Configuration Validator

Support the ability to validate oslo.config options at a basic level against an operator configuration file, as-well-as potentially validation of options on service start(example usage).

Problem description

It is extremely easy to have invalid conf files for any project:

  • Invalid Sections

  • Invalid Option Name

  • Deprecated Options

  • Misspellings

  • Usage of Advanced Options (warnings)

  • Lack of Configured Required Options

  • Usage of Choices Outside of Scope

  • Usage of Default Values in Configuration File

Configuration validation, in its basic form, can help alleviate these basic issues by providing a way to validate options and configured values both manually, via cli, and on service start(example usage). Operators have been asking for this functionality for some time now, as the deviation from version to version, with regard to options, can be substantial.

Use Cases

As an operator, being able to validate the configuration prior to deployment is invaluable, providing a clear path for both CI/CD utilization and manual checks.

As a developer, being able to provide an option to operators for basic validation against project configuration files. This can be by way of shell script traversing each namespace, as Neutron utilizes, or it could be by way of an additional argument specific for config validation, i.e. ironic-api –validate-config. Implementation is customizable per project.

Proposed change

The new validator module would offer two avenues for consumption: cli command and the ability to import the validator for use during service start(example usage). Oslo config validator would be a basic check on common configuration mistakes and in no way offers an opinion on a correct configuration or a desired configuration.

For cli usage, a new entry point will be added to oslo.config, oslo-config-validator. Similar to oslo-config-generator, operators will be able to pass an argument, –namespace, to indicate what application namespace their configuration file will validate against. Or, optionally an operator/developer can pass –validator-config-file, which would contain the application namespaces. In addition, –config-file will be a required argument to indicate the location of their configuration file. Ideally, each project would implement a shell script tool to traverse the namespaces used by the project for validation. For example, here is the usage in Neutron: neutron/blob/master/tools/

For module import, developers will be able to utilize validator.validate and pass a required collection of configured options to check against the registered namespaces and options in oslo.config. This could be performed on service start(example usage), after configuration files are ingested, and output to the configured log file. It could be also used in each project as an additional argument, i.e. ironic-api –validate-config, where the configuration is then validated as a separate operation, if a shell script is not developed above. Both options would be available, how each project implements config validation is out of the scope of this spec.

One use case for validator.validate would be to fail on service start, where validate returns valid_configuration(bool), invalid_configuration_items(dict). The return values can help determine if the service is capable of starting by examining invalid_configuration_items[‘errors’] (bool) if valid_configuration is false. This would allow developers to have control over warnings being suppressed by having invalid_configuration_items[‘errors’] (bool) and invalid_configuration_items[‘warnings’] (bool) separate with their own respective iterable list of items considered in error:

invalid_configuration_items['config_errors'] = [
    {'config_item': 'namespace', 'item_name': 'DEFULT',
     'message': 'Namespace DEFULT does not exist.'},
    {'config_item': 'option', 'item_name': 'auth_uri',
     'message': 'Option auth_uri has no value assigned.'},

And for configuration warnings:

invalid_configuration_items['config_warnings'] = [
    {'config_item': 'option', 'item_name': 'auth_strategy',
     'message': 'Option is configured with the default value, not required.'},
    {'config_item': 'option', 'item_name': 'some_advanced_option',
     'message': 'Option some_advanced_option is an advanced option and may'
                'effect performance.'},

These are just examples of data structures potentially being returned and may change when configuration validator is implemented. In any case, a list of errors/warnings will be returned for easy output to console or logs.

Configuration validator would report on the following discrepancies:

  • Option not in namespace (error)

  • Option has no value (error)

  • Option has no value and is required (error)

  • Option value is not in range (error)

  • Option value is default, not required in config (warning)

  • Option is deprecated (warning)

  • Option is advanced (warning)

  • Option type validation, i.e. ‘2’ vs 2 (error)

  • Invalid configuration section (error)

  • Missing configuration section, i.e. [DEFAULT] (warning)

Files to add:

  • oslo.config/oslo_config/

  • oslo.config/doc/source/validator.rst

Files to modify:

  • oslo.config/setup.cfg



Impact on Existing APIs


Security impact


Performance Impact

This could be an additional check on service start(example usage), which could have an impact on the time it would take to become fully operational. At its most basic form, manual checks via cli would not have a performance impact.

Configuration Impact


Developer Impact


Testing Impact

Additional unit tests would be required to cover raised warnings and errors provided by validator.



Primary assignee:



Target Milestone for completion:


Work Items

  • Create new module

  • Create new entrypoint oslo-config-validator.

  • Create new docs file validator.rst




It is likely that this module will be used throughout OpenStack as it satisfies operator need surrounding the complexity of configuration files.



Anticipated API Stabilization


Documentation Impact

Will need to develop additional documentation in validator.rst to detail how validator can be consumed both at the cli level and as a module.


This additional module will not require any dependencies.






This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.