elektra-key-names(7) -- the names of keys

Every Key object with the same name will receive the very same information from the global key database. The name locates a unique key in the key database. Key names are always absolute; so no parent or other information is needed. That makes a Key self-contained and independent both in memory and storage.

Every key name starts with a namespace, for example user or system. These prefixes spawn key hierarchies each.

The shared system configuration is identical for every user. It contains, for example, information about system daemons, network related preferences and default settings for software. These keys are created when software is installed, and removed when software is purged. Only the administrator can change system configuration.

Examples of valid system key names:


user configuration is empty until the user changes some preferences. User configuration affects only a single user. The user's settings can contain information about the user's environment, preferred applications and anything not useful for the rest of the system.

Examples of valid user key names:


The slash (/) separates key names and structures them hierarchically. If two keys start with the same key names, but one key name continues after a slash, this key is below the other and is called a subkey. For example user/sw/apps/abc/current is a subkey of the key user/sw/apps. The key is not directly below but, for example, user/sw/apps/abc is. keyRel() implements a way to decide the relation between two keys.