Zesk Configuration File format

TODO Way out of date

The Zesk configuration file format allows for diverse structures to be embedded in a plain text file and is used primarily for loading application default settings.

Main call

array conf::parse(array $lines, $options = array());

Added August 2016:

new zesk\Configuration_Parser_CONF(...)

The main workhorse of the configuration file processing is conf::parse which takes a list of file lines and a set of options.

The options affect how the file is loaded, and what features are present in the file. All options are optional, but you should be aware of their defaults The options available are:

To see the set of default options configured for your system, do:

array conf::options_default(array $options=array());

You can pass in an array of your own options

Any and all configuration file settings can be modified on a global level by setting a ZESK global prefixed with conf::, so:

zesk::set("conf::overwrite", false);
zesk::set("conf::lower", false);

Will set the default value if not specified in the call.

Utility calls

Several other calls use conf::parse:

function conf::load($file, $options = array());
function conf::load_inherit($files, array $paths, array $options);
function conf::globals($files, array $paths, array $options);

These functions take an additional potential option:

Built-in features

The Zesk configuration format was designed to work easily with shell programs such as bash or sh to enable sharing settings between PHP and other types of scripts. Zesk configuration files support the following features:

Automatic stripping of the term "export " from variables names.


export LOG_PATH=/var/log



Are equivalent. The "export " portion of the variable name is removed prior to setting.

Variables substitution

If a variable is already defined, it will be substituted using bash variable syntax:


If a variable is undefined, then it is replaced with blanks.

Other features

As with all things Zesk, the default configuration file behavior can be overridden by specific applications. The main configuration file processing logic appears in Zesk_Application::configure and follows this pseudo-code: