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Easy way to read/set config file values?

jbbarnes
jbbarnes asked
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Last Modified: 2013-12-26
Can someone recommend an easy way to get a value out of a "standard" config file without a lot of parsing?

Most config files I deal with are some variation of this format:

# This is a comment line
key1 = value1
key2 = value2

Or often without the equals sign.

; This is a comment line
key1   value1
key2   value2

I know I can open the file and parse out anything I need, but it's a lot of extra code. Just wondering if there is a unix utility or BASH command to do it. Something like:

getval -f /etc/myfile.conf -k key1

that will handle most types of config files and can find values and ignore comments.

If not, how about a couple of unix commands piped to each other? If it's anything that can be typed at the prompt, then I could execute it within perl and php scripts and capture the return value.

Naturally, it would also be great to have a one-liner that will update a value in a config file.

Thanks.

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