Defining default settings in code


This page tries to explain the plan to define default values of horizon/openstack_dashboard settings in code. This includes a blueprint ini-based-configuration. This page will be updated once the effort is completed.

Planned Steps

  1. Define the default values of existing settings


  3. Introduce oslo.config

Define default values of existing settings

Currently all default values are defined in codes where they are consumed. This leads to the situation that it is not easy to know what are the default values and in a worse case default values defined in our codebase can have different default values.

As the first step toward ini-based-configuration, I propose to define all default values of existing settings in a single place per module. More specifically, the following modules are used:

  • openstack_dashboard.defaults for openstack_dashboard

  • horizon.defaults for horizon

  • openstack_auth.defaults for openstack_auth

horizon.defaults load openstack_auth.defaults and overrides openstack_auth settings if necessary. Similarly, openstack_dashboard.defaults loads horizon.defaults and overrides horizon (and openstack_auth) settings if necessary.

The current style of getattr(settings, <foo>, <default value>) will be removed at the same time.

Note that HORIZON_CONFIG is not touched in this step. It will be covered in the next step.

Handling Django settings

Django provides a lot of settings and it is not practical to cover all in horizon. Only Django settings which horizon explicitly set will be defined in a dedicated python module.

The open question is how to maintain Django related settings in openstack_dashboard and horizon. How can we make them common? The following files are related:

  • openstack_dashboard.settings (and

  • openstack_dashboard.test.settings

  • horizon.test.settings

This will be considered as the final step of the ini-based-configuration effort after horizon and openstack_dashboard settings succeed to be migrated to oslo.config explained below.


HORIZON_CONFIG is an internal interface now and most/some(?) of them should not be exposed as config options. For example, the horizon plugin mechanism touches HORIZON_CONFIG to register horizon plugins.

It is better to expose only HORIZON_CONFIG settings which can be really exposed to operators. For such settings, we should define new settings in openstack_dashboard and can populate them into HORIZON_CONFIG in

For example, ajax_poll_interval in HORIZON_CONFIG can be exposed to operators. In such case, we can define a new settings AJAX_POLL_INTERVAL in openstack_dashboard/ (or horizon/

Investigation is being summarized in an etherpad page.

Introduce oslo.config will have a priority over oslo.config. This means settings values from oslo.config will be loaded first and then and local_settings.d will be loaded in

Basic strategy of mapping

  • The current naming convention is random, so it sounds less reasonable to use the same name for oslo.config. oslo.config and python ini-based configuration mechanism provide a concept of category and there is no reason to use it. As category name, the categories of Settings Reference (like keystone, glance) will be honored.

    For example, some keystone settings have a prefix OPENSTACK_KEYSTONE_ like OPENSTACK_KEYSTONE_DEFAULT_ROLE. Some use KEYSTONE_ like KEYSTONE_IDP_PROVIDER_ID. Some do not (like ENFORCE_PASSWORD_CHECK). In the oslo.config options, all prefixes will be dropped. The mapping will be:

    • OPENSTACK_KEYSTONE_DEFAULT_ROLE <-> [keystone] default_role

    • KEYSTONE_IDP_PROVIDER_ID <-> [keystone] idp_provider_id

    • ENFORCE_PASSWORD_CHECK <-> [keystone] enforce_password_check

  • [default] section is not used as much as possible. It will be used only for limited number of well-known options. Perhaps some common Django settings like DEBUG, LOGGING will match this category.

  • Opt classes defined in oslo.config are used as much as possible.

    • StrOpt, IntOpt

    • ListOpt

    • MultiStrOpt

    • DictOpt

  • A dictionary settings will be broken down into separate options. Good examples are OPENSTACK_KEYSTONE_BACKEND and OPENSTACK_NEUTRON_NETWORK.

    • OPENSTACK_KEYSTONE_BACKEND['name'] <-> [keystone] backend_name

    • OPENSTACK_KEYSTONE_BACKEND['can_edit_user'] <-> [keystone] backend_can_edit_user

    • OPENSTACK_KEYSTONE_BACKEND['can_edit_group'] <-> [keystone] backend_can_edit_group

    • OPENSTACK_NEUTRON_NETWORK['enable_router'] <-> [neutron] enable_router

    • OPENSTACK_NEUTRON_NETWORK['enable_ipv6'] <-> [neutron] enable_ipv6

Automatic Mapping

The straight-forward approach is to have a dictionary from setting names to oslo.config options like:

  'OPENSTACK_KEYSTONE_DEFAULT_ROLE': ('keystone', 'default_role'),
     'enable_router': ('neutron', 'enable_router'),
     'enable_ipv6': ('neutron', 'enable_ipv6'),

A key of the top-level dict is a name of Django settings. A corresponding value specifies oslo.config name by a list or a tuple where the first and second elements specify a section and a option name respectively.

When a value is a dict, this means a corresponding Django dict setting is broken down into several oslo.config options. In the above example, OPENSTACK_NEUTRON_NETWORK['enable_router'] is mapped to [neutron] enable_router.

Another idea is to introduce a new field to oslo.config classes. oslo-sample-generator might need to be updated. If this approach is really attractive, we can try this approach in future. The above dictionary-based approach will be used in the initial effort.


  django_setting=('OPENSTACK_NEUTRON_NETWORK', 'enable_router'),

Special Considerations


LOGGING setting is long enough. Python now recommend to configure logging using python dict directly, but from operator/packager perspective the legacy style of using the ini format sounds reasonable. The ini format is also used in other OpenStack projects too. In this effort, I propose to use the logging configuration via the ini format file and specify the logging conf file in a oslo.config option

Adopting oslo.log might be a good candidate, but it is not covered by this effort. It can be explored as future possible improvement.


SECURITY_GROUP_RULES will be defined by YAML file. The YAML file can be validated by JSON schema in future (out of the scope of this effort)

all_tcp, all_udp and all_icmp are the reserved keyword, so it looks better to split the first three rules (all_tcp to all_icmp) and other remaining rules. The remaining rules will be loaded from a YAML file. For the first three rules, a boolean option to control their visibility in the security group rule form will be introduces in oslo.config. I am not sure this option is required or not, but as the first step of the migration it is reasonable to provide all compatibilities.

Handling Django settings

Django (and django related packages) provide many settings. It is not a good idea to expose all of them via oslo.config. What should we expose?

The proposal here is to expose only settings which openstack_dashboard expects to expose to deployers. Most Django settings are internally used in openstack_dashboard/ Settings required for horizon plugins are already exposed via the plugin settings, so there is no need to expose them. If deployers would like to customize Django basic settings, they can still configure them via or local_settings.d.