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Bases: Section

An object to read, create, and write config files.

__init__(infile=None, options=None, configspec=None, encoding=None, interpolation=True, raise_errors=False, list_values=True, create_empty=False, file_error=False, stringify=True, indent_type=None, default_encoding=None, unrepr=False, write_empty_values=False, _inspec=False)

Parse a config file or create a config file object.

ConfigObj(infile=None, configspec=None, encoding=None, interpolation=True, raise_errors=False, list_values=True, create_empty=False, file_error=False, stringify=True, indent_type=None, default_encoding=None, unrepr=False, write_empty_values=False, _inspec=False)


Reload a ConfigObj from file.

This method raises a ReloadError if the ConfigObj doesn't have a filename attribute pointing to a file.


Clear ConfigObj instance and restore to 'freshly created' state.

validate(validator, preserve_errors=False, copy=False, section=None)

Test the ConfigObj against a configspec.

It uses the validator object from

To run validate on the current ConfigObj, call: ::

test = config.validate(validator)

(Normally having previously passed in the configspec when the ConfigObj was created - you can dynamically assign a dictionary of checks to the configspec attribute of a section though).

It returns True if everything passes, or a dictionary of pass/fails (True/False). If every member of a subsection passes, it will just have the value True. (It also returns False if all members fail).

In addition, it converts the values from strings to their native types if their checks pass (and stringify is set).

If preserve_errors is True (False is default) then instead of a marking a fail with a False, it will preserve the actual exception object. This can contain info about the reason for failure. For example the VdtValueTooSmallError indicates that the value supplied was too small. If a value (or section) is missing it will still be marked as False.

You must have the validate module to use preserve_errors=True.

You can then use the flatten_errors function to turn your nested results dictionary into a flattened list of failures - useful for displaying meaningful error messages.

write(outfile=None, section=None)

Write the current ConfigObj as a file

tekNico: FIXME: use StringIO instead of real files

filename = a.filename a.filename = 'test.ini' a.write() a.filename = filename a == ConfigObj('test.ini', raise_errors=True) 1 import os os.remove('test.ini')


Bases: SyntaxError

This is the base class for all errors that ConfigObj raises. It is a subclass of SyntaxError.


Bases: InterpolationEngine

Behaves like ConfigParser.


Bases: ConfigObjError

An error occurred whilst parsing a configspec.


Bases: ConfigObjError

The keyword or section specified already exists.


Bases: object

A helper class to help perform string interpolation.

This class is an abstract base class; its descendants perform the actual work.


Bases: ConfigObjError

Base class for the two interpolation errors.


Bases: InterpolationError

Maximum interpolation depth exceeded in string interpolation.


Bases: InterpolationError

A value specified for interpolation was missing.


Bases: ConfigObjError

This error indicates a level of nesting that doesn't match.


Bases: ConfigObjError

This error indicates that a line is badly written. It is neither a valid key = value line, nor a valid section marker line.


Bases: IOError

A 'reload' operation failed. This exception is a subclass of IOError.


Bases: ConfigObjError

This error indicates additional sections in a section with a __many__ (repeated) section.


Bases: dict

A dictionary-like object that represents a section in a config file.

It does string interpolation if the 'interpolation' attribute of the 'main' object is set to True.

Interpolation is tried first from this object, then from the 'DEFAULT' section of this object, next from the parent and its 'DEFAULT' section, and so on until the main object is reached.

A Section will behave like an ordered dictionary - following the order of the scalars and sections attributes. You can use this to change the order of members.

Iteration follows the order: scalars, then sections.


Remove items from the sequence when deleting.


Fetch the item and do string interpolation.

__init__(parent, depth, main, indict=None, name=None)

  • parent is the section above
  • depth is the depth level of this section
  • main is the main ConfigObj
  • indict is a dictionary to initialise the section with


x.repr() <==> repr(x)

__setitem__(key, value, unrepr=False)

Correctly set a value.

Making dictionary values Section instances. (We have to special case 'Section' instances - which are also dicts)

Keys must be strings. Values need only be strings (or lists of strings) if main.stringify is set.

unrepr must be set when setting a value to a dictionary, without creating a new sub-section.


Accepts a key as input. The corresponding value must be a string or the objects (True or 1) or (False or 0). We allow 0 and 1 to retain compatibility with Python 2.2.

If the string is one of True, On, Yes, or 1 it returns True.

If the string is one of False, Off, No, or 0 it returns False.

as_bool is not case sensitive.

Any other input will raise a ValueError.

a = ConfigObj() a['a'] = 'fish' a.as_bool('a') Traceback (most recent call last): ValueError: Value "fish" is neither True nor False a['b'] = 'True' a.as_bool('b') 1 a['b'] = 'off' a.as_bool('b') 0


A convenience method which coerces the specified value to a float.

If the value is an invalid literal for float, a ValueError will be raised.

a = ConfigObj() a['a'] = 'fish' a.as_float('a') Traceback (most recent call last): ValueError: invalid literal for float(): fish a['b'] = '1' a.as_float('b') 1.0 a['b'] = '3.2' a.as_float('b') 3.2000000000000002


A convenience method which coerces the specified value to an integer.

If the value is an invalid literal for int, a ValueError will be raised.

a = ConfigObj() a['a'] = 'fish' a.as_int('a') Traceback (most recent call last): ValueError: invalid literal for int() with base 10: 'fish' a['b'] = '1' a.as_int('b') 1 a['b'] = '3.2' a.as_int('b') Traceback (most recent call last): ValueError: invalid literal for int() with base 10: '3.2'


A convenience method which fetches the specified value, guaranteeing that it is a list.

a = ConfigObj() a['a'] = 1 a.as_list('a') [1] a['a'] = (1,) a.as_list('a') [1] a['a'] = [1] a.as_list('a') [1]


A version of clear that also affects scalars/sections Also clears comments and configspec.

