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NAME

       elektra-namespaces - namespaces

INTRODUCTION

       Every  key  in  Elektra  has  a  unique  name.  Sometimes,  multiple  keys denote the same
       configuration item from different sources, e.g.:

       ·   by a commandline argument

       ·   by a configuration file found below the home directory

       ·   by a configuration file found below /etc

       To allow such keys to exist in parallel, Elektra uses namespaces.

       A namespace has following properties:

       ·   in-memory Keys can start with this name

       ·   these keys stem from a specific configuration source

       ·   ksLookup() uses namespaces in a specific default order unless specified otherwise

       Following parts of Elektra are affected by namespaces:

       ·   the key name validation in keySetName()

       ·   keyGetNamespace() which enumerates all namespaces

       ·   _Backend and split.c for correct distribution to plugins (note that not all namespaces
           actually are distributed to configuration files)

       ·   mount.c for cascading and root backends

       ·   and of course many unit tests

       In  the  rest of this document all currently available namespaces in the default order are
       described.

spec

       Unlike the other namespaces, the specification namespace does not contain  values  of  the
       keys, but instead meta data as described in [METADATA.ini].

       When a key is looked up, keys from the spec-namespace are the first to be searched. When a
       spec-key is found, the rest of the lookup  will  be  done  as  specified,  probably  in  a
       different order than the namespaces enlisted here.

       Usually,  the  spec-keys  do  not  directly  contribute  to  the  value,  with one notable
       exception: the default value (meta data default, see in cascading below) might be used  if
       every other way as specified in the spec-key failed.

       Spec-keys  typically  include  a  explanation  and description for the key itself (but not
       comments which are specific for individual keys).

       The spec configuration files are below CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX/KDB_DB_SPEC.

       spec is not part of cascading mounts, because the  specifications  often  are  written  in
       different syntax than the configuration files.

proc

       Derived  from the process (e.g. by parsing /proc/self or by arguments passed from the main
       method):

       ·   program name

       ·   arguments

       ·   environment

       Keys in the namespace proc can not be stored by their nature. They might be different  for
       every invocation of an application.

dir

       Keys   from  the  namespace  dir  are  derived  from  a  directory  special  to  the  user
       starting/using the application, e.g.:

       ·   the current working directory for project specific settings, e.g. .git

       ·   the directory a server wants to present to the user, e.g. .htaccess

       Note that Elektra only supports a single special directory per KDB instance. Start  a  new
       KDB  instance  if  you  need  different  special  directories  for different parts of your
       application. How to change the directory may be different dependent on the resolver,  e.g.
       by using chdir or by setting the environment variable PWD

user

       On  multi-user operating systems obviously every user wants her/his own configuration. The
       user configuration is located in the users  home  directory  typically  below  the  folder
       KDB_DB_USER.  Other  pathes  below  the home directory are possible too (absolute path for
       resolver).

       Note that Elektra only supports a user  directory  per  KDB  instance.  Start  a  new  KDB
       instance if you need different user configuration for different parts of your application.
       How to change the user may be different dependent on the resolver, e.g. by seteuid() or by
       environment variables like HOME, USER

system

       The system configuration is the same for every chroot.

       The  configuration  is  typically  located below KDB_DB_SYSTEM. Other absolut pathes, e.g.
       below /opt or /usr/local/etc are possible too.

cascading

       Keys that are not in a namespace (i.e.  start  with  an  /)  are  called  cascading  keys.
       Cascading  keys  do  not stem from a configuration source, but are used by applications to
       lookup a key in different namespaces. So, multiple keys can contribute to  each  cascading
       key name.

       Cascading  is  the  same  as  a  name  resolution  and provides a namespace unification as
       described   in   Versatility    and    Unix    semantics    in    namespace    unification
       http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1138045.

       Keys without a namespace can not be stored by their nature. So they are transient: after a
       restart they are forgotten.

       Keys of that namespace are only used by ksLookup when no other suitable key was found.  So
       they have the lowest possible priority, even fallback keys are preferred.

       Read more about cascading. /doc/help/elektra-cascading.md

                                          November 2015                     ELEKTRA-NAMESPACES(7)