Home > python > Using ConfigParser, read an .ini file to a dict and remove quotes around string values

Using ConfigParser, read an .ini file to a dict and remove quotes around string values

In Python you can read .ini files easily with the configparser module.

An .ini file looks like this:

name = Jabba

As you can see, string values are not quoted. However, for me it looks lame. IMO a string must be between quotes or apostrophes. With quotes you can also add whitespace characters to the beginning or the end of a string. So I prefer writing this:

name = "Jabba"

But now quotes become part of the string. If you read it with configparser, the value of name is '"Jabba"' instead of 'Jabba'.

When using configparser, it builds a dict-like object. I prefer to work with normal dictionaries. So first I read the .ini file, then convert the configparser object to dict, and finally I remove quotes (or apostrophes) from string values. Here is my solution:


onekey = "value in some words"

resolution = '1024 x 768'


#!/usr/bin/env python3

from pprint import pprint
import preferences

prefs = preferences.Preferences("preferences.ini")
d = prefs.as_dict()


import sys
import configparser
import json
from pprint import pprint

def remove_quotes(original):
    d = original.copy()
    for key, value in d.items():
        if isinstance(value, str):
            s = d[key]
            if s.startswith(('"', "'")):
                s = s[1:]
            if s.endswith(('"', "'")):
                s = s[:-1]
            d[key] = s
            # print(f"string found: {s}")
        if isinstance(value, dict):
            d[key] = remove_quotes(value)
    return d

class Preferences:
    def __init__(self, preferences_ini):
        self.preferences_ini = preferences_ini

        self.config = configparser.ConfigParser()

        self.d = self.to_dict(self.config._sections)

    def as_dict(self):
        return self.d

    def to_dict(self, config):
        Nested OrderedDict to normal dict.
        Also, remove the annoying quotes (apostrophes) from around string values.
        d = json.loads(json.dumps(config))
        d = remove_quotes(d)
        return d

The line d = remove_quotes(d) is responsible for removing the quotes. Comment / uncomment this line to see the difference.


$ ./example.py

{'GENERAL': {'onekey': 'value in some words'},
 'SETTINGS': {'resolution': '1024 x 768'}}

I also posted this to SO (link here).

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