is no password for the default “root” user. Anybody can connect and act as that root user by simply connecting as the user “root”. So, you want to lock that down a bit. “p4 protect” is how you do this.
p4 protect may seem like where you would do user permissions. I guess you *could*, but it’s intended more as a sort of global permissions layer, where you can set some hard limits. By default all “users” will have “write” permission on everything in the instance. You can then later specify different permissions in the Perforce administration app via a client.
If you comment out the line that specifies “user” permissions in p4 protect, it will actually remove the line entirely, and only the “root” user will be able to connect at that point.. So I’m thinking of p4 protect as a sort of way to lock everyone but “root” out of the instance without messing with a full p4 client, e.g. you’re at the host console and you just need to quickly do something drastic without hosing lots of stuff.
Note, to connect with p4 connect to a specific port with a specific password you need to set some environment variables really quick before running “p4 protect”:
– these assume the user is the OS user you’re running the p4 protect command under.