ZConfig is a configuration library intended for general use. It
supports a hierarchical schema-driven configuration model that allows
a schema to specify data conversion routines written in Python.
ZConfig’s model is very different from the model supported by the
ConfigParser module found in Python’s standard library, and is more
suitable to configuration-intensive applications.
ZConfig schema are written in an XML-based language and are able to
“import” schema components provided by Python packages. Since
components are able to bind to conversion functions provided by Python
code in the package (or elsewhere), configuration objects can be
arbitrarily complex, with values that have been verified against
arbitrary constraints. This makes it easy for applications to
separate configuration support from configuration loading even with
configuration data being defined and consumed by a wide range of
ZConfig is licensed under the Zope Public License, version 2.1. See
the file LICENSE.txt in the distribution for the full license text.
Reference documentation is available in the doc/ directory.
One common use of ZConfig is to configure the Python logging
framework. This is extremely simple to do as the following example
>>> from ZConfig import configureLoggers
... level INFO
... PATH STDOUT
... format %(levelname)s %(name)s %(message)s
The above configures the root logger to output messages logged at INFO
or above to the console, as we can see in the following example:
>>> from logging import getLogger
>>> logger = getLogger()
>>> logger.info('An info message')
INFO root An info message
>>> logger.debug('A debug message')
A more common configuration would see STDOUT replaced with a path to
the file into which log entries would be written.
For more information, see section 5.2 on the ZConfig documentation and
the examples in ZConfig/components/logger/tests.
Information on the latest released version of the ZConfig package is
You may either create an RPM and install this, or install directly from
the source distribution.
There is a mailing list for discussions and questions about ZConfig;
more information on the list is available at
Installing from the source distribution
For a simple installation:
python setup.py install
To install to a user’s home-dir:
python setup.py install --home=<dir>
To install to another prefix (for example, /usr/local):
python setup.py install --prefix=/usr/local
If you need to force the python interpreter to (for example) python2:
python2 setup.py install
For more information on installing packages, please refer to
Installing Python Modules.
Change History for ZConfig
- Add ability to do variable substitution from environment variables using
- Added Python 3.4 support.
- Added Python 3.2 support.
- Fixed ResourceWarning in BaseLoader.openResource().
- Removed an accidentally left pdb statement from the code.
- Fix a bug in Python 3 with the custom string repr() function.
- Added Python 3.3 support.
- Dropped Python 2.4 and 2.5 support.
- Fixed: port values of 0 weren’t allowed. Port 0 is used to request
an ephemeral port.
- Adjust test classes to avoid base classes being considered separate
test cases by (at least) the “nose” test runner.
- Make FileHandler.reopen thread safe.
- Allow identical redefinition of %define names.
- Added support for IPv6 addresses.
- Improved documentation
- Fixed tests failures on windows.
- Added a convenience function, ZConfig.configureLoggers(text) for
- Relaxed the requirement for a logger name in logger sections,
allowing the logger section to be used for both root and non-root
- Fixed support for schema descriptions that override descriptions from a base
schema. If multiple base schema provide descriptions but the derived schema
does not, the first base mentioned that provides a description wins.
- Fixed compatibility bug with Python 2.5.0.
- No longer trigger deprecation warnings under Python 2.6.
- Added support for file rotation by time by specifying when and
interval, rather than max-size, for log files.
- Removed dependency on setuptools from the setup.py.
- Made it possible to run unit tests via ‘python setup.py test’ (requires
setuptools on sys.path).
- Added better error messages to test failure assertions.
A note on the version number:
Information discovered in the revision control system suggests that some
past revision has been called “2.4”, though it is not clear that any
actual release was made with that version number. We’re going to skip
revision 2.4 entirely to avoid potential issues with anyone using
something claiming to be ZConfig 2.4, and go straight to version 2.5.
- Add support for importing schema components from ZIP archives (including
- Added a ‘formatter’ configuration option in the logging handler sections
to allow specifying a constructor for the formatter.
- Documented the package: URL scheme that can be used in extending schema.
- Added support for reopening all log files opened via configurations using
the ZConfig.components.logger package. For Zope, this is usable via the
zc.signalhandler package. zc.signalhandler is not required for
- Added support for rotating log files internally by size.
- Added a minimal implementation of schema-less parsing; this is mostly
intended for applications that want to read several fragments of ZConfig
configuration files and assemble a combined configuration. Used in some
- Converted to using zc.buildout and the standard test runner from
- Added more tests.
- Isolated some of the case-normalization code so it will at least be
easier to override. This remains non-trivial.
- Added “inet-binding-address” and “inet-connection-address” to the
set of standard datatypes. These are similar to the “inet-address”
type, but the default hostname is more sensible. The datatype used
should reflect how the value will be used.
- Alternate rotating logfile handler for Windows, to avoid platform
limitations on renaming open files. Contributed by Sidnei da Silva.
- For <section> and <multisection>, if the name attribute is omitted,
assume name=”*”, since this is what is used most often.
- More documentation has been written.
- Added a timedelta datatype function; the input is the same as for
the time-interval datatype, but the resulting value is a
- Make sure keys specified as attributes of the <default> element are
converted by the appropriate key type, and are re-checked for
- Refactored the ZConfig.components.logger schema components so that a
schema can import just one of the “eventlog” or “logger” sections if
desired. This can be helpful to avoid naming conflicts.
- Added a reopen() method to the logger factories.
- Always use an absolute pathname when opening a FileHandler.
- A fix to the logger ‘format’ key to allow the %(process)d expansion variable
that the logging package supports.
- A new timedelta built-in datatype was added. Similar to time-interval
except that it returns a datetime.timedelta object instead.
- Removed compatibility with Python 2.1 and 2.2.
- Schema components must really be in Python packages; the directory
search has been modified to perform an import to locate the package
rather than incorrectly implementing the search algorithm.
- The default objects use for section values now provide a method
getSectionAttributes(); this returns a list of all the attributes of
the section object which store configuration-defined data (including
information derived from the schema).
- Default information can now be included in a schema for <key
name=”+”> and <multikey name=”+”> by using <default key=”…”>.
- More documentation has been added to discuss schema extension.
- Support for a Unicode-free Python has been fixed.
- Derived section types now inherit the datatype of the base type if
no datatype is identified explicitly.
- Derived section types can now override the keytype instead of always
inheriting from their base type.
- <import package=’…’/> makes use of the current prefix if the
package name begins witha dot.
- Added two standard datatypes: dotted-name and dotted-suffix.
- Added two standard schema components: ZConfig.components.basic and
- Configurations can import additional schema components using a new
“%import” directive; this can be used to integrate 3rd-party
components into an application.
- Schemas may be extended using a new “extends” attribute on the
- Better error messages when elements in a schema definition are
- The “zconfig” script can now simply verify that a schema definition
is valid, if that’s all that’s needed.