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Environment variables

Environment variables

ZefHub connections

  • ZEFHUB_AUTH_KEY: what key to use to authenticate with ZefHub. A string of GUEST indicates authentication as a guest user. See connections for more information.
  • ZEFHUB_URL: the URL to connect to, by default wss://

Information messages

These variables match to zwitch options

  • ZEFDB_QUIET: changes the default zwitch output options to be zefhub_communication_output(False), extra_quiet(True), graph_event_output(False).
  • ZEFDB_VERBOSE: changes the default zwitch output options to be zefhub_communication_output(True), graph_event_output(True) and extra_quiet(False).
  • ZEFDB_DEVELOPER_ZEFHUB_JSON: turns on the zwitch option debug_zefhub_json_output.
  • ZEFDB_DEVELOPER_OUTPUT: turns on the zwitch options debug_times, zefhub_communication_output, graph_event_output and developer_output.
  • ZEFDB_DEVELOPER_EARLY_TOKENS: records any ET/RT/EN/KW tokens created before the python module is fully loaded. This helps in identifying "core" tokens that are required for the loading of the module which are missing from the public set of ZefHub tokens.

Local storage

  • ZEFDB_FILEGRAPH_PATH: where to store filegraphs, the caches for the zef graphs
    • ANONYMOUS: for mmap-ed in-memory graphs without file backing.
    • FILE_BACKED: for mmap-ed in-memory graphs with cached file backing, see ZEFDB_FILEGRAPH_PATH.
    • blank: for automatic choice. This is currently, ANONYMOUS for local graphs and FILE_BACKED for graphs accessed from ZefHub.

Core behavior

  • ZEFDB_OFFLINE_MODE: runs the butler in offline mode. You can't sync graphs or otherwise communicate with ZefHub in this mode. Currently, it is not possible to persist graphs locally in this mode either. You can create ET/RT/EN/KW tokens in this mode, although they will be assigned temporary values and won't persist beyond your python session.
  • ZEFDB_TRANSFER_CHUNK_SIZE: influences the transfer of large graphs. Currently a bandaid on the websocket protocol, will be removed in the future.


  • ZEFDB_CONFIG_PATH: the location of the directory where the config file is stored. Defaults to $HOME/.zef. The config file itself is located at ZEFDB_CONFIG_PATH/config.yaml.

The following variables match to configuration options that can be modified through the config zefop.