Serialize INI configuration to python dictionary

August 30th, 2009 mysurface Posted in Developer, python | Hits: 249900 | 20 Comments »

A lots of configuration file is in the format of INI, if we manage to serialize INI configuration to python dictionary, we can write python scripts to analyse and generate back to INI files.

Below is the sample of INI configuration: config.ini

# GENERAL section contains generic configuration

# LOG section contains logging settings
LogType=Info Trace Error Debug

I created few python function use to serialize the INI configuration into dictionary. But there are some assumption to make. Assume that the comment of INI is start with char ‘#’. python dictionary do not takes in comments, because comment is not configuration. But what if after I change the configurations in dictionary and want to serialize back to INI file with the original comments stayed in as well? Yes you can remain the comments with the set of python functions I wrote.

Lets look at what function I have.
grep (str_list,pattern,neg=False): is my internal function to filter element in string list (first param).

ParseConfig (name=None): put the INI config filename as param, dictionary object will be returned.

ConfigTemplate (name=None): The construct the INI structure in another dictionary, storing the Section Name as well as your comments.

ConfigWrite (template=[],config=[],filename=””): This function is to serialize back the python dictionary back to INI file. First param takes in the template dictionary object, second takes in configuration dictionary object.

Lets us look at all functions definition as well as the examples:

#/usr/bin/env python
import sys,os,datetime,time,re,string
from StringIO import StringIO


def grep (str_list,pattern,neg=False):
    """grep() will return list of match case.
Param: str_list - must be a list of string, each element in list is a new line
                  can use .split('\n') to obtain list from mutiple line of string
Param: pattern - re pattern can be composed by re.compile()"""
    sres=[] #empty list
    for s in str_list:,s,re.VERBOSE)
        if r and neg==False:
        elif (not r) and neg==True:

    return sres

def ParseConfig (name=None):
    global GREP_NEGATIVE
    """ Parsing config file to this function, will serialized to dictionary
@name  = filename
@return = dictionary"""

    while True:
            f = open(name,"r")
        except IOError:
            print "Err ",name,"not exist"
            return None

        for line in f:
            #strip all the whitespaces and write all lines to list.

    # filter out the comment

    # make a dictionary
    xL=[] #current L
    for item in loglist:
        L=grep([item],"^\[.*\]$") # section
        if L:
            #print xL
        else: # items?
            if len(xL)>0:
               if item:
                    #split index and values.
                    #replace all '\t' to " " in values
                    iL[1]=string.replace(iL[1],"\t"," ")
                    # split the values into list
                    iiL=iL[1].strip(string.whitespace).split(" ")
                    for item in iiL:
                        # read each value in the list, if got something append to the real_list
                        if len(item.strip(string.whitespace)) is not 0:
                    # create another dict into the section
    return configdict

def ConfigTemplate (name=None):
    except IOError:
        return None

        for line in f:
            #strip all the whitespaces and write all lines to list.
            theline = line.strip(string.whitespace)

    if len(loglist) is 0:
        loglist = None
    return loglist

def ConfigWrite (template=[],config=[],filename=""):
    global DebugDupConfigWrite

    if len(template) is 0 or len(config) is 0 or filename is "":
        return False

        f = open(filename,"w")
        for line in template:
            if r:
                f.write(line + "\n")
            if j:
                f.write(line + "\n")
                # get all section line up
                section_name = line.strip(string.whitespace).lstrip("[").rstrip("]")
                if config.has_key(section_name):
                    sec_dict = config[section_name]
                    for element in sec_dict:
                    for element in element_list:
                        # index = values....
                        #print element, sec_dict[element]
                        f.write(element + " = " + "\t".join(sec_dict[element]) + "\n")
                    #f.write("CAN'T FIND THE ELEMENTS in section[%s]! DATA CORRUPTED.\n" % section_name)
                pass # end if j
            pass # end for line
        return True

        return False

# sample calling
myDict = ParseConfig ("config.ini")
template = ConfigTemplate ("config.ini")

print myDict

print "ALL TAGS"
for c in myDict:
    print " ",c

print ""
for d in myDict["GENERAL"]:
    print " ",d

print ""
print "ALL ITEM IN 'LOG'"
for d in myDict["LOG"]:
    print " ",d

print ""
print myDict["LOG"]["LogType"]

for e in myDict["LOG"]["LogType"]:
    print " ",e

print "DIRECT ACCESS 'LOG's LOGTYPE 2nd value'"
print "second value is ",myDict["LOG"]["LogType"][1]

I hope my example is straight forward for you to understand how to use it, wish you enjoy python scripting :)

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