Preferences

About

The Preferences library is unique to arduino-esp32. It should be considered as the replacement for the Arduino EEPROM library.

It uses a portion of the on-board non-volatile memory (NVS) of the ESP32 to store data. This data is retained across restarts and loss of power events to the system.

Preferences works best for storing many small values, rather than a few large values. If large amounts of data are to be stored, consider using a file system library such as LitteFS.

The Preferences library is usable by all ESP32 variants.

Header File

#include <Preferences.h>

Overview

Library methods are provided to:
  • create a namespace;

  • open and close a namespace;

  • store and retrieve data within a namespace for supported data types;

  • determine if a key value has been initialized;

  • delete a key-value pair;

  • delete all key-value pairs in a namespace;

  • determine data types stored against a key;

  • determine the number of key entries in the namespace.

Preferences directly supports the following data types:

Table 1 — Preferences Data Types

Preferences Type

Data Type

Size (bytes)

Bool

bool

1

Char

int8_t

1

UChar

uint8_t

1

Short

int16_t

2

UShort

uint16_t

2

Int

int32_t

4

UInt

uint32_t

4

Long

int32_t

4

ULong

uint32_t

4

Long64

int64_t

8

ULong64

uint64_t

8

Float

float_t

8

Double

double_t

8

String

const char*

variable

String

Bytes

uint8_t

variable

String values can be stored and retrieved either as an Arduino String or as a null terminated char array (c-string).

Bytes type is used for storing and retrieving an arbitrary number of bytes in a namespace.

Arduino-esp32 Preferences API

begin

Open non-volatile storage with a given namespace name from an NVS partition.

bool begin(const char * name, bool readOnly=false, const char* partition_label=NULL)
Parameters
  • name (Required)
    • Namespace name. Maximum length is 15 characters.

  • readOnly (Optional)
    • false will open the namespace in read-write mode.

    • true will open the namespace in read-only mode.

    • if omitted, the namespace is opened in read-write mode.

  • partition_label (Optional)
    • name of the NVS partition in which to open the namespace.

    • if omitted, the namespace is opened in the “nvs” partition.

Returns
  • true if the namespace was opened successfully; false otherwise.

Notes
  • If the namespace does not exist within the partition, it is first created.

  • Attempting to write a key value to a namespace open in read-only mode will fail.

  • A message providing the reason for a failed call is sent to the arduino-esp32 log_e facility.

end

Close the currently opened namespace.

void end()
Parameters
  • None

Returns
  • Nothing

Note
  • After closing a namespace, methods used to access it will fail.

clear

Delete all keys and values from the currently opened namespace.

bool clear()
Parameters
  • None

Returns
  • true if all keys and values were deleted; false otherwise.

Note
  • the namespace name still exists afterward.

  • A message providing the reason for a failed call is sent to the arduino-esp32 log_e facility.

remove

Delete a key-value pair from the currently open namespace.

bool remove(const char * key)
Parameters
  • key (Required)
    • the name of the key to be deleted.

Returns
  • true if key-value pair was deleted; false otherwise.

Note
  • A message providing the reason for a failed call is sent to the arduino-esp32 log_e facility.

putChar, putUChar

Store a value against a given key in the currently open namespace.

size_t putChar(const char* key, int8_t value)
size_t putUChar(const char* key, uint8_t value)
Parameters
  • key (Required)
    • if the key does not exist in the currently opened namespace it is first created.

  • value (Required)
    • must match the data type of the method.

Returns
  • 1 (the number of bytes stored for these data types) if the call is successful; 0 otherwise.

Notes
  • Attempting to store a value without a namespace being open in read-write mode will fail.

  • A message providing the reason for a failed call is sent to the arduino-esp32 log_e facility.

putShort, putUShort

Store a value against a given key in the currently open namespace.

size_t putShort(const char* key, int16_t value)
size_t putUShort(const char* key, uint16_t value)
Parameters
  • key (Required)
    • if the key does not exist in the currently opened namespace it is first created.

  • value (Required)
    • must match the data type of the method.

Returns
  • 2 (the number of bytes stored for these data types) if the call is successful; 0 otherwise.

Notes
  • Attempting to store a value without a namespace being open in read-write mode will fail.

  • A message providing the reason for a failed call is sent to the arduino-esp32 log_e facility.

putInt, putUInt

putLong, putULong

Store a value against a given key in the currently open namespace.

size_t putInt(const char* key, int32_t value)
size_t putUInt(const char* key, uint32_t value)
size_t putLong(const char* key, int32_t value)
size_t putULong(const char* key, uint32_t value)
Parameters
  • key (Required)
    • if the key does not exist in the currently opened namespace it is first created.

