Difference between revisions of "Development/Tutorials/Updating KConfig Files"

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{{Template:I18n/Language Navigation Bar|Development/Tutorials/Updating_KConfig_Files}}
+
{{TutorialBrowser
{{TutorialBrowser|
+
|series=KConfig
 +
|pre=[https://develop.kde.org/docs/configuration/introduction/ Introduction to KConfig]
 +
|name=Updating KConfig files
 +
|reading=[[Development/Tools/Using_kconf_update]], [https://api.kde.org/frameworks/kconfig/html/index.html KConfig framework documentation]
 +
}}
 +
 
 +
== Introduction ==
 +
Sometimes you want to change the way how your application stores configuration information.
 +
This can have many reasons.
 +
Maybe you want to split your application into multiple components, or join multiple components to one component.
 +
Or you just think that the old configuration file format didn’t make much sense.
 +
 
 +
If you change the configuration file format, you need a way to migrate configuration information from the old format to the new format.
 +
You can add code to your application, which looks up both the old configuration and the new configuration, and then decides which one to use.
 +
However, if your intention is to simplify your application’s code, this will actually make your code more complicated.
 +
 
 +
If you use KConfig to store configuration information, there is a tool which can update your configuration files without adding complexity to your application code: '''kconf_update'''.
 +
kconf_update makes it easy to move configuration information from one place to another, but it is also possible to change the configuration data itself.
 +
 
 +
=== How it works ===
 +
Applications can install so called ''update files'' in {{path|${KDE_INSTALL_KCONFUPDATEDIR}}}.
 +
An update file has {{path|.upd}} as extension, and contains instructions for transferring and converting configuration information.
 +
Update files are separated into sections, and each section has an unique ID.
 +
 
 +
kconf_update is started automatically when '''KDED''' detects a new update file in the above mentioned location.
 +
kconf_update will first check in its own configuration file ({{path|kconf_updaterc}}, usually located in {{path|~/.config/}}) which sections of the update file haven’t been processed yet.
 +
When a section has been processed, its ID is stored in {{path|kconf_updaterc}} and the affected configuration files, to make sure it will not be processed again.
 +
 
 +
If you overwrite an existing update file with a new version that contains a new section, only the update instructions from this new section will be processed.
 +
 
 +
If your application does not depend explicitely on KDED (e. g. if your target platform isn’t Linux or FreeBSD), kconf_update may not be started automatically.
 +
You can start it manually using <code>KConfig::checkUpdate()</code>.
 +
Note that kconf_update might process your update multiple times simultaneously in this case.
 +
This can cause problems if your update file uses the <code>Script=</code> command.
 +
See [[Development/Tools/Using_kconf_update#Note on side effects]] for more details.
 +
 
 +
=== How to use ===
 +
To use kconf_update in your application, you only need to write an update file and install it in the right place.
 +
An example update file is in the section [[#Moving configuration data around]].
 +
 
 +
Add the following lines to your {{path|CMakeLists.txt}}:
 +
 
 +
<syntaxhighlight lang="cmake">
 +
find_package(ECM ${KF5_REQUIRED_VERSION} CONFIG REQUIRED)
 +
# Extra CMake Modules (ECM) component KDEInstallDirs
 +
# defines variables like KDE_INSTALL_KCONFUPDATEDIR:
 +
include(KDEInstallDirs)
 +
 
 +
# Makes your application compile with KConfig:
 +
find_package(KF5 ${KF5_REQUIRED_VERSION} REQUIRED COMPONENTS
 +
    Config
 +
    [...]
 +
)
 +
 
 +
# Installs the update file in the right place:
 +
install(FILES okular.upd DESTINATION ${KDE_INSTALL_KCONFUPDATEDIR})
 +
</syntaxhighlight>
 +
 
 +
{{Warning|
 +
Before you deploy update files to your users, you should verify that they do what you want. Otherwise you will probably get bug reports, but you already missed your change to fix them.
 +
See the [[#Testing update files]] section.
 +
}}
 +
 
 +
== Moving configuration data around ==
 +
Imagine your need to change the name of one entry in your configuration file.
 +
This happened in '''Okular''', and this is the content of {{path|${KDE_INSTALL_KCONFUPDATEDIR}/okular.upd}}:
 +
 
 +
<syntaxhighlight lang="ini">
 +
#Configuration update for Okular
 +
Version=5
 +
 
 +
#Convert user-defined annotation tools to quick annotation tools
 +
Id=annotation-toolbar
 +
File=okularpartrc
 +
Group=Reviews
 +
Key=AnnotationTools,QuickAnnotationTools
 +
</syntaxhighlight>
 +
 
 +
; <code>#Configuration update for Okular</code>
 +
: Empty lines and lines that start with <code>#</code> are considered comments.
 +
 
 +
; <code>Version=5</code>
 +
: Specifies that this update file is written for the KF5 version of kconf_update.
 +
: Every update file must start with this command.
 +
 
 +
; <code>Id=annotation-toolbar</code>
 +
: Starts an update section called ''annotation-toolbar''.
 +
: You should give your section a name that describes why this update necessary. You can also include the year of your changes, like in ''Id=annotation-toolbar-2020''.
 +
; <code>File=okularpartrc</code>
 +
: Tells kconf_update which configuration file shall be affected.
 +
 
 +
; <code>Group=Reviews</code>
 +
: Tells kconf_update that it shall operate on the ''Reviews'' group of the configuration file.
 +
 
 +
; <code>Key=AnnotationTools,QuickAnnotationTools</code>
 +
: Tells kconf_update that it shall read from the entry ''AnnotationTools'' and write to the entry ''QuickAnnotationTools''.
 +
: In this case, this causes the entry to be renamed.
 +
 
