system.xml reference

The system.xml file allows you to manage the Magento system configuration. Use this topic as a general reference for the system.xml file. The system.xml file is located under etc/adminhtml/system.xml in a given Magento 2 extension.

The following code snippet shows the bare skeleton of the file:

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<?xml version="1.0" ?>
<config xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="urn:magento:module:Magento_Config:etc/system_file.xsd">
    <system>
        <!-- PLACE YOUR MODULE SPECIFIC CONFIGURATION HERE -->
    </system>
</config>

If you want instant *XSD validation in your IDE, you can run bin/magento dev:urn-catalog:generate [--ide IDE] [--] <path>.

Tabs // Sections // Groups // Fields

In the system.xml file, it is possible to define four different types of entities, which are related to each other. The following section describes the relationship between tabs, sections, groups, and fields. The following screenshot displays the Magento 2 System Configuration in the Admin backend. The red squares mark the different types that are defined in the system.xml file:

Screenshot displaying a configured section in the Magento Admin.

Tabs are used to split different configuration areas semantically. Each tab can contain one or more sections, which can also be referenced as submenus. A section contains one or more groups. Each group lists one or more fields. You can also use a group to add a general description for the following fields. As mentioned, each group can have one or more fields. Fields are the smallest entity in the system configuration context.

Tabs

A <tab>-Tag references to either an existing or a new tab in the system configuration.

Tab attribute reference

A <tab>-Tag can have the following attributes:

Attribute Description Type Required
id Defines the identifier that is used referencing the section. typeId required
translate Defines the field that should be translatable. Provide label to make the label translatable. string optional
type Defines the input type of the rendered HTML element—defaults to text. string optional
sortOrder Defines the sort order of the section. High numbers push the section to the bottom of the page; low numbers push the section to the top. float optional
class Adds a defined CSS class to the rendered tab HTML element. string optional

Tab node reference

A <tab>-Tag can have the following child:

Node Description Type
label Defines the label that is displayed in the frontend. string

Example: Create a new tab

The following code snippet demonstrates the creation of a new tab with example data.

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<?xml version="1.0" ?>
<config xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="urn:magento:module:Magento_Config:etc/system_file.xsd">
    <system>
        <tab id="A_UNIQUE_ID" translate="label" class="a-custom-css-class-to-style-this-tab" sortOrder="10">
            <label>A meaningful label</label>
        </tab>
    </system>
</config>

The snippet above creates a new tab with the identifier A_UNIQUE_ID. As the translate-attribute is defined and references the label, the label-node is translatable. During the rendering process, the CSS class a-custom-css-class-to-style-this-tab will be applied on the HTML element that was created for this tab. The sortOrder-attribute with the value of 10 defines the position of the tab in the list of all tabs when rendered.

Sections

A <section>-Tag references to either an existing or a new section in the system configuration.

Section attribute reference

A <section>-Tag can have the following attributes:

Attribute Description Type Required
id Defines the identifier that is used referencing the section. typeId required
translate Defines the field that should be translatable. Provide label to make the label translatable. string optional
type Defines the input type of the rendered HTML element. Defaults to text. string optional
sortOrder Defines the sort order of the section. High numbers will push the section to the bottom of the page; low numbers will push the section to the top. float optional
showInDefault Defines whether the section is shown in the default configuration scope. Specify 1 to show the section and 0 to hide the section. int optional
showInStore Defines whether the section is shown on store level. Specify 1 to show the section and 0 to hide the section. int optional
showInWebsite Defines whether the section is shown on website level. Specify 1 to show the section and 0 to hide the section. int optional
canRestore Defines if the section can be restored to default. int optional
advanced Deprecated since 100.0.2. bool optional
extends By providing an identifier of another section, the content of this node extends the section that you referenced. string optional

Section node reference

A <section>-Tag can have the following children:

Node Description Type
label Defines the label that is displayed in the frontend. string
class Adds a defined CSS class to the rendered section HTML element. string
tab References the associated tab. Expects the ID of the tab. typeTabId
header_css Neither used nor evaluated at the time of this writing. string
resource References an ACL resource to provide permission settings for this section. typeAclResourceId
group Define one or more subgroups. typeGroup
frontend_model Specifies a different frontend model to change the rendering and modify the output. typeModel
include Used to include additional system_include.xsd compatible files. Usually used to structure large system.xml files. includeType

Example: Create a new section and assign it to a tab

The following code snippet demonstrates the basic usage of creating a new section.

