Initial Configuration File

The pelix.misc.init_handler module provides the InitFileHandler class. It is able to load the configuration of an iPOPO framework, from one or multiple files.

This configuration allows to setup environment variables, additional Python paths, framework properties, a list of bundles to start with the framework and a list of components to instantiate.

File Format

Configuration files are in JSON format, with a root object which can contain the following entries:

  • properties: a JSON object defining the initial properties of the framework. The object keys must be strings, but can be associated to any valid JSON value.

  • environment: a JSON object defining new environment variables for the process running the framework. Both keys and values must be strings.

  • paths: a JSON array containing paths to add to the Python lookup paths. The given paths will be prioritized, i.e. if a path was already defined in sys.path, it will be moved forward. The given paths can contains environment variables and the user path marker (~).

    Note that the current working directory (cwd) will always be the first element of sys.path when using an initial configuration handler.

  • bundles: a JSON array containing the names of the bundles to install and start with the framework.

  • components: a JSON array of JSON objects defining the components to instantiate. Each component description has the following entries:

    • factory: the name of the component factory
    • name: the name of the instance
    • properties (optional): a JSON object defining the initial properties of the component

Here is a sample initial configuration file:

  "properties": {
    "some.value": 42,
    "framework.uuid": "custom-uuid",
    "arrays": ['they', 'work', 'too', 123],
    "dicts": {"why": "not?"}
  "environment": {
    "new_path": "/opt/foo",
    "LANG": "en_US.UTF-8"
  "paths": [
  "bundles": [
  "components": [
      "factory": "pelix.http.service.basic.factory",
      "name": "httpd",
      "properties": {
         "pelix.http.address": ""

Moreover, if the root object contains a reset_<name> entry, then the previously loaded configuration for the <name> entry are forgotten: the current configuration will replace the old one instead of updating it.

For example:

  "bundles": [
  "reset_bundles": true

When this file will be loaded, the list of bundles declared by previously loaded configuration files will be cleared and replaced by the one in this file.

File lookup

A InitFileHandler object updates its internal state with the content of the files it parses. As a result, multiple configuration files can be used to start framework with a common basic configuration.

When calling load() without argument, the handler will try to load all the files named .pelix.conf in the following folders and order:

  • /etc/default
  • /etc
  • /usr/local/etc
  • ~/.local/pelix
  • ~/.config
  • ~ (user directory)
  • . (current working directory)

When giving a file name to load(), the handler will merge the configuration it contains with its current state.

Finally, after having updated a configuration, the InitFileHandler will remove duplicated in Python path and bundles configurations.

Support in Pelix shell

The framework doesn’t starts a InitFileHandler on its own: it must be created and loaded before creating the framework.

Currently, only the Pelix Shell Console supports the initial configuration, using the following arguments:

  • no argument: the .pelix.conf files are loaded as described in File lookup.
  • -e, --empty-conf: no initial configuration file will be loaded
  • -c <filename>, --conf <filename>: the default configuration files, then given one will be loaded.
  • -C <filename>, --exclusive-conf <filename>: only the given configuration file will be loaded.

It is planned that the support for initial configuration files will be added to other shells in future iPOPO versions.


class pelix.misc.init_handler.InitFileHandler

Parses and handles the instructions of initial configuration files


Clears the current internal state (cleans up all loaded content)


Instantiate the defined components

Parameters:context – A BundleContext object
Raises:BundleException – Error starting a component

Loads the given file and adds its content to the current state. This method can be called multiple times to merge different files.

If no filename is given, this method loads all default files found. It returns False if no default configuration file has been found

Parameters:filename – The file to load
Returns:True if the file has been correctly parsed, False if no file was given and no default file exist
Raises:IOError – Error loading file

Normalizes environment variables and the Python path.

This method first updates the environment variables (os.environ). Then, it normalizes the Python path (sys.path) by resolving all references to the user directory and environment variables.

Returns:The list of names of bundles to install and start
Returns:The initial framework properties

Sample API Usage

This sample starts a framework based on the default configuration files, plus a given one named some_file.json.

import pelix.framework as pelix
from pelix.misc.init_handler import InitFileHandler

# Read the initial configuration script
init = InitFileHandler()

# Load default configuration

# Load the given configuration file

# Normalize configuration (forge sys.path)

# Use the utility method to create, run and delete the framework
framework = pelix.create_framework(init.bundles,

# Instantiate configured components

# Let the framework live
except KeyboardInterrupt: