At startup, Cowbird application will load multiple configuration files to define various behaviours or setup operations. These are defined though the configuration settings presented in below sections.

All generic Cowbird configuration settings can be defined through either the cowbird.ini file or environment variables. Values defined in cowbird.ini are expected to follow the cowbird.[variable_name] format, and corresponding COWBIRD_[VARIABLE_NAME] format is used for environment variables. Both of these alternatives match the constants defined in cowbird/ and can be used interchangeably.

Configuration Files

File: cowbird.ini

This is the base configuration file that defines most of Cowbird’s lower level application configuration (API, CLI). A basic cowbird.example.ini configuration is provided, which should allow any user to run the application locally. It is recommended to create a copy of this file as cowbird.ini to customize settings to your linking (this file is ignored for repository commits).

Furthermore, this file is used by default in each tagged Docker image, and mounted at ${COWBIRD_CONFIG_DIR}/cowbird.ini location. If you want to provide different configuration, the file should be overridden in the Docker image using a volume mount parameter, or by specifying an alternative path through the environment variable COWBIRD_INI_FILE_PATH.

File: config.yml

This is the core configuration file that defines most of Cowbird’s data configuration which it must work with to manage Services components. A basic config.example.yml file is provided, for sample definition of expected schemas per service. Please refer to its comment header for specific format and parameter details.

Settings and Constants

Environment variables can be used to define all following configurations (unless mentioned otherwise with [constant] keyword next to the parameter name). Most values are parsed as plain strings, unless they refer to an activatable setting (e.g.: True or False), or when specified with more specific [<type>] notation.

Configuration variables will be used by Cowbird on startup unless prior definition is found within cowbird.ini. All variables (i.e.: non-[constant] parameters) can also be specified by their cowbird.[variable_name] setting counterpart as described at the start of the Configuration section.

Loading Settings

These settings can be used to specify where to find other settings through custom configuration files.

  • COWBIRD_MODULE_DIR [constant]

    Path to the top level cowbird module (ie: source code).

  • COWBIRD_ROOT [constant]

    Path to the containing directory of Cowbird. This corresponds to the directory where the repository was cloned or where the package was installed.

    (Default: ${COWBIRD_ROOT}/config)

    Configuration directory where to look for cowbird.ini file.


    Explicit path where to find a config.yml configuration file to load at Cowbird startup.

    See also

    File: config.yml


    Specifies where to find the initialization file to run Cowbird application.


    This variable ignores the setting/env-var resolution order since settings cannot be defined without firstly loading the file referenced by its value.

Application Settings

Following configuration parameters are used to define values that are employed by Cowbird after loading the Loading Settings. All cowbird.[variable_name] counterpart definitions are also available as described at the start of the Configuration section.

    (Default: "http://localhost:2001")

    Full hostname URL to use so that Cowbird can resolve his own running instance location.


    This value is notably useful to indicate the exposed proxy location where Cowbird should be invoked from within a server stack that integrates it.

    (Default: INFO)

    Logging level of operations. Cowbird will first use the complete logging configuration found in cowbird.ini in order to define logging formatters and handler referencing to the logger_cowbird section. If this configuration fail to retrieve an explicit logging level, this configuration variable is used instead to prepare a basic logger, after checking if a corresponding cowbird.log_level setting was instead specified.


    When setting DEBUG level or lower, Cowbird could potentially dump some sensitive information in logs. It is important to avoid this setting for production systems.

    (Default: False)

    Specifies whether Cowbird logging should also enforce printing the details to the console when using CLI Utilities. Otherwise, the configured logging methodology in cowbird.ini is used (which can also define a console handler).

    (Default: True)

    Specifies whether Cowbird should log incoming request details.


    This can make Cowbird quite verbose if large quantity of requests are accomplished.

    (Default: True)

    Specifies whether Cowbird should log a raised exception during a process execution.