 +
You can find the full command reference in [[Development/Tools/Using_kconf_update#Update_file_command_reference]].
 +
 
 +
This update file will change the contents of {{path|okularpartrc}} from e. g.:
 +
 
 +
<syntaxhighlight lang="ini">
 +
[Reviews]
 +
AnnotationTools=highlight,underline
 +
</syntaxhighlight>
 +
 
 +
to:
 +
 
 +
<syntaxhighlight lang="ini">
 +
[$Version]
 +
update_info=okular.upd:annotation-toolbar
 +
 
 +
[Reviews]
 +
QuickAnnotationTools=highlight,underline
 +
</syntaxhighlight>
 +
 
 +
Note that it changed the name of the <code>AnnotationTools</code> entry in the <code>Reviews</code> group, and added a new <code>$Version</code> group to mark the <code>annotation-toolbar</code> update as done.
 +
 
 +
To try this example, see the [[#Testing update files]] section.
 +
 
 +
== Testing update files ==
 +
You can run kconf_update manually on a specific update file, to see how it will process it.
 +
 
 +
First, you need to locate your kconf_update executable.
 +
(Try e. g. <code>locate kconf_update</code>.)
 +
If you can’t locate it, you can also compile it from the KConfig repository.
 +
Let’s assume your kconf_update executable is located at {{path|/usr/lib/kf5/kconf_update}}.
 +
 
 +
kconf_update offers the command line options <code>--debug</code> and <code>--testmode</code>.
 +
<br/><code>--debug</code> enables helpful debugging output on the command line.
 +
<br/><code>--testmode</code> activates <code>QStandardPaths::setTestModeEnabled()</code>, so kconf_update will not update your actual configuration files, but files you have placed in a certain test directory.
 +
See the <code>QStandardPaths::GenericConfigLocation</code> documentation for your platform.
 +
Let’s assume this test directory is {{path|~/.qttest/config/}}.
 +
 
 +
Now place your update file and a test configuration file in your working directory.
 +
Assuming you are testing the file from [[#Moving configuration data around]], you run:
 +
 
 +
{{Input|1=<nowiki>
 +
mkdir -p ~/.qttest/config/
 +
cp okularpartrc ~/.qttest/config/
 +
/usr/lib/kf5/kconf_update --debug --testmode ./okular.upd
 +
</nowiki>}}
  
series=KConfig|
+
Then you should get an output like:
  
pre=[[../KConfig|Introduction to KConfig]]|
+
{{Output|1=<nowiki>
 +
Automatically enabled the debug logging category kf.config.kconf_update
 +
kf5.kconfig.update: Checking update-file "./okular.upd" for new updates
 +
kf5.kconfig.update: "okular.upd" : Found new update "annotation-toolbar"
 +
kf5.kconfig.update: "okular.upd" : Updating "okularpartrc" : "Reviews" : "QuickAnnotationTools" to "highlight,underline"
 +
kf5.kconfig.update: "okular.upd" : Removing "okularpartrc" : "Reviews" : "AnnotationTools" , moved.
 +
</nowiki>}}
  
name=Updating KConfig files|
+
Now you should open {{path|~/.qttest/config/okularpartrc}} to verify that the update was performed correctly.
 +
If you see the new <code>$Version</code> group there, but <code>AnnotationTools</code> was not renamed, the update was performed, but something is wrong with your update instructions.
 +
If you don’t see the new <code>$Version</code> group, the update didn’t affect the correct configuration file.
  
 +
{{Tip|
 +
For the first tests, it is convenient to write a configuration file that contains only the entries you are interested in (like in [[#Moving configuration data around]]).
 +
But you should also perform a test with a configuration file from an actual installation of your application.
 
}}
 
}}
  
=KConfig Update=
+
{{Tip|
 +
If you want to test the update file again, you need to restore an old version of the configuration file first.
 +
Additionally, you need to open {{path|kconf_updaterc}}, and remove the <code>okular.upd</code> group, otherwise kconf_update will skip your update file.
 +
 
 +
Since Frameworks version KF 5.76, kconf_update will ignore {{path|kconf_updaterc}} while in <code>--testmode</code>
 +
}}
 +
 
 +
=== Testing installed update files ===
 +
When you think your update file works fine, you may try to completely compile and install the new version of your application.
 +
After you have run e. g. <code>make install</code>, your update file should show up in the correct directory.
 +
KDED will detect this, and run kconf_update.
 +
Your installed configuration file should now be updated, and you can open it to verify the update.
 +
 
 +
However, if you find problems now, you probably want to let the update run again.
 +
If you install a new update file, KDED will run kconf_update again, but kconf_update will not perform the update.
 +
What you need to do is:
 +
 
 +
* Restore an old version of the configuration file, so there is something to update again. The old version shouldn’t contain the <code>$Version</code> group.
 +
* Locate {{path|kconf_updaterc}} (e. g. with the command <code>locate kconf_updaterc</code>), and remove the group named by your update file.
 +
 
 +
Now, kconf_update will process the update again, as soon as you overwrite the update file.
 +
Since <code>make install</code> won’t overwrite the file with itself, you need to manually delete it first.
 +
 
 +
You can also try to run kconf_update manually, e. g. with the command <code>/usr/lib/kf5/kconf_update --debug</code> (without other arguments).
 +
 