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<?xml version="1.0" ?>
<config xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="urn:magento:module:Magento_Config:etc/system_file.xsd">
    <system>
        <tab id="A_UNIQUE_ID" translate="label" class="a-custom-css-class-to-style-this-tab" sortOrder="10">
            <label>A meaningful label</label>
        </tab>

        <section id="A_UNIQUE_SECTION_ID" showInDefault="1" showInWebsite="0" showInStore="1" sortOrder="10" translate="label">
            <label>A meaningful section label</label>
            <tab>A_UNIQUE_ID</tab>
            <resource>VENDOR_MODULE::path_to_the_acl_resource</resource>
        </section>
    </system>
</config>

The section described above defines the ID A_UNIQUE_SECTION_ID, is visible in the default config view and in a store context. The label-node is translatable. The section is associated to the tab with the ID A_UNIQUE_ID. The section can only be accessed by users that have the permissions defined in the ACL VENDOR_MODULE::path_to_the_acl_resource.

Groups

The <group>-Tag is used to group fields together.

Group attribute reference

A <group>-Tag can have the following attributes:

Attribute Description Type Required
id Defines the identifier that is used referencing the group. typeId required
translate Defines the fields that should be translatable. Provide label to make the label translatable. Multiple fields should be separated by a space. string optional
type Defines the input type of the rendered HTML element. Defaults to text. string optional
sortOrder Defines the sort order of the section. High numbers will push the section to the bottom of the page; low numbers will push the section to the top. float optional
showInDefault Defines whether the group is shown in the default configuration scope. Specify 1 to show the group and 0 to hide the group. int optional
showInStore Defines whether the group is shown on store level. Specify 1 to show the group and 0 to hide the group. int optional
showInWebsite Defines whether the group is shown on website level. Specify 1 to show the group and 0 to hide the group. int optional
canRestore Defines if the group can be restored to default. int optional
advanced Deprecated since 100.0.2. bool optional
extends By providing an identifier of another group, the content of this node extends the section that you referenced. string optional

Group node reference

A <group>-Tag can have the following children:

Node Description Type
label Defines the label that is displayed in the frontend. string
fieldset_css Adds one or more CSS classes to a group fieldset. string
frontend_model Specifies a different frontend model to change the rendering and modify the output. typeModel
clone_model Specifies a given model to clone fields. typeModel
clone_fields Enabled or disabled cloning of fields. int
help_url Not extensible. See below. typeUrl
more_url Not extensible. See below. typeUrl
demo_link Not extensible. See below. typeUrl
comment Adds a comment below the group label. By using <![CDATA[//]]> HTML can be applied. string
hide_in_single_store_mode Whether the group should be visible in single store mode. 1 hides the group; 0 shows the group. int
field Define one or more fields that should be available under this group. field
group Define one or more subgroups. unbounded
depends Can be used to declare dependencies on other fields. Is used to show specific fields/groups only when a given field has a value of 1. This node expects a section/group/field-string. depends
attribute Custom attributes can be used by frontend models. Usually used to make a given frontend model more dynamic. attribute
include Used to include additional system_include.xsd compatible files. Usually used to structure large system.xml files. includeType

The nodes more_url, demo_url and help_url are defined by a PayPal frontend model that is only used once. These nodes are not reusable.

Example: Create a new group for a given section

The following code snippet demonstrates the basic usage of creating a new group.