  • value (Required)
    • must match the data type of the method.

Returns
  • 4 (the number of bytes stored for these data types) if the call is successful; 0 otherwise.

Notes
  • Attempting to store a value without a namespace being open in read-write mode will fail.

  • A message providing the reason for a failed call is sent to the arduino-esp32 log_e facility.

putLong64, putULong64

putFloat, putDouble

Store a value against a given key in the currently open namespace.

size_t putLong64(const char* key, int64_t value)
size_t putULong64(const char* key, uint64_t value)
size_t putFloat(const char* key, float_t value)
size_t putDouble(const char* key, double_t value)
Parameters
  • key (Required)
    • if the key does not exist in the currently opened namespace it is first created.

  • value (Required)
    • must match the data type of the method.

Returns
  • 8 (the number of bytes stored for these data types) if the call is successful; 0 otherwise.

Notes
  • Attempting to store a value without a namespace being open in read-write mode will fail.

  • A message providing the reason for a failed call is sent to the arduino-esp32 log_e facility.

putBool

Store a value against a given key in the currently open namespace.

size_t putBool(const char* key, bool value)
Parameters
  • key (Required)
    • if the key does not exist in the currently opened namespace it is first created.

  • value (Required)
    • must match the data type of the method.

Returns
  • true if successful; false otherwise.

Notes
  • Attempting to store a value without a namespace being open in read-write mode will fail.

  • A message providing the reason for a failed call is sent to the arduino-esp32 log_e facility.

putString

Store a variable length value against a given key in the currently open namespace.

size_t putString(const char* key, const char* value);
size_t putString(const char* key, String value);
Parameters
  • key (Required)
    • if the key does not exist in the currently opened namespace it is first created.

  • value (Required)
    • if const char*, a null-terminated (c-string) character array.

    • if String, a valid Arduino String type.

Returns
  • if successful: the number of bytes stored; 0 otherwise.

Notes
  • Attempting to store a value without a namespace being open in read-write mode will fail.

  • A message providing the reason for a failed call is sent to the arduino-esp32 log_e facility.

putBytes

Store a variable number of bytes against a given key in the currently open namespace.

size_t putBytes(const char* key, const void* value, size_t len);
Parameters
  • key (Required)
    • if the key does not exist in the currently opened namespace it is first created.

  • value (Required)
    • pointer to an array or buffer containing the bytes to be stored.

  • len (Required)
    • the number of bytes from value to be stored.

Returns
  • if successful: the number of bytes stored; 0 otherwise.

Notes
  • Attempting to store a value without a namespace being open in read-write mode will fail.

  • This method operates on the bytes used by the underlying data type, not the number of elements of a given data type. The data type of value is not retained by the Preferences library afterward.

  • A message providing the reason for a failed call is sent to the arduino-esp32 log_e facility.

getChar, getUChar

Retrieve a value stored against a given key in the currently open namespace.

int8_t getChar(const char* key, int8_t defaultValue = 0)
uint8_t getUChar(const char* key, uint8_t defaultValue = 0)
Parameters
  • key (Required)

  • defaultValue (Optional)
    • must match the data type of the method if provided.

Returns
  • the value stored against key if the call is successful.

  • defaultValue, if it is provided; 0 otherwise.

Notes
  • Attempting to retrieve a key without a namespace being available will fail.

  • Attempting to retrieve value from a non existant key will fail.

  • A message providing the reason for a failed call is sent to the arduino-esp32 log_e facility.

getShort, getUShort

Retrieve a value stored against a given key in the currently open namespace.

int16_t getShort(const char* key, int16_t defaultValue = 0)
uint16_t getUShort(const char* key, uint16_t defaultValue = 0)

Except for the data type returned, behaves exactly like getChar.

getInt, getUInt

Retrieve a value stored against a given key in the currently open namespace.

int32_t getInt(const char* key, int32_t defaultValue = 0)
uint32_t getUInt(const char* key, uint32_t defaultValue = 0)

Except for the data type returned, behaves exactly like getChar.

getLong, getULong

Retrieve a value stored against a given key in the currently open namespace.

int32_t getLong(const char* key, int32_t defaultValue = 0)
uint32_t getULong(const char* key, uint32_t defaultValue = 0)

Except for the data type returned, behaves exactly like getChar.

getLong64, getULong64

Retrieve a value stored against a given key in the currently open namespace.

int64_t getLong64(const char* key, int64_t defaultValue = 0)
uint64_t getULong64(const char* key, uint64_t defaultValue = 0)

Except for the data type returned, behaves exactly like getChar.