 +
==== Debug output while running in the background ====
 +
Because kconf_update will now run in the background, you will not directly get debug output.
 +
After KDE Frameworks 5.57, debug output goes through the category <code>kf.config.kconf_update</code>.
 +
If this category is enabled, debug output will be printed to ''stderr'' and consequently end up in {{path|xsession-errors}} or {{path|wayland-errors}}.
 +
You can use '''kdebugsettings''' to enable this logging category.
 +
 
 +
Alternatively, see the <code>QLoggingCategory</code> documentation for how to enable this logging category.
 +
Probably you can add the following group to a configuration file like {{path|/usr/share/qt5/qtlogging.ini}}:
 +
 
 +
{{Input|1=<nowiki>
 +
[Rules]
 +
kf.config.kconf_update=true
 +
</nowiki>}}
 +
 
 +
If Qt was built with support for logging to system log facilities (such as systemd-journald), the output may be found there instead.
 +
Before 5.57, the output was always sent to ''stderr'' and may be found in the aforementioned errors files.
 +
 
 +
== Manipulating configuration data itself ==
 +
The above example update file {{path|okular.upd}} shows you how you can move configuration information around.
 +
But if you need to change the configuration data itself, you need to run configuration information through a script.
 +
 
 +
kconf_update provides the ''Script='' command, which will pipe configuration entries through a script before it is merged to the new configuration file.
 +
 
 +
You need to provide the script files in {{path|${KDE_INSTALL_KCONFUPDATEDIR}}}.
 +
You should choose a script language whose interpreter will be available on your target platform.
 +
E. g. if your target platforms include Windows, you should not use shell scripts.
 +
 
 +
You can also use “compiled scripts”, these need to be placed in {{path|${KDE_INSTALL_LIBDIR}/kconf_update_bin/}}.
 +
Compiled scripts allow you to use the C++ APIs of Qt, KConfig, your own application, and what you need else; and make you independent of interpreters.
 +
 
 +
The following sections give examples for both interpreted scripts and compiled scripts.
 +
 
 +
=== Example interpreted update script ===
 +
Imagine you want to switch from a ''DoNotUseTabs'' configuration entry to a ''UseTabs'' configuration entry.
 +
This can be easily done using this small Python script:
 +
 
 +
<syntaxhighlight lang="python">
 +
import fileinput
  
This page describes how a developer can use the KConfig update mechanism (kconf_update) available in kdelibs to update a user's already existing config file to accomodate changes made to the format of the default config file.
+
for line in fileinput.input():
 +
    if line.startswith("DoNotUseTabs=false"):
 +
        print("UseTabs=true")
 +
    if line.startswith("DoNotUseTabs=true"):
 +
        print("UseTabs=false")
  
==Why should you use it?==
+
print("# DELETE DoNotUseTabs")
 +
</syntaxhighlight>
  
Over time applications sometimes need to rearrange the way configuration options are stored. Since such an update shouldn't influence the configuration options that the user has selected, the application must take care that the options stored in the old way will still be honored.
+
; <code>print("UseTabs=true")</code>
 +
: When the script outputs the line ''UseTabs=true'', kconf_update will create a new configuration entry (unless it already exists).
  
What used to happen is that the application looks up both the old and the
+
; <code>print("# DELETE DoNotUseTabs")</code>
new configuration option and then decides which one to use. This method has several drawbacks:
+
: When the script outputs the line ''# DELETE DoNotUseTabs'', kconf_update will delete the old configuration entry.
* The application may need to read more configuration files than strictly needed, resulting in a slower startup.
 
* The application becomes bigger with code that will only be used once.
 
  
kconf_update addresses these problems by offering a framework to update configuration files without adding code to the application itself.
+
See [[Development/Tools/Using_kconf_update#Script_output_format]] for detailed information on the script output format.
  
==How it works==
+
Your update file could look like this:
  
Applications can install so called "update files" under
+
<syntaxhighlight lang="ini">
{{Path|$KDEDIR/share/apps/kconf_update.}} An update file has {{Path|.upd}} as an extension and contains instructions for transferring/converting configuration information from one place to another.
+
Version=5
  
Updating the configuration happens automatically, either when KDE gets started
+
Id=no-more-double-negation-2020
or when kded detects a new update file in the above mentioned location.
+
File=myApprc
 +
Group=UserInterface
 +
Script=myApp_no_more_double_negation_2020.py,python3
 +
</syntaxhighlight>
  
Update files are separated into sections. Each section has an id. When a
+
; <code>Script=myApp_no_more_double_negation_2020.py,python3</code>
section describing a configuration change has been applied, the id will be
+
: This instructs kconf_update to look for the script file ''myApp_no_more_double_negation_2020.py'', and run it with ''python3''.
stored in the file {{Path|kconf_updaterc}}. This information is used to make sure that a configuration update is only performed once.
+
: The script will get the contents of the group ''UserInterface'' as input, and the output will be merged back to the group ''UserInterface''.
  
If you overwrite an existing update file with a new version that contains a
+
See [[Development/Tools/Using_kconf_update#Update_script_commands]] for a detailed reference on the ''Script='' and ''ScriptArguments='' commands.
new section, only the update instructions from this extra section will be
 
performed.
 
