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Config::INI - simple .ini-file format


version 0.029


Config-INI comes with code for reading .ini files:

  my $config_hash = Config::INI::Reader->read_file('config.ini');

...and for writing .ini files:

  Config::INI::Writer->write_file({ somekey => 'somevalue' }, 'config.ini');

See Config::INI::Writer and Config::INI::Reader for more examples.


This library should run on perls released even a long time ago. It should work on any version of perl released in the last five years.

Although it may work on older versions of perl, no guarantee is made that the minimum required version will not be increased. The version may be increased for any reason, and there is no promise that patches will be accepted to lower the minimum required perl.


This section describes the format parsed and produced by Config::INI::Reader and ::Writer. It is not an exhaustive and rigorously tested formal grammar, it's just a description of this particular implementation of the not-quite-standardized "INI" format.

  ini-file   = { <section> | <empty-line> }

  empty-line = [ <space> ] <line-ending>

  section        = <section-header> { <value-assignment> | <empty-line> }

  section-header = [ <space> ] "[" <section-name> "]" [ <space> ] <line-ending>
  section-name   = string

  value-assignment = [ <space> ] <property-name> [ <space> ]
                     [ <space> ] <value> [ <space> ]
  property-name    = string-without-equals
  value            = string

  comment     = <space> ";" [ <string> ]
  line-ending = [ <comment> ] <EOL>

  space = ( <TAB> | " " ) *
  string-without-equals = string - "="
  string = ? 1+ characters; not ";" or EOL; begins and ends with non-space ?

Of special note is the fact that no escaping mechanism is defined, meaning that there is no way to include an EOL or semicolon (for example) in a value, property name, or section name. If you need this, either subclass, wait for a subclass to be written for you, or find one of the many other INI-style parsers on the CPAN.

The order of sections and value assignments within a section are not significant, except that given multiple assignments to one property name within a section, only the final one is used. A section name may be used more than once; this will have the identical meaning as having all property assignments in all sections of that name in sequence.


The definitions above refer to the format used by the Reader and Writer classes bundled in the Config-INI distribution. These classes are designed for easy subclassing, so it should be easy to replace their behavior with whatever behavior your want.

Patches, feature requests, and bug reports are welcome -- but I'm more interested in making sure you can write a subclass that does what you need, and less in making Config-INI do what you want directly.


Thanks to Florian Ragwitz for improving the subclassability of Config-INI's modules, and for helping me do some of my first merging with git(7).


Originaly derived from Config::Tiny, by Adam Kennedy.


Ricardo Signes <>


  • castaway <>

  • David Steinbrunner <>

  • Florian Ragwitz <>

  • George Hartzell <>

  • Graham Knop <>

  • Ricardo SIGNES <>

  • Ricardo Signes <>

  • Smylers <>


This software is copyright (c) 2007 by Ricardo Signes.

This is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as the Perl 5 programming language system itself.