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Version: 1.0

Minimal example

Β Example (Click Here)

There are four key elements in this example:

  • A @dataclass describes the application's configuration
  • ConfigStore manages the Structured Config
  • cfg is duck typed as a MySQLConfig instead of a DictConfig
  • There is a subtle typo in the code below, can you spot it?

In this example, the config node stored in the ConfigStore replaces the traditional config.yaml file.
from dataclasses import dataclass

import hydra
from hydra.core.config_store import ConfigStore

class MySQLConfig:
host: str = "localhost"
port: int = 3306

cs = ConfigStore.instance()
# Registering the Config class with the name 'config'."config", node=MySQLConfig)

def my_app(cfg: MySQLConfig) -> None:
# pork should be port!
if cfg.pork == 80:
print("Is this a webserver?!")

if __name__ == "__main__":

Duck-typing enables static type checking​

Duck-typing the config object as MySQLConfig enables static type checkers like mypy to catch type errors before you run your code:

$ mypy error: "MySQLConfig" has no attribute "pork"
Found 1 error in 1 file (checked 1 source file)

Structured Configs enable Hydra to catch type errors at runtime​

If you forget to run mypy, Hydra will report the error at runtime:

$ python
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "", line 22, in my_app
if cfg.pork == 80:
omegaconf.errors.ConfigAttributeError: Key 'pork' not in 'MySQLConfig'
full_key: pork

Set the environment variable HYDRA_FULL_ERROR=1 for a complete stack trace.

Hydra will also catch typos, or type errors in the command line:

$ python port=fail
Error merging override port=fail
Value 'fail' could not be converted to Integer
full_key: port

We will see additional types of runtime errors that Hydra can catch later in this tutorial. Such as:

  • Trying to read or write a non existent field in your config object
  • Assigning a value that is incompatible with the declared type
  • Attempting to modify a frozen config

Duck typing​

In the example above cfg is duck typed as MySQLConfig. It is actually an instance of DictConfig. The duck typing enables static type checking by tools like Mypy or PyCharm. This reduces development time by catching coding errors before you run your application.

The name Duck typing comes from the phrase "If it walks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck". It can be useful when you care about the methods or attributes of an object, not the actual type of the object.