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Introduction to Mixxx's Configuration System

The ConfigObject system is how Mixxx stores user preferences. The ConfigObject is just a key-value store where the keys are ConfigKey and the values are QStrings.

A ConfigKey is a class that has two members, a group and an item. The group describes the general category of the preference entry and the item describes the actual preference. By convention, the group is wrapped in square brackets, for example [Library]. Historically this is because the group is used as the section when storing the preferences on disk and since it is stored in the same format as a Windows INI file, the sections are wrapped in square brackets.

Thread Safety

As of 07/2012 ConfigObject is not thread safe but it is often used across threads in an unsafe manner. We haven't had any crashes reported in the wild that we believe to be caused by this but we should fix this.


Both the getValueString and set methods of ConfigObject are *linear time* algorithms in the number of preferences stored in the ConfigObject. Take care to not call these methods repeatedly since you will waste time continuously iterating the list of all preferences. In the future this should be converted to use a QHash so that set and get are constant time operations.

On-disk Storage

At startup, Mixxx loads the preference keys and values from the users ~/mixxx.cfg file. The mixxx.cfg file is formatted like a Windows INI file.

As an example:



When this config file is loaded, the resulting ConfigObject will have three entries

  • ConfigKey(“[Recording]”,“RecordingLocation”) will have the value “/home/rryan/Music/Recordings”
  • ConfigKey(“[Library]”,“ShowITunes”) will have the value “0”
  • ConfigKey(“[Library]”,“ShowRhythmBox”) will have the value “1”

Getting and Setting Preference Options

Normally, the configuration object is passed around every section of Mixxx as a variable defined like ConfigObject<ConfigValue>* pConfig.

To get a preference setting that is stored in the ConfigObject, do something like the following:

// ConfigObject is passed in to our constructor
AnalyserBeats::AnalyserBeats(ConfigObject<ConfigValue>* pConfig) {
    // Get the [BeatDetection], MinBpm setting using a default of "80" if it isn't in the user's mixxx.cfg
    int min_bpm = pConfig->getValueString(ConfigKey("[BeatDetection]", "MinBpm"), "80").toInt();
    // Get the [BeatDetection], MaxBpm setting using a default of "120" if it isn't in the user's mixxx.cfg
    int max_bpm = pConfig->getValueString(ConfigKey("[BeatDetection]", "MaxBpm"), "120").toInt();
    // Get the [BeatDetection], Enabled setting using a default of "1" if it isn't in the user's mixxx.cfg
    bool bpm_detection_enabled = static_cast<bool>(pConfig->getValueString(ConfigKey("[BeatDetection]", "Enabled"), "1").toInt());
    // do logic based on user's preference settings

Note that the values that a ConfigObject stores are all strings. You are in charge of safely converting the value from string to integer or whatever type you would like. It is good practice to provide a default value for all the values you look up.

Similarly, to set preference settings, simply call set with a ConfigKey and QString value.

// Store the user's preference that we should show the iTunes features to them. Assumes m_bShowItunes is a bool that tracks the current setting in Mixxx. 
m_pConfig->set(ConfigKey("[Library]", "ShowITunes"), m_bShowItunes ? "1" : "0");

It is good practice to set the user's preferences the moment in the ConfigObject that they are changed instead of on shutdown or at another time.

Other uses of ConfigObject

Technically ConfigObject is a templated class that allows the storing of values in a Windows INI file format. Mixxx's keyboard preferences are also stored using a ConfigObject and the template value is just ConfigValueKbd instead of ConfigValue.

Translations of this page:
developer_guide_config.txt · Last modified: 2012/07/10 17:17 by rryan