  
==File format of the update file==
+
Your CMakeLists.txt could look like this:
  
Empty lines or lines that start with '#' are considered comments
+
<syntaxhighlight lang="cmake">
Commas (,) are used to seperate fields and may not occur as part
+
[...]
of any field and all of the keywords are case-sensitive, i.e. you
+
find_package(ECM ${KF5_REQUIRED_VERSION} CONFIG REQUIRED)
cannot say "key" instead of "Key" for example.
+
include(KDEInstallDirs)
 +
[...]
 +
find_package(KF5 ${KF5_REQUIRED_VERSION} REQUIRED COMPONENTS
 +
    Config
 +
    [...]
 +
)
 +
[...]
 +
install(FILES conf/update/myApp_configFiles.upd DESTINATION ${KDE_INSTALL_KCONFUPDATEDIR})
 +
install(FILES conf/update/myApp_no_more_double_negation_2020.py DESTINATION ${KDE_INSTALL_KCONFUPDATEDIR})
 +
</syntaxhighlight>
  
For the rest the file is parsed and executed sequentially from top to bottom.
+
Don’t forget that your appliation now depends on python3.
Each line can contain one entry. The following entries are recognized:
 
  
<code>Id=<id></code>
+
=== Example compiled update script ===
 +
Imagine your application made the state of a KActionMenu user configurable.
 +
Because you changed to the new QToolButton::ToolButtonPopupMode API, you need to migrate from the old ''delayed'' and ''stickyMenu'' entries to the new ''popupMode'' entry.
 +
You can do that with the following compiled update script, which uses the KConfig framework directly:
  
With <id> identifying the group of update entries that follows. Once a group
+
<syntaxhighlight lang="cpp">
of entries have been applied, their <id> is stored and this group of entries
+
#include <KConfig>
will not be applied again.
+
#include <KConfigGroup>
  
<code>
+
#include <QTemporaryFile>
File=<oldfile>,<newfile>
+
#include <QTextStream>
File=<oldfile>
 
</code>
 
  
Specifies that configuration information is read from <oldfile> and written
+
int main(int argc, char **argv)
to <newfile>. If you only specify <oldfile>, the information is read from
+
{
and as written to <oldfile>. Note that if the file does not exist
+
    // Create a KConfig object from stdin.
at the time kconf_update first checks, no related update will be performed.
+
    QFile inputFile;
 +
    inputFile.open(stdin, QIODevice::ReadOnly);
 +
    QTemporaryFile inputFileForKConfig("popupmode_api_tmp");
 +
    inputFileForKConfig.open();
 +
    inputFileForKConfig.write(inputFile.readAll());
 +
    inputFileForKConfig.close();
 +
    KConfig inputConfig(inputFileForKConfig.fileName(), KConfig::SimpleConfig);
  
<code>
+
    // Create a text stream to stdout.
Script=<script>[,<interpreter>]
+
    QTextStream outputStream(stdout, QIODevice::WriteOnly);
</code>
 
  
<script> is the program that will be performing the updates. All entries from <oldfile> are piped into <script>. The output of <script>is used as new entries for <newfile>. Existing entries can be deleted by adding lines with "# DELETE [group]key" in the output of the script. To delete a whole group use "# DELETEGROUP [group]".
+
    // Unify delayed and stickyMenu.
 +
    // delayed => 0 (DelayedPopup)
 +
    // !delayed && stickyMenu => 2 (InstantPopup)
 +
    // !delayed && !stickyMenu => 1 (MenuButtonPopup) (defined as default with KConfigXT)
 +
    KConfigGroup rootGroup = inputConfig.group("");
 +
    bool old_delayed = rootGroup.readEntry<bool>("delayed", true);
 +
    bool old_stickyMenu = rootGroup.readEntry<bool>("stickyMenu", true);
 +
    int new_popupMode = (old_delayed) ? 0 : (old_stickyMenu) ? 2 : 1;
 +
    if (new_popupMode != 1) {
 +
        outputStream << "popupMode=" << new_popupMode << Qt::endl;
 +
    }
 +
    outputStream << "# DELETE delayed" << Qt::endl;
 +
    outputStream << "# DELETE stickyMenu" << Qt::endl;
  
There are two types of kconf_update scripts:
+
    return 0;
*Non-Compiled
+
}
*Compiled
+
</syntaxhighlight>
  
If <script> is written in a non-compiled language (such as ruby or perl), then it should be installed into
+
Your update file could look like this:
{{Path|${KCONF_UPDATE_INSTALL_DIR} }}.
 
  
If <script> is a compiled application, it should be installed in {{Path|${BIN_INSTALL_DIR}/kconf_update_bin}}
+
<syntaxhighlight lang="ini">
 +
Version=5
  
If the script command is issued after a "Group" command the behavior is slightly
+
Id=toolbuttonpopupmode-api-2020
different:
+
File=myApprc
 +
Group=ActionMenuState
 +
Script=myApp-toolbuttonpopupmode-api-2020
 +
</syntaxhighlight>
  
All entries from <oldfile> in <oldgroup> are piped into <script>. The output
+
Your CMakeLists.txt could look like this:
of script is used as new entries for <newfile> in <newgroup>, unless a different
 
group is specified with "[group]". Existing entries can be deleted from
 
<oldgroup> by adding lines with "# DELETE key" in the output of the script.·
 
To delete <oldgroup> use "# DELETEGROUP".
 
  
<interpreter> can be something like "perl" or "ruby".
+
<syntaxhighlight lang="cmake">
 +
[...]
 +
find_package(ECM ${KF5_REQUIRED_VERSION} CONFIG REQUIRED)
 +
include(KDEInstallDirs)
 +
[...]
 +
find_package(KF5 ${KF5_REQUIRED_VERSION} REQUIRED COMPONENTS
 +
    Config
 +
    [...]
 +
)
 +
[...]
 +
install(FILES myApp_configFiles.upd DESTINATION ${KDE_INSTALL_KCONFUPDATEDIR})
  
It is also possible to have a script command without specifying <oldfile> or <newfile>. In that case the script is run but it will not be fed any input and its output will simply be discarded.
+
add_executable(myApp-toolbuttonpopupmode-api-2020 conf/update/scripts/popupmode.cpp)
 +
target_link_libraries(myApp-toolbuttonpopupmode-api-2020
 +
    KF5::ConfigCore
 +
)
 +
install(TARGETS myApp-toolbuttonpopupmode-api-2020 DESTINATION ${KDE_INSTALL_LIBDIR}/kconf_update_bin/)
 +
</syntaxhighlight>
  
<code>
+
Because you don’t need an interpreter, you didn’t add any dependency to your application.
ScriptArguments=<arguments>
 
</code>
 
  
If specified, the arguments will be passed to <script>.
+
=== Testing external update scripts ===
IMPORTANT: It has to be specified before Script=.
+
The first step to test external update scripts is to call them directly, and feed them with your configuration files.
  
