Some behavior of IDAES is configurable through the IDAES global ConfigBlock. IDAES’s configuration is obtained by first setting everything to internal defaults; then loading a global config file, if it exists; then loading a config file from the current working directory, if it exists. After the idaes module is imported, the idaes ConfigBlock can be accessed at idaes.cfg. Some configuration options can be changed after importing idaes by calling idaes.reconfig().

Configuration files are in JSON format. The default configuration is shown below and can be used as a template to create new configuration files. To get the IDAES default configuration the command idaes config-write --file idaes.conf --default can be used.

Command Line Tools

See idaes --help for information about command line configuration tools. These tools help manage configuration files.

Global Configuration Files

IDAES configuration files are named idaes.conf. The easiest way to find where the global configuration file should be placed is to run the command idaes data-directory. A global configuration file won’t exist unless a user creates one. The default configuration above can be used as a start.


On Windows the global configuration file is located at %LOCALAPPDATA%\idaes\idaes.conf.


On Unix-like systems the global configuration files is located at $HOME/.idaes/idaes.conf.


On systems that have neither an %LOCALAPPDATA% or $HOME environment variable, global config files are not currently supported.

Local Configuration Files

Local configuration files are also named idaes.conf and can be placed in the working directory, which is the directory you launch Python from. You can also use the Python command chdir() to change the working directory before importing idaes.

In addition to reading local configuration files when idaes is imported, you can read a configuration file anytime by calling idaes.read_config(path). Reading a configuration file will automatically apply any resulting configuration changes.

Changing the Configuration in a Script or Interactive Session

The idaes configuration can be changed anytime after the idaes module is imported. The standard ConfigBlock options are described in detail below. For example to change whether you want to use the solvers provided by idaes or ones you have installed elsewhere, you would first use the command idaes.cfg["use_idaes_solvers"] = False then to make the change take effect use idaes.reconfig(). Not all option changes require idaes.reconfig(), so whether they do or don’t is provided in the options descriptions below.

Important Configuration Entries

The ConfigBlock has several options, but they are not all important to end-users. This section lists the commonly used entries.


This section of the file configures IDAES loggers. Once the configuration is read, Python’s standard logging.config.dictConfig() is used to set the logger configuration. See Python’s logging documentation for more information.

IDAES has four main loggers defined in the standard configuration, although additional loggers can be added if desired. The standard loggers are:

  1. idaes, this is the root logger of most IDAES logging, unless otherwise noted.

  2. idaes.init, this is the root of IDAES initialization loggers.

  3. idaes.solve, this is the root of IDAES solver loggers and solver information.

  4. idaes.model, this is the root of model loggers. Model loggers are usually used by models written using the IDAES framework, but not part of the idaes package.

If changes to the logger configuration dictionary are made after importing idaes a call to idaes.reconfig() is required for it to take effect.


This option can be set to False (false in JSON) to direct the IDAES framework not to use solvers obtained with the idaes get-extensions command before using the solvers that may have been otherwise installed by the user. This can be used if a user would prefer to use solver versions they have installed apart from IDAES.

Changes require idaes.reconfig(). The default setting is True.


If a solver call is done from inside a solver logging context, this setting will send the solver output to the logger if True, and not capture the solver output for the logger if False. If solver output is not captured it will be sent to the screen, and not be logged.

Changes do not require idaes.reconfig(). The default setting is True.


Loggers created with the idaes.logging module can be assigned tags. Output from these loggers is recorded if the loggers tag is in the logger_tags set. The default behavior can be configured in a configuration file. The tag set can also be modified at any time via functions in the idaes.logging module. This is a subset of valid_log_tags.

Changes do not require idaes.reconfig(). The default setting is: ["framework", "model", "flowsheet", "unit", "control_volume", "properties", "reactions"].


When setting logger tags for idaes.logging loggers they are compared against a list of valid tags. This is done to guard against spelling errors. If the default set of defined tags is not sufficient tags can be added.

Changes do not require idaes.reconfig(). The default setting is: ["framework", "model", "flowsheet", "unit", "control_volume", "properties", "reactions", "ui"].


This is a config block that provides default configuration for the ipopt solver. These options are used for ipopt solvers by default when the IDAES SolverFactory wrapper is used. Currently only solver options can be configured in the options sub-ConfigBlock.

For example to set the default NLP scaling method for ipopt to use idaes-provided scaling factors, use the command idaes.cfg["ipopt"]["options"]["nlp_scaling_method"] = "user-scaling"

Any ipopt solver options that can be passed via command line argument to the ipopt AMPL executable solver can be set under idaes.cfg["ipopt"]["options"] or equivalently in a configuration file.

Changes do not require idaes.reconfig(). The default options are: {"nlp_scaling_method": "gradient-based"}.