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a lightweight package for ini style configuration/settings text files.
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a simple, lightweight and fast class for ini style configuration files, with the native PHP function `parse_ini_file' under the hood.

Config_Lite is inspired by Pythons ConfigParser. +

A "Config_Lite" file consists of global key/value pair (KVP) entries and optional sections, "[section]", followed by "name = value" (KVP) entries.


A simple configuration file: `test.ini'

public_key_file =  "~/.ssh/"
debug = yes

lang = "en"

user = "dionysis"
password = "c2oiVnY!f8sf"

Read Configuration file:


require_once 'Config/Lite.php';

$config = new Config_Lite('test.ini');

echo $config->get('db', 'user'); // dionysis
echo $config->get(null, 'public_key_file'); // ~/.ssh/

if (true === $config->getBool(null, 'debug', true)) {
    echo $config;

// read with ArrayAccess
echo $config['db']['password']; // c2oiVnY!f8sf

Save Configuration file:


$config->set('db', 'user', 'JohnDoe')
    ->set('db', 'password', 'd0g1tcVs$HgIn1');

// set with ArrayAccess
$config['public_key_file'] = '~/.ssh/';
$config['general'] = array('lang' => 'de');

// save object to file

Create configuration file:


require_once 'Config/Lite.php';

$config = new Config_Lite('test.ini');
$config->set('db', 'user', 'JohnDoe')
    ->set('db', 'password', 'd0g1tcVs$HgIn1');

// set global bool 'debug' 
$config->set(null, 'debug', false);

// save object to file
try {
} catch (Config_Lite_Exception $e) {
    echo "\n", 'Exception Message: ', $e->getMessage();

Alternative file creation with write:


require_once 'Config/Lite.php';

$filename = 'test.ini';

$config = new Config_Lite();

try {
    $config->write($filename, array(
            'public_key_file' =>  "~/.ssh/",
            'general' => array(
                'lang' => 'fr'
            'db' => array(
                'user' => 'dionysis',
                'password' => 'd0g1tcVs$HgIn1'
} catch (Config_Lite_Exception $exception) {
    printf("Failed to write file: %s.\n", $filename);
    printf("Exception Message: %s\n", $exception->getMessage());
    printf("Exception Stracktrace: %s\n", $exception->getTraceAsString());

global Configuration options (without sections) :


$config->set(null, 'private_key_file', '~/.ssh/id_rsa');
// set with arrayaccess
$config['public_key_file'] = '~/.ssh/';


echo $config->get(null, 'public_key_file');
// get with arrayaccess
echo $config['private_key_file'];

iterate (SPL Iterator) :


$config = new Config_Lite($filename);

foreach ($config as $section => $name) {
    if (is_array($name)) {
        $s.= sprintf("[%s]\n", $section);
        foreach ($name as $key => $val) {
            $s.= sprintf("\t%s = %s\n", $key, $val);
    } else {
        $s.= sprintf("%s=%s\n", $section, $name);



Sets whether or not sections should be processed If true, values for each section will be placed into a sub-array for the section. If false, all values will be placed in the global scope.


Sets whether or not to doubleQuote If true, everything but bool and numeric values get doublequoted.

Notes & Limitations

  • Config_Lite is an OO frontend to parse_ini_file' and writing ini files, but you can also use the public methodwrite' if you only want to write an array as ini file
  • Use getString and setString to save and read Strings with double and single-quotes
  • Use getBool if you need a real bool type, eg. for strict equality comparision
  • The methods set' andget' keep values untouched, but the write method normalize "bool" values to a human readable representation, doublequotes strings and numeric values without any quotes
  • newline chars defaults to "\n", editable with `setLinebreak'
  • comments get dropped when writing after reading
  • no support of comments and multiline strings, because reading with parse_ini_file does not support it

If you want to save userinput like images or a regex, i'd recommend to use get with base64_decode and set with base64_encode.

Save regex (as global option) base64 encoded :


require_once 'Config/Lite.php';

$config = new Config_Lite('regex-test.ini');

$regex = '/Hello \"(.*?)\"/';
$config->set(null, 'regex', base64_encode($regex));
// save object, here sync to read it back, just to test
// in 'regex-test.ini': regex = "L0hlbGxvIFwiKC4qPylcIi8="
$regex = base64_decode($config->get(null, 'regex'));
if (preg_match($regex, 'Hello "World"!')) {
    printf("matched. regex:%s", $regex);
} else {
    printf("no match found. regex:%s", $regex);


  • experimental branch, Config_Lite_Parser with extended read and writefunctions (parse with Linereader), to support comments and multiline strings (both supported by Pear::Config),


Patches are Welcome!

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