<code>
+
For example, you can test the script from [[#Example interpreted update script]] with this command:
Group=<oldgroup>,<newgroup>
 
Group=<oldgroup>
 
</code>
 
  
Specifies that configuration information is read from the group <oldgroup>
+
{{Input|1=<nowiki>
and written to <newgroup>. If you only specify <oldgroup>, the information
+
cat myApprc_UserInterface | python3 myApp_no_more_double_negation_2020.py
is read from as well as written to <oldgroup>. You can use <default> to
+
</nowiki>}}
specify keys that are not under any group.
 
  
<code>
+
If the script works correctly, you should get output like this:
RemoveGroup=<oldgroup>
 
</code>
 
  
Specifies that <oldgroup> is removed entirely. This can be used
+
{{Output|1=<nowiki>
to remove obsolete entries or to force a revert to default values.
+
UseTabs=true
 +
# DELETE DoNotUseTabs
 +
</nowiki>}}
  
<code>
+
The second step is to test your update file together with the script.
Options=<option1>, <option2>,
+
This means, you need to place the script file in a place where kconf_update will find it while in <code>--testmode</code>.
</code>
+
kconf_update will look for the script in <code>QStandardPaths::GenericDataLocation</code>.
 +
Let’s assume this path is {{path|~/.qttest/share/}}, then you need to place your script in {{path|~/.qttest/share/kconf_update/}}.
  
With this entry you can specify options that apply to the next "Script",
+
Place your update file, your update script, and your configuration file in your working directory, and run:
"Key" or "AllKeys" entry (only to the first!). Possible options are:
 
  
*"copy" Copy the configuration item instead of moving it. This means that
+
{{Input|1=<nowiki>
the configuration item will not be deleted from <oldfile>/<oldgroup>
+
mkdir -p ~/.qttest/config/
 +
cp myApprc ~/.qttest/config/
 +
mkdir -p ~/.qttest/share/kconf_update/
 +
cp myApp_no_more_double_negation_2020.py ~/.qttest/share/kconf_update/
 +
/usr/lib/kf5/kconf_update --debug --testmode ./myApp_configFiles.upd
 +
</nowiki>}}
  
*"overwrite" Normally, a configuration item is not moved if an item with the
+
You should get an output like:
new name already exists. When this option is specified the old configuration item will overwrite any existing item.
 
  
Key=<oldkey>,<newkey>
+
{{Output|1=<nowiki>
Key=<oldkey>
+
Automatically enabled the debug logging category kf.config.kconf_update
 +
kf.config.kconf_update: Checking update-file "./myApp_configFiles.upd" for new updates
 +
kf.config.kconf_update: "demo9.upd" : Found new update "no-more-double-negation-2020"
 +
kf.config.kconf_update: "demo9.upd" : Running script "myApp_no_more_double_negation_2020.py"
 +
kf.config.kconf_update: Script input stored in "/tmp/kconf_update.lKlJpe"
 +
kf.config.kconf_update: About to run "/usr/bin/python3"
 +
kf.config.kconf_update: Script contents is:
 +
"[...]"
 +
kf.config.kconf_update: Successfully ran "/usr/bin/python3"
 +
kf.config.kconf_update: Script output stored in "/tmp/kconf_update.CCeaBP"
 +
kf.config.kconf_update: Script output is:
 +
"UseTabs=true\n# DELETE DoNotUseTabs\n"
 +
kf.config.kconf_update: "demo9.upd" : Script removes "myApprc" : ("UserInterface") : "DoNotUseTabs"
 +
</nowiki>}}
  
Specifies that configuration information is read from the key <oldkey>
+
If you want to test compiled update scripts, the workflow is the same, except that you may place your compiled update script in one of your {{path|$PATH}} directories instead.
and written to <newkey>. If you only specify <oldkey>, the information
 
is read from as well as written to <oldkey>.
 
  
<code>
+
== Doing other stuff than updating configuration ==
AllKeys
+
kconf_update supports to run update scripts without input and discarding the output.
</code>
+
You can use this e. g. to automatically rebuild the database of another service when the user updates your application.
 +
However, you should be careful about this.
 +
See [[Development/Tools/Using_kconf_update#Note_on_side_effects]] for more information.
  
Specifies that all configuration information in the selected group should
+
== Further example update files ==
be moved (All keys).
+
Another way to learn how to write scripts and update files is to look at existing ones.
  
<code>
+
With the following command, you can look which applications on your system have installed update files:
AllGroups
 
</code>
 
  
Specifies that all configuration information from all keys in ALL·
+
{{Input|1=<nowiki>
groups should be moved.
+
locate kconf_update
 +
</nowiki>}}
  
<code>
+
You can also search through various KDE projects with this link:
RemoveKey=<oldkey>
 
</code>
 
  
Specifies that <oldkey> is removed from the selected group. This can be used
+
https://lxr.kde.org/search?_filestring=.%2B%5C.upd%5Cz&_advanced=1
to remove obsolete entries or to force a revert to default values.
 

