.cdsinit is used to initialize the Cadence design environment. When default values are set in .cdsinit file, the settings are loaded into the design environment when Cadence® Design Framework II (DFII) workbench is started.

You can store the .cdsinit file in any or all of the following locations. DFII looks for the .cdsinit file in the following order:

  1. $CDS_INSTALL_DIR/tools/dfII/local/.cdsinit in your site installation directory
  2. ./.cdsinit in your working directory
  3. ~/.cdsinit in your home directory

But, once .cdsinit file is found, dfII stops the search. If the user want to use multiple .cdsinit files in a project, ./.cdsinit and ~/.cdsinit must be explicitly loaded. For this to happen add the following lines of code to $CDS_INSTALL_DIR/tools/dfII/local/.cdsinit file at the end. Otherwise ./.cdsinit and ~/.cdsinit, won’t be loaded at all.

if(isFile("./.cdsinit") then load("./.cdsinit")
else when(isFile("~/.cdsinit") load("~/.cdsinit)

To set defaults in the .cdsinit file, you enter Cadence SKILL commands that control “environment variables”.

  • Grid controls – x & y snap spacings : The syntax for changing default grid settings in Cadence Virtuoso Layout is
    envSetVal("layout" "xSnapSpacing" 'float 0.01)
    envSetVal("layout" "ySnapSpacing" 'float 0.01)
  • undo level – change undo level to 10
     envSetVal("ui" "undoLevel" 'int 10)
  • To automatically load bindkeys in the cadence environment at the startup


  1. Cadence Design Framework II Configuration Guide, Product Version 5.0, September 2002
  2. Cadence Design Framework II User Guide, Product Version 5.0, September 2002


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