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<config xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="urn:magento:module:Magento_Config:etc/system_file.xsd">
    <system>
        <tab id="A_UNIQUE_ID" translate="label" class="a-custom-css-class-to-style-this-tab" sortOrder="10">
            <label>A meaningful label</label>
        </tab>

        <section id="A_UNIQUE_SECTION_ID" showInDefault="1" showInWebsite="0" showInStore="1" sortOrder="10" translate="label">
            <label>A meaningful section label</label>
            <tab>A_UNIQUE_ID</tab>
            <resource>VENDOR_MODULE::path_to_the_acl_resource</resource>

            <group id="A_UNIQUE_GROUP_ID" translate="label comment" sortOrder="10" showInDefault="1" showInWebsite="0" showInStore="1">
                <label>A meaningful group label</label>
                <comment>An additional comment helping users to understand the effect when configuring the fields defined in this group.</comment>
                <!-- Add your fields here. -->
            </group>
        </section>
    </system>
</config>

The group described above defines the ID A_UNIQUE_GROUP_ID, is visible in the default config view and in a store context. Both, the label and the comment are marked as translatable.

Fields

The <field>-Tag is used inside of <group>-Tags to define specific configuration values.

Field attribute reference

A <field>-Tag can have the following attributes:

Attribute Description Type Required
id Defines the identifier that is used referencing the field. typeId required
translate Defines the fields that should be translatable. Provide label to make the label translatable. Multiple fields should be separated by a space. string optional
type Defines the input type of the rendered HTML element. Defaults to text. string optional
sortOrder Defines the sort order of the section. High numbers will push the section to the bottom of the page; low numbers will push the section to the top. float optional
showInDefault Defines whether the field is shown in the default configuration scope. Specify 1 to show the field and 0 to hide the field. int optional
showInStore Defines whether the field is shown on store level. Specify 1 to show the field and 0 to hide the field. int optional
showInWebsite Defines whether the field is shown on website level. Specify 1 to show the field and 0 to hide the field. int optional
canRestore Defines if the field can be restored to default. int optional
advanced Deprecated since 100.0.2. bool optional
extends By providing an identifier of another field, the content of this node will extend the section that you referenced. string optional

Field type reference

A <field>-Tag can have the following values for the type="" attribute:

Type Description
text Standard, single row text field
textarea Text block
select Normal dropdown, may need a custom source_model. Also used for Yes/No selections. See Magento\Search\Model\Adminhtml\System\Config\Source\Engine for an example.
multiselect Like select but multiple options are valid.
button A button that triggers an immediate event. Requires custom front-end model to define the button text and the action. See Magento\ScheduledImportExport\Block\Adminhtml\System\Config\Clean for an example.
obscure A text field with the value encrypted and displayed as ****. Changing the type using “Inspect Element” in the browser does not reveal the value.
password Like obscure except that the hidden value is not encrypted, and forcibly changing the type using “Inspect Element” in the browser does reveal the value.
file Allows a file to be uploaded for processing.
label Displays a label instead of an editable field. Use this type when a field is editable only on specific scopes, for example Store View level only.
time Control to set time using three dropdowns–Hour, minute and second.
allowspecific A multiselect list of specific countries. Requires a source_model such as Magento\Shipping\Model\Config\Source\Allspecificcountries
image Allows an image to be uploaded.

Field node reference

A <field>-Tag can have the following children:

