Using session options

Session options are used to configure pyOCD. The configuration documentation has user level documentation of how to set session options. For a full list of built-in options see the session options reference.

Accessing options

Options are quite easy to use from within Python code. The Session object has an options property which returns a dict-like OptionsManager object that is used to access options for that session. The OptionsManager object supports either slicing or .get()/.set() methods for reading and writing options.

# Reading an option from the session using two techniques.
value = session.options['reset_type']
value = session.options.get('reset_type')

# Changing the value of an option
session.options['reset_type'] = 'system'
session.options.set('reset_type') = 'system'

Priority layers

Session options have a priority based on their source. The OptionsManager class implements these priorities as an ordered sequence of layers from front (high priority) to back (low priority). Each layer is a dict of option name to value. There is also an implicit lowest-priority layer from which default values specified in the option definition are derived.

The priorities of the different sources, from front to back:

  1. Keyword arguments to the Session constructor. Applies to most command-line arguments.
  2. options parameter to Session constructor. Applies to -O command-line arguments.
  3. Probe-specific options from a config file.
  4. Global options from a config file.
  5. option_defaults parameter to Session constructor. Used only in rare cases by subcommands to change the default value of options.
  6. Default values from option definitions.

The .set() method simply modifies the value of the highest priority (aka front) copy of the option. Additional layers can be added to the front or back using the .add_front() and .add_back() methods. These methods take a dict of new option values.

How options are configured

Loading of options from YAML files is handled automatically when the Session object is created. Probe-specific options are automatically set, too.

Options set through command line arguments, both dedicated arguments and -O, are passed into the Session constructor and added as their own layer. The ConnectHelper methods that are most often used to create sessions will pass through options related arguments to Session.

Name and value modifications

Several changes are applied to option names and values when they are set. First, the names are normalised.

  1. Convert all occurrences of double-underscores to a dot, e.g., __ changes to a . character. Doing this makes it possible to set options with dots in the name using keyword arguments.
  2. Change to lower case.

Then, any option set with a value of None is ignored. In that case, the option’s value from a lower priority layer will take precedence.

Adding new options

Session options are defined by an instance of OptionInfo (from pyocd.core.options) that specifies the name, type(s), default value, and a help string. At runtime, the complete set of options is in the pyocd.core.options.OPTIONS_INFO dict. Be sure to define any new options so they’re documented and get a default and help text.

For example, this is the definition of the frequency option:

OptionInfo('frequency', int, 1000000, "SWD/JTAG frequency in Hertz.")

There are several places to define a new option.

  • Global and gdb server options should be added to the BUILTIN_OPTIONS list in pyocd/core/options.py
  • Plugins can return a list of OptionInfo objects from the .options property of the Plugin subclass.
  • Python scripts, including user scripts, can add new option definitions by calling add_option_set() (from pyocd.core.options) and passing a list of OptionInfo objects.

Supported types for options are bool, int, float, and str. An option that allows multiple types is specified with a tuple of those types. The convert_session_options() function from pyocd.utility.cmdline will convert the bool, int, and float options from a string value. However, there is not automatic type conversion when setting options directly on the OptionsManager.