Latest revision as of 20:45, 11 November 2020

Updating KConfig files
Tutorial Series   KConfig
Previous   Introduction to KConfig
What's Next   n/a
Further Reading   Development/Tools/Using_kconf_update, KConfig framework documentation

Introduction

Sometimes you want to change the way how your application stores configuration information. This can have many reasons. Maybe you want to split your application into multiple components, or join multiple components to one component. Or you just think that the old configuration file format didn’t make much sense.

If you change the configuration file format, you need a way to migrate configuration information from the old format to the new format. You can add code to your application, which looks up both the old configuration and the new configuration, and then decides which one to use. However, if your intention is to simplify your application’s code, this will actually make your code more complicated.

If you use KConfig to store configuration information, there is a tool which can update your configuration files without adding complexity to your application code: kconf_update. kconf_update makes it easy to move configuration information from one place to another, but it is also possible to change the configuration data itself.

How it works

Applications can install so called update files in ${KDE_INSTALL_KCONFUPDATEDIR}. An update file has .upd as extension, and contains instructions for transferring and converting configuration information. Update files are separated into sections, and each section has an unique ID.

kconf_update is started automatically when KDED detects a new update file in the above mentioned location. kconf_update will first check in its own configuration file (kconf_updaterc, usually located in ~/.config/) which sections of the update file haven’t been processed yet. When a section has been processed, its ID is stored in kconf_updaterc and the affected configuration files, to make sure it will not be processed again.

If you overwrite an existing update file with a new version that contains a new section, only the update instructions from this new section will be processed.

If your application does not depend explicitely on KDED (e. g. if your target platform isn’t Linux or FreeBSD), kconf_update may not be started automatically. You can start it manually using KConfig::checkUpdate(). Note that kconf_update might process your update multiple times simultaneously in this case. This can cause problems if your update file uses the Script= command. See Development/Tools/Using_kconf_update#Note on side effects for more details.

How to use

To use kconf_update in your application, you only need to write an update file and install it in the right place. An example update file is in the section #Moving configuration data around.

Add the following lines to your CMakeLists.txt:

find_package(ECM ${KF5_REQUIRED_VERSION} CONFIG REQUIRED)
# Extra CMake Modules (ECM) component KDEInstallDirs
# defines variables like KDE_INSTALL_KCONFUPDATEDIR:
include(KDEInstallDirs)

# Makes your application compile with KConfig:
find_package(KF5 ${KF5_REQUIRED_VERSION} REQUIRED COMPONENTS
    Config
    [...]
)

# Installs the update file in the right place:
install(FILES okular.upd DESTINATION ${KDE_INSTALL_KCONFUPDATEDIR})
Warning
Before you deploy update files to your users, you should verify that they do what you want. Otherwise you will probably get bug reports, but you already missed your change to fix them. See the #Testing update files section.


Moving configuration data around

Imagine your need to change the name of one entry in your configuration file. This happened in Okular, and this is the content of ${KDE_INSTALL_KCONFUPDATEDIR}/okular.upd:

#Configuration update for Okular
Version=5

#Convert user-defined annotation tools to quick annotation tools
Id=annotation-toolbar
File=okularpartrc
Group=Reviews
Key=AnnotationTools,QuickAnnotationTools
#Configuration update for Okular
Empty lines and lines that start with # are considered comments.
Version=5
Specifies that this update file is written for the KF5 version of kconf_update.
Every update file must start with this command.
Id=annotation-toolbar
Starts an update section called annotation-toolbar.
You should give your section a name that describes why this update necessary. You can also include the year of your changes, like in Id=annotation-toolbar-2020.
File=okularpartrc
Tells kconf_update which configuration file shall be affected.
Group=Reviews
Tells kconf_update that it shall operate on the Reviews group of the configuration file.
Key=AnnotationTools,QuickAnnotationTools
Tells kconf_update that it shall read from the entry AnnotationTools and write to the entry QuickAnnotationTools.
In this case, this causes the entry to be renamed.

You can find the full command reference in Development/Tools/Using_kconf_update#Update_file_command_reference.

This update file will change the contents of okularpartrc from e. g.:

[Reviews]
AnnotationTools=highlight,underline

to:

[$Version]
update_info=okular.upd:annotation-toolbar

[Reviews]
QuickAnnotationTools=highlight,underline

Note that it changed the name of the AnnotationTools entry in the Reviews group, and added a new $Version group to mark the annotation-toolbar update as done.

To try this example, see the #Testing update files section.

Testing update files

You can run kconf_update manually on a specific update file, to see how it will process it.

First, you need to locate your kconf_update executable. (Try e. g. locate kconf_update.) If you can’t locate it, you can also compile it from the KConfig repository. Let’s assume your kconf_update executable is located at /usr/lib/kf5/kconf_update.

kconf_update offers the command line options --debug and --testmode.
--debug enables helpful debugging output on the command line.
--testmode activates QStandardPaths::setTestModeEnabled(), so kconf_update will not update your actual configuration files, but files you have placed in a certain test directory. See the QStandardPaths::GenericConfigLocation documentation for your platform. Let’s assume this test directory is ~/.qttest/config/.