Node Description Type
label Defines the label that displays in the frontend. string
comment Adds a comment below the group label. Use <![CDATA[//]]> to apply HTML formatting string
tooltip Frontend element to provide contextual help for the field. Displays as a small icon beside the field. string
hint Displays additional information. Only available with specific frontend_model. string
frontend_class Adds a defined CSS class to the rendered section HTML element. string
frontend_model Specifies a different frontend model to change the rendering and modify the output. typeModel
backend_model Specifies a different backend model to modify the configured values. typeModel
source_model Specifies a different source model that provides a specific set of values. typeModel
config_path Can be used to overwrite the generic config path of a field. typeConfigPath
validate Define different validation rules (comma separated). Full reference list of available validation rules is listed below. string
can_be_empty Used when type is multiselect to specify that a field can be empty. int
if_module_enabled Used to display a field only when a given module is enabled. typeModule
base_url Used in combination with upload_dir for file uploads. typeUrl
upload_dir Specify a target directory for uploads. This node has additional attributes and nodes. Look them up before using this. typeUploadDir
button_url Displays a button if button_url and button_label are specified. Usually used in combination with a custom frontend model. typeUrl
button_label Displays a button if button_label and button_url are specified. Usually used in combination with a custom frontend model. string
more_url Not extensible. See below. typeUrl
demo_url Not extensible. See below. typeUrl
hide_in_single_store_mode Whether the group should be visible in single store mode. 1 hides the group; 0 shows the group. int
source_service Service used to populate select options. complexType
options Not used. Potentially deprecated. complexType
depends Can be used to declare dependencies to other fields. Is used to only show specific fields/groups when a given field has a value of 1. This node expects a section/group/field-string. complexType
attribute Custom attributes can be used by frontend models. Usually used to make a given frontend model more dynamic. complexType
requires Not extensible. See below. complexType

The nodes more_url, demo_url, requires and options are defined by a different core payment model and are only used once. These nodes are not reusable.

Example: Create two fields in a given group

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<config xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="urn:magento:module:Magento_Config:etc/system_file.xsd">
    <system>
        <tab id="A_UNIQUE_ID" translate="label" class="a-custom-css-class-to-style-this-tab" sortOrder="10">
            <label>A meaningful label</label>
        </tab>

        <section id="A_UNIQUE_SECTION_ID" showInDefault="1" showInWebsite="0" showInStore="1" sortOrder="10" translate="label">
            <label>A meaningful section label</label>
            <tab>A_UNIQUE_ID</tab>
            <resource>VENDOR_MODULE::path_to_the_acl_resource</resource>

            <group id="A_UNIQUE_GROUP_ID" translate="label" sortOrder="10" showInDefault="1" showInWebsite="0" showInStore="1">
                <label>A meaningful group label</label>
                <comment>An additional comment helping users to understand the effect when configuring the fields defined in this group.</comment>

                <field id="A_UNIQUE_FIELD_ID" translate="label" sortOrder="10" showInDefault="0" showInWebsite="0" showInStore="1" type="select">
                    <label>Feature Flag Example</label>
                    <comment>This field is an example for a basic yes or no select.</comment>
                    <tooltip>Usually these kinds of fields are used to enable or disable a given feature. Other fields might be dependent to this and will only appear if this field is set to yes.</tooltip>
                    <source_model>Magento\Config\Model\Config\Source\Yesno</source_model>
                </field>

                <field id="ANOTHER_UNIQUE_FIELD_ID" translate="label" sortOrder="10" showInDefault="0" showInWebsite="0" showInStore="1" type="text">
                    <label>A meaningful field label</label>
                    <comment>A descriptive text explaining this configuration field.</comment>
                    <tooltip>Another possible frontend element that also can be used to describe the meaning of this field. Will be displayed as a small icon beside the field.</tooltip>
                    <validate>required-entry no-whitespace</validate> <!-- Field is required and must not contain any whitespace. -->
                    <if_module_enabled>VENDOR_MODULE</if_module_enabled>
                    <depends> <!-- This field will only be visible if the field with the id A_UNIQUE_FIELD_ID is set to value 1 -->
                        <field id="A_UNIQUE_FIELD_ID">1</field>
                    </depends>
                </field>
            </group>
        </section>
    </system>
</config>

The example above creates two fields, both visible/configurable in default and in store view. Both fields have a comment and a tooltip to describe their purpose to the user. The label-node is translatable. The field with the identifier ANOTHER_UNIQUE_FIELD_ID is visible when the given module in the if_module_enabled is enabled globally. The field also validates its value against the rules required-entry and no-whitespace. The field with the identifier A_UNIQUE_FIELD_ID defines a different source model which provides tha values Yes and No.

Common source models

The following source models are provided by the Magento 2 Core. In general, there are many more source models; the following list describes the most common ones. Be aware, that these source models need the field attribute type to be set to select in order to work properly.

Source Model Description
Magento\Config\Model\Config\Source\Yesnocustom Provides the values Yes, No and Specified.
Magento\Config\Model\Config\Source\Enabledisable Provides the values Enable, Disable. Saves the values as 0 and 1 in the database.
Magento\AdminNotification\Model\Config\Source\Frequency Provides the values 1 Hour,2 Hours,6 Hours,12 Hours and 24 Hours. Values are saved as integers.
Magento\Catalog\Model\Config\Source\TimeFormat Provides the values for the time format (12 h/24 h).
Magento\Cron\Model\Config\Source\Frequency Provides the values Daily, Weekly and Monthly. Values are saved in the database as D, W and M.
Magento\GoogleAdwords\Model\Config\Source\Language Provides the values for a 2-letter code of a given language in the ISO 639-1 format (e.g. en).
Magento\Config\Model\Config\Source\Locale Provides the values similar to the above one, but pertains a locale code (e.g. en_US).

Field Validation

A field can have one or more validator-classes assigned to make sure that the input of the user meets the requirements of the extension. Validation rules can be applied with the <validate>-Tag. The following example validates a field and adds several different validation rules.

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<field id="A_CUSTOM_IDENTIFIER" showInDefault="1" showInWebsite="0" showInStore="1">
    <validate>required-entry validate-clean-url no-whitespace</validate>
</field>

The following validation rules are available:

Rule Description
alphanumeric Allows letters, numbers, spaces or underscores only.
integer Enter a positive or negative non-decimal number.
letters-only Allows letters only. For example, abcABC.
no-whitespace Disallows white spaces.
time Allows a valid time in 24-hour format, between 00:00 and 23:59. For example 15, 15:05 or 15:05:48
time12h Allows a valid time in 12-hour format, between 12:00 am and 11:59:59 pm. For example 3 am, 11:30 pm, 02:15:00 pm.
validate-no-html-tags HTML tags are not allowed.
validate-select Select an option.
validate-no-empty Empty Value
validate-alphanum-with-spaces Use letters (a-z or A-Z), numbers (0-9), or spaces only in this field.
validate-data Use letters (a-z or A-Z), numbers (0-9), or underscores (_) only in this field. The first character should be a letter.
validate-street Use letters (a-z or A-Z), numbers (0-9), spaces, and “#” only in this field.
validate-phoneStrict Enter a valid phone number. For example, (123) 456-7890 or 123-456-7890.
validate-phoneLax Enter a valid phone number. For example, (123) 456-7890 or 123-456-7890.
validate-fax Enter a valid fax number. For example, 123-456-7890.
validate-email Enter a valid email address. For example, johndoe@domain.com.
validate-emailSender Enter a valid email address. For example, johndoe@domain.com.
validate-password Enter 6 or more characters. Leading and trailing spaces will be ignored.
validate-admin-password Enter 7 or more characters, using both numeric and alphabetic.
validate-url Enter a valid URL. Protocol is required (http://, https:// or ftp://).
validate-clean-url Enter a valid URL. For example, http://www.example.com or www.example.com.
validate-xml-identifier Enter a valid XML-identifier. For example, something_1, block5, id-4.
validate-ssn Enter a valid social security number. For example, 123-45-6789.
validate-zip-us Enter a valid ZIP code. For example, 90602 or 90602-1234.
validate-date-au Use this date format: dd/mm/yyyy. For example, 17/03/2006 for the 17th of March, 2006.
validate-currency-dollar Enter a valid $ amount. For example, $100.00.