getFloat

Retrieve a value stored against a given key in the currently open namespace.

float_t getFloat(const char* key, float_t defaultValue = NAN)

Except for the data type returned and the value of defaultValue, behaves exactly like getChar.

getDouble

Retrieve a value stored against a given key in the currently open namespace.

double_t getDouble(const char* key, double_t defaultValue = NAN)

Except for the data type returned and the value of defaultValue, behaves exactly like getChar.

getBool

Retrieve a value stored against a given key in the currently open namespace.

uint8_t getUChar(const char* key, uint8_t defaultValue = 0);

Except for the data type returned, behaves exactly like getChar.

getString

Copy a string of char stored against a given key in the currently open namespace to a buffer.

size_t getString(const char* key, char* value, size_t len);
Parameters
  • key (Required)

  • value (Required)
    • a buffer of a size large enough to hold len bytes

  • len (Required)
    • the number of type char` to be written to the buffer pointed to by value

Returns
  • if successful; the number of bytes equal to len is written to the buffer pointed to by value, and the method returns 1.

  • if the method fails, nothing is written to the buffer pointed to by value and the method returns 0.

Notes
  • len must equal the number of bytes stored against the key or the call will fail.

  • A message providing the reason for a failed call is sent to the arduino-esp32 log_e facility.

getString

Retrieve an Arduino String value stored against a given key in the currently open namespace.

String getString(const char* key, String defaultValue = String());
Parameters
  • key (Required)

  • defaultValue (Optional)

Returns
  • the value stored against key if the call if successful

  • if the method fails: it returns defaultValue, if provided; "" (an empty String) otherwise.

Notes
  • defaultValue must be of type String.

getBytes

Copy a series of bytes stored against a given key in the currently open namespace to a buffer.

size_t getBytes(const char* key, void * buf, size_t len);
Parameters
  • key (Required)

  • buf (Required)
    • a buffer of a size large enough to hold len bytes.

  • len (Required)
    • the number of bytes to be written to the buffer pointed to by buf

Returns
  • if successful, the number of bytes equal to len is written to buffer buf, and the method returns 1.

  • if the method fails, nothing is written to the buffer and the method returns 0.

Notes
  • len must equal the number of bytes stored against the key or the call will fail.

  • A message providing the reason for a failed call is sent to the arduino-esp32 log_e facility.

getBytesLength

Get the number of bytes stored in the value against a key of type Bytes in the currently open namespace.

size_t getBytesLength(const char* key)
Parameters
  • key (Required)

Returns
  • if successful: the number of bytes in the value stored against key; 0 otherwise.

Notes
  • This method will fail if key is not of type Bytes.

  • A message providing the reason for a failed call is sent to the arduino-esp32 log_e facility.

getType

Get the Preferences data type of a given key within the currently open namespace.

PreferenceType getType(const char* key)
Parameters
  • key (Required)

Returns
  • an int value as per Table 2 below.

  • a value of 10 (PT_INVALID) if the call fails.

Notes
  • The return values are enumerated in Preferences.h. Table 2 includes the enumerated values for information.

  • A return value can map to more than one Prefs Type.

  • The method will fail if: the namespace is not open; the key does not exist; the provided key exceeds 15 characters.

Table 2 — getType Return Values

Return value

Prefs Type

Data Type

Enumerated Value

0

Char

int8_t

PT_I8

1

UChar

uint8_t

PT_U8

Bool

bool

2

Short

int16_t

PT_I16

3

UShort

uint16_t

PT_U16

4

Int

int32_t

PT_I32

Long

5

UInt

uint32_t

PT_U32

ULong

6

Long64

int64_t

PT_I64

7

ULong64

uint64_t

PT_U64

8

String

String

PT_STR

*char

9

Double

double_t

PT_BLOB

Float

float_t

Bytes

uint8_t

10

-

-

PT_INVALID

freeEntries

Get the number of free entries available in the key table of the currently open namespace.

size_t freeEntries()
Parameters
  • none

Returns
  • if successful: the number of free entries available in the key table of the currently open namespace; 0 otherwise.

Notes
  • keys storing values of type Bool, Char, UChar, Short, UShort, Int, UInt, Long, ULong, Long64, ULong64 use one entry in the key table.

  • keys storing values of type Float and Double use three entries in the key table.

  • Arduino or c-string String types use a minimum of two key table entries with the number of entries increasing with the length of the string.

  • keys storing values of type Bytes use a minimum of three key table entries with the number of entries increasing with the number of bytes stored.

  • A message providing the reason for a failed call is sent to the arduino-esp32 log_e facility.