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Load configs with grails.config.locations like in Grails 2.x

Owner: grails | 1.4.0 | Jul 17, 2019 | Package | Issues | Source | License: Apache-2.0

dependencies {
    compile 'org.grails.plugins:external-config:1.4.0'



Build Status

This plugin will mimic the Grails 2 way of handling external configurations defined in grails.config.locations.


The grails-3.x branch is for Grails 3.x, master will, moving forward be for Grails 4.x


The External Config Plugin (1.1.0 and above) no longer needs to implement ExternalConfig on Application.groovy. It now uses a SpringApplicationRunListenerand hooks into the startup automagically. So if you used the plugin in prior versions, please remove implements ExternalConfig from Application.groovy


Major contributors

Thank you!


Add dependency to your build.gradle:

dependencies {
    compile 'org.grails.plugins:external-config:1.2.2'

To use a snapshot-version

add JFrog OSS Repository to the repositories:

repositories {
    maven { url "" }

and specify the snapshot version as a dependency:

dependencies {
    compile 'org.grails.plugins:external-config:1.3.0.BUILD-SNAPSHOT'


When you add this plugin to your Grails build, it will automatically look for the property grails.config.locations. Define this in in either application.yml like this:

            - classpath:myconfig.groovy
            - classpath:myconfig.yml
            - file:///etc/app/myconfig.groovy
            - file:///etc/app/myconfig.yml
            - file:///etc/app/
            - ~/.grails/myconfig.groovy
            - ~/.grails/myconfig.yml
            - ~/.grails/
            - file:${catalina.base}/myconfig.groovy
            - file:${catalina.base}/myconfig.yml
            - file:${catalina.base}/

or in application.groovy like this:

grails.config.locations = [

It is also possible to define it in an environment specific block (groovy):

environments {
    test {
        grails {
            config {
                locations = [...]

or (yml)

                - ... 

~/ references the users $HOME directory. Notice, that using a system property you should use single quotes because otherwise it's interpreted as a Gstring.

The plugin will skip configuration files that are not found.

For .groovy and .yml files the environments blocks in the config file are interpreted the same way, as in application.yml or application.groovy.

Wildcard support

It is possible to use * as wildcards in the filename part of the configuration:

            - file:/etc/app/myconfig*.groovy
            - ~/.grails/myconfig*.groovy


grails.config.locations = [

Note: that it only works for the file: and ~/ prefix.

Note: the wildcards are in the order they are found in the locations list, but the order of the expanded locations for each wildcard is not guaranteed, and is dependent on the OS used.

Getting configuration from another folder than /conf on classpath without moving it with Gradle script

If you wish to make your Grails application pull external configuration from classpath when running locally, but you do not wish to get it packed into the assembled war file (i.e. place the external configuration file in e.g. /external-config instead of /conf), then you can include the external configuration file to the classpath by adding the following line to build.gradle:dependencies

providedCompile files('external-config') // providedCompile to ensure that external config is not included in the war file

Alternatively, you can make a gradle script to move the external configuration file to your classpath (e.g. /build/classes)


This plugin also includes two scripts, one for converting yml config, to groovy config, and one for converting groovy config to yml config. These scripts are not guaranteed to be perfect, but you should report any edge cases for the yml to groovy config here:

grails yml-to-groovy-config has the following parameters:

  • ymlFile - The yml input file.
  • asClosure - An optional flag to set the output to be closure based or map based. The Default is closure based
  • outputFile - The optional output file. If none is provided, then the output will go to System.out.
  • indent - Optional indent. The default is 4 spaces
  • escapeList - An optional CSV list of values to escape, with no spaces. The default is 'default'

Sample usage:

grails yml-to-groovy-config [ymlFile] [optional asClosure] [optional outputFile] [optional indent] [optional escape list]

grails groovy-to-yml-config has the following parameters:

  • groovy - The groovy input file.'
  • outputFile - The optional output file. If none is provided, then the output will go to System.out.
  • indent' - Sets the optional indent level for a file. The default is 4
  • flow - Sets the optional style of BLOCK or FLOWS. The default is BLOCK.

sample usage:

grails groovy-to-yml-config [ymlFile] [optional outputFile] [optional indent] [optinal flow]