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This plugin will mimic the Grails 2 way of handling external configurations defined in grails.config.locations.

It also provides scripts to convert between yml & groovy config.


Grails external-config
5.2.x 3.1.0
5.0.x 3.0.0
4.x.x 2.0.1
3.3.x 1.4.0

Creator and contributors

Plugin creator

Major contributors

Thank you!


Note: New coordinates! Not published with coordinates since BinTray went out of business. Now published under dk.glasius

Add dependency to your build.gradle:

dependencies {
    compile 'dk.glasius:external-config:3.0.0' // or latest version


When you add this plugin to your Grails build, it will automatically look for the property grails.config.locations. Define this in either application.yml like this:

            - classpath:myconfig.groovy
            - classpath:myconfig.yml
            - file:///etc/app/myconfig.groovy
            - file:///etc/app/myconfig.yml
            - file:///etc/app/
            - ~/.grails/myconfig.groovy
            - ~/.grails/myconfig.yml
            - ~/.grails/
            - file:${catalina.base}/myconfig.groovy
            - file:${catalina.base}/myconfig.yml
            - file:${catalina.base}/

or in application.groovy like this:

grails.config.locations = [

It is also possible to define it in an environment specific block (yml):

                - ... 

or (groovy)

environments {
    test {
        grails {
            config {
                locations = [...]

~/ references the users $HOME directory. Notice, that using a system property you should use single quotes because otherwise it's interpreted as a Gstring.

The plugin will skip configuration files that are not found.

For .groovy and .yml files the environments blocks in the config file are interpreted the same way, as in application.yml or application.groovy.

Wildcard support

It is possible to use * as wildcards in the filename part of the configuration:

            - file:/etc/app/myconfig*.groovy
            - ~/.grails/myconfig*.groovy


grails.config.locations = [

Note: that it only works for the file: and ~/ prefix.

Note: the wildcards are in the order they are found in the locations list, but the order of the expanded locations for each wildcard is not guaranteed, and is dependent on the OS used.

Getting configuration from another folder than /conf on classpath without moving it with Gradle script

If you wish to make your Grails application pull external configuration from classpath when running locally, but you do not wish to get it packed into the assembled war file (i.e. place the external configuration file in e.g. /external-config instead of /conf), then you can include the external configuration file to the classpath by adding the following line to build.gradle

tasks.named('bootRun') {
    doFirst {
        classpath += files("external-config")

tasks.withType(Test) {
    doFirst {
        classpath += files("external-config")

or alternatively add this to your dependencies:

provided files('external-config') // provided to ensure that external config is not included in the war file

Alternatively, you can make a gradle script to move the external configuration file to your classpath (e.g. /build/classes)

Micronaut support

The plugin will register the locations in grails.config.locations as micronaut.config.files. Please note, that Micronaut will fail, if it does not recognise the file extension.


This plugin also includes two scripts, one for converting yml config, to groovy config, and one for converting groovy config to yml config. These scripts are not guaranteed to be perfect, but you should report any edge cases for the yml to groovy config here:

grails yml-to-groovy-config has the following parameters:

  • ymlFile - The yml input file.
  • asClosure - An optional flag to set the output to be closure based or map based. The Default is closure based
  • outputFile - The optional output file. If none is provided, then the output will go to System.out.
  • indent - Optional indent. The default is 4 spaces
  • escapeList - An optional CSV list of values to escape, with no spaces. The default is 'default'

Sample usage

grails yml-to-groovy-config [ymlFile] [optional asClosure] [optional outputFile] [optional indent] [optional escape list]

grails groovy-to-yml-config has the following parameters:

  • groovy - The groovy input file.'
  • outputFile - The optional output file. If none is provided, then the output will go to System.out.
  • indent' - Sets the optional indent level for a file. The default is 4
  • flow - Sets the optional style of BLOCK or FLOWS. The default is BLOCK.

Sample usage

grails groovy-to-yml-config [ymlFile] [optional outputFile] [optional indent] [optinal flow]


Grails 3 plugin to handle multiple config files like Grails 2.x did





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