The BSB has several global options, which can be set through a 12-factor style cascade. The cascade goes as follows, in descending priority: script, CLI, project, env. The first to provide a value will be used. For example, if both a CLI and env value are provided, the CLI value will override the env value.

The script values can be set from the bsb.options module, CLI values can be passed to the command line, project settings can be stored in pyproject.toml, and env values can be set through use of environment variables.

Using script values#

Read option values; if no script value is set, the other values are checked in cascade order:

import bsb.options


Set a script value; it has highest priority for the remainder of the Python process:

import bsb.options

bsb.options.verbosity = 4

Once the Python process ends, the values are lost. If you instead would like to set a script value but also keep it permanently as a project value, use store.

Using CLI values#

The second priority are the values passed through the CLI, options may appear anywhere in the command.

Compile with verbosity 4 enabled:

bsb -v 4 compile
bsb compile -v 4

Using project values#

Project values are stored in the Python project configuration file pyproject.toml in the tools.bsb section. You can modify the TOML content in the file, or use options.store():

import bsb.options

bsb.options.store("verbosity", 4)

The value will be written to pyproject.toml and saved permanently at project level. To read any pyproject.toml values you can use options.read():

import bsb.options

link = bsb.options.read("networks.config_link")

Using env values#

Environment variables are specified on the host machine, for Linux you can set one with the following command:


This value will remain active until you close your shell session. To keep the value around you can store it in a configuration file like ~/.bashrc or ~/.profile.

List of options#

  • verbosity: Determines how much output is produced when running the BSB.

    • script: verbosity

    • cli: v, verbosity

    • project: verbosity

    • env: BSB_VERBOSITY

  • force: Enables sudo mode. Will execute destructive actions without confirmation, error or user interaction. Use with caution.

    • script: sudo

    • cli: f, force

    • project: None.


  • version: Tells you the BSB version. readonly

    • script: version

    • cli: version

    • project: None.

    • env: None.

  • config: The default config file to use, if omitted in commands.

    • script: None (when scripting, you should create a Configuration) object.

    • cli: config, usually positional. e.g. bsb compile conf.json

    • project: config

    • env: BSB_CONFIG_FILE

pyproject.toml structure#

The BSB’s project-wide settings are all stored in pyproject.toml under tools.bsb:

config = "network_configuration.json"

Writing your own options#

You can create your own options as a plugin by defining a class that inherits from BsbOption:

from bsb.options import BsbOption
from bsb.reporting import report

class GreetingsOption(
  cli=("g", "greet"),
  def get_default(self):
    return "Hello World! The weather today is: optimal modelling conditions."

  def action(self, namespace):
    # Actions are run before the CLI options such as verbosity take global effect.
    # Instead we can read or write the command namespace and act accordingly.
    if namespace.verbosity >= 2:
      report(self.get(), level=1)

# Make `GreetingsOption` available as the default plugin object of this module.
__plugin__ = GreetingsOption

Plugins are installed by pip which takes its information from setup.py/setup.cfg, where you can specify an entry point:

"entry_points": {
  "bsb.options" = ["greeting = my_pkg.greetings"]

After installing the setup with pip your option will be available:

$> pip install -e .
$> bsb
$> bsb --greet
$> bsb -v 2 --greet
Hello World! The weather today is: optimal modelling conditions.
$> export BSB_GREETING="2 PIs walk into a conference..."
$> bsb -v 2 --greet
2 PIs walk into a conference...

For more information on setting up plugins (even just locally) see Plugins.