Configuration options

In the ext_conf_template.txt file configuration options for an extension can be defined. They will be accessible in the TYPO3 backend from the Extension Manager.

There's a specific syntax to declare these options properly, which is similar to the one used for TypoScript constants (see "Declaring constants for the Constant editor" in "TypoScript Syntax and In-depth Study"). This syntax applies to the comment line that should be placed just before the constant. Consider the following example (taken from system extension "rsaauth"):

# cat=basic/enable; type=string; label=Path to the temporary directory:This directory will contain...
temporaryDirectory =

First a category (cat) is defined ("basic") with the subcategory "enable". Then a type is given ("string") and finally a label, which is itself split (on the colon ":") into a title and a description (this should actually be a localized string). The above example will be rendered like this in the EM:

Configuration screen for the rsaauth extension

The configuration tab displays all options from a single category. A selector is available to switch between categories. Inside an option screen, options are grouped by subcategory. At the bottom of the screenshot, the label – split between header and description – is visible. Then comes the field itself, in this case an input, because the option's type is "string".

Available option types:

Option type Description
boolean checkbox
color colorpicker
int integer value
int+ positive integer value
integer integer value
offset offset
options option select
small small text field
string text field
user user function
wrap wrap field

Once you saved the configuration in the ExtensionManager, it will be stored in $GLOBALS['TYPO3_CONF_VARS']['EXTENSIONS']['your_extension_key'] as an array.

To retrieve the configuration use the API:

$backendConfiguration = (bool)\TYPO3\CMS\Core\Utility\GeneralUtility::makeInstance(

To fetch the value of temporaryDirectory from the example above, you could simply use:

$backendConfiguration = (bool)\TYPO3\CMS\Core\Utility\GeneralUtility::makeInstance(
   ->get('your_extension_key', 'temporaryDirectory');

You can also define nested options using the TypoScript notation:

directories {
   # cat=basic/enable; type=string; label=Path to the temporary directory
   tmp =
   # cat=basic/enable; type=string; label=Path to the cache directory
   cache =

This will result in a multidimensional array:

$extensionConfiguration = $GLOBALS['TYPO3_CONF_VARS']['EXTENSIONS']['your_extension_key'];


Notice the dot at the end of the directories key. This notation must be used for every grouping key and is a convention of the TypoScript parser.