Now place your update file and a test configuration file in your working directory. Assuming you are testing the file from #Moving configuration data around, you run:

mkdir -p ~/.qttest/config/
cp okularpartrc ~/.qttest/config/
/usr/lib/kf5/kconf_update --debug --testmode ./okular.upd

Then you should get an output like:

Automatically enabled the debug logging category kf.config.kconf_update
kf5.kconfig.update: Checking update-file "./okular.upd" for new updates
kf5.kconfig.update: "okular.upd" : Found new update "annotation-toolbar"
kf5.kconfig.update: "okular.upd" : Updating "okularpartrc" : "Reviews" : "QuickAnnotationTools" to "highlight,underline"
kf5.kconfig.update: "okular.upd" : Removing "okularpartrc" : "Reviews" : "AnnotationTools" , moved.

Now you should open ~/.qttest/config/okularpartrc to verify that the update was performed correctly. If you see the new $Version group there, but AnnotationTools was not renamed, the update was performed, but something is wrong with your update instructions. If you don’t see the new $Version group, the update didn’t affect the correct configuration file.

Tip
For the first tests, it is convenient to write a configuration file that contains only the entries you are interested in (like in #Moving configuration data around). But you should also perform a test with a configuration file from an actual installation of your application.


Tip
If you want to test the update file again, you need to restore an old version of the configuration file first.

Additionally, you need to open kconf_updaterc, and remove the okular.upd group, otherwise kconf_update will skip your update file.

Since Frameworks version KF 5.76, kconf_update will ignore kconf_updaterc while in --testmode


Testing installed update files

When you think your update file works fine, you may try to completely compile and install the new version of your application. After you have run e. g. make install, your update file should show up in the correct directory. KDED will detect this, and run kconf_update. Your installed configuration file should now be updated, and you can open it to verify the update.

However, if you find problems now, you probably want to let the update run again. If you install a new update file, KDED will run kconf_update again, but kconf_update will not perform the update. What you need to do is:

  • Restore an old version of the configuration file, so there is something to update again. The old version shouldn’t contain the $Version group.
  • Locate kconf_updaterc (e. g. with the command locate kconf_updaterc), and remove the group named by your update file.

Now, kconf_update will process the update again, as soon as you overwrite the update file. Since make install won’t overwrite the file with itself, you need to manually delete it first.

You can also try to run kconf_update manually, e. g. with the command /usr/lib/kf5/kconf_update --debug (without other arguments).

Debug output while running in the background

Because kconf_update will now run in the background, you will not directly get debug output. After KDE Frameworks 5.57, debug output goes through the category kf.config.kconf_update. If this category is enabled, debug output will be printed to stderr and consequently end up in xsession-errors or wayland-errors. You can use kdebugsettings to enable this logging category.

Alternatively, see the QLoggingCategory documentation for how to enable this logging category. Probably you can add the following group to a configuration file like /usr/share/qt5/qtlogging.ini:

[Rules]
kf.config.kconf_update=true

If Qt was built with support for logging to system log facilities (such as systemd-journald), the output may be found there instead. Before 5.57, the output was always sent to stderr and may be found in the aforementioned errors files.

Manipulating configuration data itself

The above example update file okular.upd shows you how you can move configuration information around. But if you need to change the configuration data itself, you need to run configuration information through a script.

kconf_update provides the Script= command, which will pipe configuration entries through a script before it is merged to the new configuration file.

You need to provide the script files in ${KDE_INSTALL_KCONFUPDATEDIR}. You should choose a script language whose interpreter will be available on your target platform. E. g. if your target platforms include Windows, you should not use shell scripts.

You can also use “compiled scripts”, these need to be placed in ${KDE_INSTALL_LIBDIR}/kconf_update_bin/. Compiled scripts allow you to use the C++ APIs of Qt, KConfig, your own application, and what you need else; and make you independent of interpreters.

The following sections give examples for both interpreted scripts and compiled scripts.

Example interpreted update script

Imagine you want to switch from a DoNotUseTabs configuration entry to a UseTabs configuration entry. This can be easily done using this small Python script:

import fileinput

for line in fileinput.input():
    if line.startswith("DoNotUseTabs=false"):
        print("UseTabs=true")
    if line.startswith("DoNotUseTabs=true"):
        print("UseTabs=false")

print("# DELETE DoNotUseTabs")
print("UseTabs=true")
When the script outputs the line UseTabs=true, kconf_update will create a new configuration entry (unless it already exists).
print("# DELETE DoNotUseTabs")
When the script outputs the line # DELETE DoNotUseTabs, kconf_update will delete the old configuration entry.

See Development/Tools/Using_kconf_update#Script_output_format for detailed information on the script output format.

Your update file could look like this:

Version=5

Id=no-more-double-negation-2020
File=myApprc
Group=UserInterface
Script=myApp_no_more_double_negation_2020.py,python3
Script=myApp_no_more_double_negation_2020.py,python3
This instructs kconf_update to look for the script file myApp_no_more_double_negation_2020.py, and run it with python3.
The script will get the contents of the group UserInterface as input, and the output will be merged back to the group UserInterface.

See Development/Tools/Using_kconf_update#Update_script_commands for a detailed reference on the Script= and ScriptArguments= commands.

Your CMakeLists.txt could look like this:

[...]
find_package(ECM ${KF5_REQUIRED_VERSION} CONFIG REQUIRED)
include(KDEInstallDirs)
[...]
find_package(KF5 ${KF5_REQUIRED_VERSION} REQUIRED COMPONENTS
    Config
    [...]
)
[...]
install(FILES conf/update/myApp_configFiles.upd DESTINATION ${KDE_INSTALL_KCONFUPDATEDIR})
install(FILES conf/update/myApp_no_more_double_negation_2020.py DESTINATION ${KDE_INSTALL_KCONFUPDATEDIR})

Don’t forget that your appliation now depends on python3.

