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Generic access to configuration files in some formats

Package Documentation

Latest Version: 0.2.2

This is a python library called ‘anyconfig’ [1] provides generic access to configuration files in any formats (to be in the future) with configuration merge / cascade / overlay support.

Current supported configuration file formats are:

  • JSON w/ json or simplejson
  • YAML w/ PyYAML
  • Ini w/ configparser
  • XML w/ lxml or ElementTree (experimental)
  • Other formats some pluggale backends support (see the next sub section)
[1]This name took an example from the ‘anydbm’ library in python dist,

Other anyconfig backend modules

Anyconfig utilizes plugin mechanism provided by setuptools [2] and I wrote a few backend plugin modules as references:



see also: output of python -c “import anyconfig; help(anyconfig)”

anyconfig module

To load single config file:

import anyconfig

# Config type (format) is automatically detected by filename (file
# extension).
data1 = anyconfig.load("/path/to/foo/conf.d/a.yml")

# Loaded config data is a dict-like object.
# examples:
# data1["a"] => 1
# data1["b"]["b1"] => "xyz"
# data1["c"]["c1"]["c13"] => [1, 2, 3]

# Same as above
data2 = anyconfig.single_load("/path/to/foo/conf.d/a.yml")

# Or you can specify config type explicitly.
data3 = anyconfig.load("/path/to/foo/conf.d/b.conf", "yaml")

# Same as above
data4 = anyconfig.single_load("/path/to/foo/conf.d/b.conf", "yaml")

Also, you can pass backend (config loader) specific optional parameters to these load and dump functions:

# from python -c "import json; help(json.load)":
# Help on function load in module json:
# load(fp, encoding=None, cls=None, object_hook=None, parse_float=None, parse_int=None, parse_constant=None, object_pairs_hook=None, **kw)
#    Deserialize ``fp`` (a ``.read()``-supporting file-like object containing
#    a JSON document) to a Python object.
#    ...
data5 = anyconfig.load("foo.json", parse_float=None)


The returned object is an instance of anyconfig.mergeabledict.MergeableDict class by default, to support recursive merge operations needed when loading multiple config files.

To load multiple config files:

import anyconfig

# Specify config files by list of paths:
data1 = anyconfig.load(["/etc/foo.d/a.json", "/etc/foo.d/b.json"])

# Specify config files by glob path pattern:
data2 = anyconfig.load("/etc/foo.d/*.json")

# Similar to above, but parameters in the former config file will be simply
# overwritten by the later ones:
data3 = anyconfig.load("/etc/foo.d/*.json", merge=anyconfig.MS_REPLACE)

On loading multiple config files, you can choose ‘strategy’ to merge configurations from the followings:

  • anyconfig.MS_REPLACE: Replace all configuration parameter values provided in former config files are simply replaced w/ the ones in later config files.

    For example, if a.yml and b.yml are like followings:


    a: 1
       - c: 0
       - c: 2
       e: "aaa"
       f: 3


       - c: 3
       e: "bbb"


    load(["a.yml", "b.yml"], merge=anyconfig.MS_REPLACE)

    will give object such like:

    {'a': 1, 'b': [{'c': 3}], 'd': {'e': "bbb"}}
  • anyconfig.MS_NO_REPLACE: Do not replace configuration parameter values provided in former config files.

    For example, if a.yml and b.yml are like followings:


       - c: 0
       - c: 2
       e: "aaa"
       f: 3


    a: 1
       - c: 3
       e: "bbb"


    load(["a.yml", "b.yml"], merge=anyconfig.MS_NO_REPLACE)

    will give object such like:

    {'a': 1, 'b': [{'c': 0}, {'c': 2}], 'd': {'e': "bbb", 'f': 3}}
  • anyconfig.MS_DICTS: Merge dicts recursively. That is, the following:

    load(["a.yml", "b.yml"], merge=anyconfig.MS_DICTS)

    will give object such like:

    {'a': 1, 'b': [{'c': 3}], 'd': {'e': "bbb", 'f': 3}}
  • anyconfig.MS_DICTS_AND_LISTS: Merge dicts and lists recursively. That is, the following:

    load(["a.yml", "b.yml"], merge=anyconfig.MS_DICTS_AND_LISTS)

    will give object such like:

    {'a': 1, 'b': [{'c': 0}, {'c': 2}, {'c': 3}], 'd': {'e': "bbb", 'f': 3}}

CLI frontend

There is a CLI frontend ‘anyconfig_cli’ to demonstrate the power of this library.

