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getconf, a versatile configuration lib for Python projects

Project description

The getconf project provides simple configuration helpers for Python project.

It aims at unifying configuration setup across development and production systems, respecting the standard procedures in each system:

  • Allow userspace configuration on development systems

  • Allow multiple different configurations for continuous integration systems

  • Use standard configuration space in /etc on traditional production servers

  • Handle environment-based configuration for cloud-based platforms

getconf supports Python 2.6, 2.7, 3.3, and is distributed under the two-clause BSD licence.


Intall the package from PyPI, using pip:

pip install getconf

Or from GitHub:

$ git clone git://


All configuration values are accessed through getconf.ConfigGetter object:

import getconf
config = getconf.ConfigGetter('fubar', '/etc/fubar/settings.ini', './local_settings.ini')

The above line declares:

  • Use the fubar namespace (mostly used for environment-based configuration, as a prefix for environment variables)

  • Look, in turn, at /etc/fubar/settings.ini (for produciton) and ./local_settings.ini (for development)

Once the getconf.ConfigGetter has been configured, it can be used to retrieve settings:

debug = config.getbool('debug', False)
db_host = config.get('')
db_port = config.getint('db.port', 5432)
allowed_hosts = config.getlist('django.allowed_hosts', ['*'])

All settings have a type (default is text), and accept a default value. They use namespaces for easier reading.

With the above setup, getconf will try to provide by inspecting the following options in order (it stops at the first defined value):

  • From the environment variable FUBAR_DB_HOST, if defined

  • If a FUBAR_CONFIG environment variable is defined, from the host key of the [db] section of that file

  • From the host key in the [db] section of ./local_settings.ini

  • From the host key in the [db] section of /etc/fubar/settings.ini

  • From the default provided value

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