Example compiled update script

Imagine your application made the state of a KActionMenu user configurable. Because you changed to the new QToolButton::ToolButtonPopupMode API, you need to migrate from the old delayed and stickyMenu entries to the new popupMode entry. You can do that with the following compiled update script, which uses the KConfig framework directly:

#include <KConfig>
#include <KConfigGroup>

#include <QTemporaryFile>
#include <QTextStream>

int main(int argc, char **argv)
{
    // Create a KConfig object from stdin.
    QFile inputFile;
    inputFile.open(stdin, QIODevice::ReadOnly);
    QTemporaryFile inputFileForKConfig("popupmode_api_tmp");
    inputFileForKConfig.open();
    inputFileForKConfig.write(inputFile.readAll());
    inputFileForKConfig.close();
    KConfig inputConfig(inputFileForKConfig.fileName(), KConfig::SimpleConfig);

    // Create a text stream to stdout.
    QTextStream outputStream(stdout, QIODevice::WriteOnly);

    // Unify delayed and stickyMenu.
    // delayed => 0 (DelayedPopup)
    // !delayed && stickyMenu => 2 (InstantPopup)
    // !delayed && !stickyMenu => 1 (MenuButtonPopup) (defined as default with KConfigXT)
    KConfigGroup rootGroup = inputConfig.group("");
    bool old_delayed = rootGroup.readEntry<bool>("delayed", true);
    bool old_stickyMenu = rootGroup.readEntry<bool>("stickyMenu", true);
    int new_popupMode = (old_delayed) ? 0 : (old_stickyMenu) ? 2 : 1;
    if (new_popupMode != 1) {
        outputStream << "popupMode=" << new_popupMode << Qt::endl;
    }
    outputStream << "# DELETE delayed" << Qt::endl;
    outputStream << "# DELETE stickyMenu" << Qt::endl;

    return 0;
}

Your update file could look like this:

Version=5

Id=toolbuttonpopupmode-api-2020
File=myApprc
Group=ActionMenuState
Script=myApp-toolbuttonpopupmode-api-2020

Your CMakeLists.txt could look like this:

[...]
find_package(ECM ${KF5_REQUIRED_VERSION} CONFIG REQUIRED)
include(KDEInstallDirs)
[...]
find_package(KF5 ${KF5_REQUIRED_VERSION} REQUIRED COMPONENTS
    Config
    [...]
)
[...]
install(FILES myApp_configFiles.upd DESTINATION ${KDE_INSTALL_KCONFUPDATEDIR})

add_executable(myApp-toolbuttonpopupmode-api-2020 conf/update/scripts/popupmode.cpp)
target_link_libraries(myApp-toolbuttonpopupmode-api-2020
    KF5::ConfigCore
)
install(TARGETS myApp-toolbuttonpopupmode-api-2020 DESTINATION ${KDE_INSTALL_LIBDIR}/kconf_update_bin/)

Because you don’t need an interpreter, you didn’t add any dependency to your application.

Testing external update scripts

The first step to test external update scripts is to call them directly, and feed them with your configuration files.

For example, you can test the script from #Example interpreted update script with this command:

cat myApprc_UserInterface | python3 myApp_no_more_double_negation_2020.py

If the script works correctly, you should get output like this:

UseTabs=true
# DELETE DoNotUseTabs

The second step is to test your update file together with the script. This means, you need to place the script file in a place where kconf_update will find it while in --testmode. kconf_update will look for the script in QStandardPaths::GenericDataLocation. Let’s assume this path is ~/.qttest/share/, then you need to place your script in ~/.qttest/share/kconf_update/.

Place your update file, your update script, and your configuration file in your working directory, and run:

mkdir -p ~/.qttest/config/
cp myApprc ~/.qttest/config/
mkdir -p ~/.qttest/share/kconf_update/
cp myApp_no_more_double_negation_2020.py ~/.qttest/share/kconf_update/
/usr/lib/kf5/kconf_update --debug --testmode ./myApp_configFiles.upd

You should get an output like:

Automatically enabled the debug logging category kf.config.kconf_update
kf.config.kconf_update: Checking update-file "./myApp_configFiles.upd" for new updates
kf.config.kconf_update: "demo9.upd" : Found new update "no-more-double-negation-2020"
kf.config.kconf_update: "demo9.upd" : Running script "myApp_no_more_double_negation_2020.py"
kf.config.kconf_update: Script input stored in "/tmp/kconf_update.lKlJpe"
kf.config.kconf_update: About to run "/usr/bin/python3"
kf.config.kconf_update: Script contents is:
 "[...]"
kf.config.kconf_update: Successfully ran "/usr/bin/python3"
kf.config.kconf_update: Script output stored in "/tmp/kconf_update.CCeaBP"
kf.config.kconf_update: Script output is:
 "UseTabs=true\n# DELETE DoNotUseTabs\n"
kf.config.kconf_update: "demo9.upd" : Script removes "myApprc" : ("UserInterface") : "DoNotUseTabs"

If you want to test compiled update scripts, the workflow is the same, except that you may place your compiled update script in one of your $PATH directories instead.

Doing other stuff than updating configuration

kconf_update supports to run update scripts without input and discarding the output. You can use this e. g. to automatically rebuild the database of another service when the user updates your application. However, you should be careful about this. See Development/Tools/Using_kconf_update#Note_on_side_effects for more information.

Further example update files

Another way to learn how to write scripts and update files is to look at existing ones.

With the following command, you can look which applications on your system have installed update files:

locate kconf_update

You can also search through various KDE projects with this link:

https://lxr.kde.org/search?_filestring=.%2B%5C.upd%5Cz&_advanced=1


This page was last edited on 11 November 2020, at 20:45. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.