It can process various config files and output a merged config file:

$ anyconfig_cli -h
Usage: anyconfig_cli [Options...] CONF_PATH_OR_PATTERN_0 [CONF_PATH_OR_PATTERN_1 ..]

  anyconfig_cli --list
  anyconfig_cli -I yaml /etc/xyz/conf.d/a.conf
  anyconfig_cli -I yaml '/etc/xyz/conf.d/*.conf' -o xyz.conf --otype json
  anyconfig_cli '/etc/xyz/conf.d/*.json' -o xyz.yml \
    --atype json -A '{"obsoletes": "sysdata", "conflicts": "sysdata-old"}'
  anyconfig_cli '/etc/xyz/conf.d/*.json' -o xyz.yml \
    -A obsoletes:sysdata;conflicts:sysdata-old
  anyconfig_cli /etc/foo.json /etc/foo/conf.d/x.json /etc/foo/conf.d/y.json
  anyconfig_cli '/etc/foo.d/*.json' -M noreplace

  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -L, --list            List supported config types
  -o OUTPUT, --output=OUTPUT
                        Output file path
  -I ITYPE, --itype=ITYPE
                        Select type of Input config files from ini, json,
                        yaml, xml [Automatically detected by file ext]
  -O OTYPE, --otype=OTYPE
                        Select type of Output config files from ini, json,
                        yaml, xml [Automatically detected by file ext]
  -M MERGE, --merge=MERGE
                        Select strategy to merge multiple configs from
                        noreplace, merge_dicts_and_lists, merge_dicts, replace
  -A ARGS, --args=ARGS  Argument configs to override
  --atype=ATYPE         Explicitly select type of argument config from ini,
                        json, yaml, xml. If this option is not set, original
                        parser is used:  'K:V' will become {K: V},
                        'K:V_0,V_1,..' will become {K: [V_0, V_1, ...]}, and
                        'K_0:V_0;K_1:V_1' will become {K_0: V_0, K_1: V_1}
                        (where the tyep of K is str, type of V is one of Int,
                        str, etc.
  -s, --silent          Silent or quiet mode
  -q, --quiet           Same as --silent option
  -v, --verbose         Verbose mode

Build & Install

If you’re Fedora or Red Hat Enterprise Linux user, you can install experimental RPMs on from:

or if you want to build yourself, then try:

$ python srpm && mock dist/SRPMS/python-anyconfig-<ver_dist>.src.rpm


$ python rpm

and install built RPMs.

Otherwise, try usual ways to build and/or install python modules such like ‘pip install anyconfig’, ‘easy_install anyconfig’, ‘python bdist’, etc.

How to hack

How to write backend plugin modules

Backend class must inherit anyconfig.backend.ConfigParser and need some member variables and method (‘load_impl’ and ‘dumps_impl’ at minimum) implementations.

JSON and YAML backend modules (anyconfig.backend.{json,yaml}_) should be good examples to write backend modules, I think.

Also, please take a look at some example backend plugin modules mentioned in the Other anyconfig backend modules section.

How to test

Try to run ‘./aux/ [path_to_python_code]’.

Test status


  • Make configuration (file) backends pluggable: Done
    • Remove some backends to support the following configuration formats:
      • Java properties file: Done
      • XML ?
  • Allow users to select other containers for the tree of configuration objects
  • Establish the way to test external backend modules
File Type Py Version Uploaded on Size
anyconfig- (md5) Source 2014-05-03 31KB
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