Leaves other attributes alone : depth/main/parent are not affected


Return a deepcopy of self as a dictionary.

All members that are Section instances are recursively turned to ordinary dictionaries - by calling their dict method.

n = a.dict() n == a 1 n is a 0

get(key, default=None)

A version of get that doesn't bypass string interpolation.


D.items() -> list of D's (key, value) pairs, as 2-tuples


D.iteritems() -> an iterator over the (key, value) items of D


D.iterkeys() -> an iterator over the keys of D


D.itervalues() -> an iterator over the values of D


D.keys() -> list of D's keys


A recursive update - useful for merging config files.

a = '''[section1] ... option1 = True ... [[subsection]] ... more_options = False ... # end of file'''.splitlines() b = '''# File is user.ini ... [section1] ... option1 = False ... # end of file'''.splitlines() c1 = ConfigObj(b) c2 = ConfigObj(a) c2.merge(c1) c2 ConfigObj({'section1': {'option1': 'False', 'subsection': {'more_options': 'False'}}})

pop(key, default=MISSING)

'D.pop(k[,d]) -> v, remove specified key and return the corresponding value. If key is not found, d is returned if given, otherwise KeyError is raised'


Pops the first (key,val)

rename(oldkey, newkey)

Change a keyname to another, without changing position in sequence.

Implemented so that transformations can be made on keys, as well as on values. (used by encode and decode)

Also renames comments.


Restore (and return) default value for the specified key.

This method will only work for a ConfigObj that was created with a configspec and has been validated.

If there is no default value for this key, KeyError is raised.


Recursively restore default values to all members that have them.

This method will only work for a ConfigObj that was created with a configspec and has been validated.

It doesn't delete or modify entries without default values.

setdefault(key, default=None)

A version of setdefault that sets sequence if appropriate.


A version of update that uses our __setitem__.


D.values() -> list of D's values

walk(function, raise_errors=True, call_on_sections=False, **keywargs)

Walk every member and call a function on the keyword and value.

Return a dictionary of the return values

If the function raises an exception, raise the errror unless raise_errors=False, in which case set the return value to False.

Any unrecognised keyword arguments you pass to walk, will be pased on to the function you pass in.

Note: if call_on_sections is True then - on encountering a subsection, first the function is called for the whole subsection, and then recurses into it's members. This means your function must be able to handle strings, dictionaries and lists. This allows you to change the key of subsections as well as for ordinary members. The return value when called on the whole subsection has to be discarded.

See the encode and decode methods for examples, including functions.

.. admonition:: caution

You can use ``walk`` to transform the names of members of a section
but you mustn't add or delete members.

config = '''[XXXXsection] ... XXXXkey = XXXXvalue'''.splitlines() cfg = ConfigObj(config) cfg ConfigObj({'XXXXsection': {'XXXXkey': 'XXXXvalue'}}) def transform(section, key): ... val = section[key] ... newkey = key.replace('XXXX', 'CLIENT1') ... section.rename(key, newkey) ... if isinstance(val, (tuple, list, dict)): ... pass ... else: ... val = val.replace('XXXX', 'CLIENT1') ... section[newkey] = val cfg.walk(transform, call_on_sections=True) {'CLIENT1section': {'CLIENT1key': None}} cfg ConfigObj({'CLIENT1section': {'CLIENT1key': 'CLIENT1value'}})


Bases: object

A simple validator. Can be used to check that all members expected are present.

To use it, provide a configspec with all your members in (the value given will be ignored). Pass an instance of SimpleVal to the validate method of your ConfigObj. validate will return True if all members are present, or a dictionary with True/False meaning present/missing. (Whole missing sections will be replaced with False)

check(check, member, missing=False)

A dummy check method, always returns the value unchanged.


Bases: InterpolationEngine

Behaves like string.Template.


Bases: ConfigObjError

An error parsing in unrepr mode.

flatten_errors(cfg, res, levels=None, results=None)

An example function that will turn a nested dictionary of results (as returned by ConfigObj.validate) into a flat list.

cfg is the ConfigObj instance being checked, res is the results dictionary returned by validate.

(This is a recursive function, so you shouldn't use the levels or results arguments - they are used by the function.)

Returns a list of keys that failed. Each member of the list is a tuple::

([list of sections...], key, result)

If validate was called with preserve_errors=False (the default) then result will always be False.

list of sections is a flattened list of sections that the key was found in.

If the section was missing (or a section was expected and a scalar provided - or vice-versa) then key will be None.

If the value (or section) was missing then result will be False.

If validate was called with preserve_errors=True and a value was present, but failed the check, then result will be the exception object returned. You can use this as a string that describes the failure.

For example The value "3" is of the wrong type.

get_extra_values(conf, _prepend=())

Find all the values and sections not in the configspec from a validated ConfigObj.

get_extra_values returns a list of tuples where each tuple represents either an extra section, or an extra value.

The tuples contain two values, a tuple representing the section the value is in and the name of the extra values. For extra values in the top level section the first member will be an empty tuple. For values in the 'foo' section the first member will be ('foo',). For members in the 'bar' subsection of the 'foo' section the first member will be ('foo', 'bar').

NOTE: If you call get_extra_values on a ConfigObj instance that hasn't been validated it will return an empty list.