Deployment configuration utility for Julia Language
Author citkane
6 Stars
Updated Last
1 Year Ago
Started In
August 2020

Configs.jl Build Status Coverage Status

Opinionated tool for managing deployment configurations

Deployment configurations are loaded by cascading overrides. Overrides are inputed in order of:

  1. Configuration files placed in a configurable folder location
  2. ENV variable mapping
  3. Function calls

The syntax for accessing configurations:

using Configs
password = getconfig("database.credentials.password")
username = getconfig("database.credentials.username")
# OR
credentials = getconfig("database.credentials")
username = credentials.username
password = credentials.password

Accessing non-existent configurations will throw an error, so:

using Configs
if hasconfig("optional.setting")
    setting = getconfig("optional.setting")

Setting configurations from external sources:

using Configs
port = myexternalcall(...)
setconfig!("database.connection.port", port)

After the first call to getconfig or hasconfig, the configuration is immutable. Thus, you can not call setconfig! after calling getconfig or hasconfig. It will throw an error.

Conversely stated, you must complete all your setconfig! calls before accessing with getconfig or hasconfig.


$> cd my/project/rootdir
$> julia --project=.
julia> ]add Configs


Create a configs directory in the project root.

The default configs folder is expected to be at <project rootdir>/configs.
Configs will throw an error if no folder is found at the default path or a custom path is not explicitly provided.

$> cd my/project/rootdir
$> mkdir configs


$> cd my/project/rootdir
$> export CONFIGS_DIRECTORY="/opt/configs/myproject"
$> julia --project=. src/project.jl


using Configs

initconfig(; deployment_key="MY_ENV", configs_directory="customdir")


CONFIGS_DIRECTORY / configs_directory
defines a custom path to the configs directory. This can be input as absolute path or relative to the project root. The default is <project root>/configs

DEPLOYMENT_KEY / deployment_key
defines which ENV key you intend to use to state the deployment environment [development, staging, production, etc...]. The default is ENV["DEPLOYMENT"].

Then manipulate and access your configs:

using Configs

value = myexternalcall(...)

setconfig!("", value)
setconfig!("", value)

newvalue = getconfig("")
overriddenvalue = getconfig("")

connection = getconfig("database.connection")
port = connection.port
# OR
conf = getconfig()
connection = conf.database.connection
port = connection.port
url = connection.url

if hasconfig("optional.setting")
    option = getconfig("optional.setting")

# After the first call to getconfig or hasconfig, configs are immutable, so:
setconfig!("database.connection.port", 8000) # Throws an error if called here

File definitions:

Configurations can be independantly defined in any of the following file formats:

  • JSON .json
  • YAML .yml
  • Julia .jl

These provide cascading overrides in the order shown below:

[1] configs/default.yml

Define public configs. This is suitable for eg. storing in a public code repository.

timestamp: 2020-09-03T14:18:45.633
        url: "http://localhost"
        port: 3600
        username: "guest"
        password: "guestuserdefault"
    defaultmessage: "Hello new user"

Configs does not support multi-doc yaml files.

[2] configs/<deployment>.jl

Typically, would be:

  • development.jl
  • staging.jl
  • production.jl
  • testing.jl

Define semi private, deployment specific overrides. This would typically have a .gitignore exclusion, or be stored in a private repository only.

The file is named in lowercase to correspond with any ENV["DEPLOYMENT"] found at runtime. Thus, running:

$> export DEPLOYMENT=PrOdUcTiOn
$> julia --project=. src/myproject.jl

would merge the configuration defined in production.jl

    timestamp = now(),
    database = (
        connection = (
            url = "",
            port = 3601,
        credentials = (
            username = "stagingadmin",
            pasword = "",

For .jl configuration files, any valid Julia collections [ Array, Tuple, NamedTuple, Dict ] may be used in any combination.

Valid Dates methods may be used in the configuration file.

[3] configs/custom-environment-variables.json

Define private overrides. This maps ENV variables to configuration variables.

    "database": {
        "credentials": {
            "password": "DATABASE_PASSWORD"

Private variables are thus passed in explicitly by, for example, defining the environment variable in BASH.

$> export DATABASE_PASSWORD=mysupersecretpasword
$> julia --project=. src/myproject.jl
using Configs
password = getconfig("database.credentials.password")
# password === "mysupersecretpasword"

Advanced usaging

setconfig! has flexible input parameter types:

  • Bool, Number, String
  • JSON String
  • Dict, Array
  • Tuple, NamedTuple

(with any depth / combination of nesting)

using Configs

# Thus
setconfig!("project", """{
    "credentials": {
        "username": "user",
        "password": "userpass"
    "pages": [1, 2, 3]

# Is the same as
setconfig!("project", ( 
    credentials= ( 

# Is the same as
setconfig!("project", Dict(
    :credentials => Dict(
        :username => "user",
        :password => "userpass"
    :pages => [1, 2, 3]

# Is the same as
setconfig!("project.credentials.username", "user")
setconfig!("project.credentials.password", "userpass")
setconfig!("project.pages", [1, 2, 3])


This is a deployment methodology cloned from the excellent node.js config package.

Used By Packages

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