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Riker makes configuration straightforward by using two config files:

  • riker.toml can be modified to change the behavior of Riker and various modules
  • app.*, such as app.toml or app.yml for application specific settings

Configuration is based on the Config crate meaning that any format supported by that crate can be used for application setting.

When the system starts riker.toml is loaded and if an application config file exists it will be merged into a single Config instance. This keeps settings separate for the purposes of maintenance and CI/CD, but makes it uniformly available at runtime.

The Config instance is accessible via the ActorSystem instance, for example:

let myval = sys.config().get_str("app.myval").unwrap();

This expects the following entry in app.*:

myval = "five by five"

File Paths

By default Riker looks for riker.toml and app.* in the config directory relative to the current directory of execution.

It's standard practice to place the config directory in the root directory of your Rust application, i.e. on the same level as src. This way, cargo run and cargo test will use the files located in config.

Configuration file paths can be overridden using environment variables:

  • RIKER_CONF to override riker.toml file path
  • APP_CONF to override app.* file path

Best Practises

Default Values

Default values are discouraged. If a setting is missing from a config file it's better to let .unwrap() panic than to use a hidden default settings in code. This makes it clear as to what settings are being used and there is no unexpected behavior at runtime. It's better to not run at all than run with bad, possibly dangerous settings.

Using .config()

It is highly encouraged in terms of function signatures to not pass around instances of Config. Not only is it slower but it makes understanding what a function does difficult. It is always better to extract values from configuration early on in your application and then pass those to functions. If you have many settings to pass to a function a dedicated settings struct could be used.

Module Settings

It is encouraged to reuse the standard section names for modules. For example, if you have a custom logging module then use [log] in riker.toml. This makes it easier for people to locate these settings based on module behavior.


redis_url = "tcp://"
resis_pwd = "password123"


redis = { url = "tcp://", pwd = "password123" }